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Physics: Understand the forces that move the world.

The word “physics” comes from the Greek word for “nature.” As a physics major, you will use the tools of science to expand your knowledge of nature and the forces that impact life on Earth. Through theory and experimentation, mathematics and computer science, you’ll gain a solid foundation in the principles and practice of both classical and modern physics. You’ll learn to use your scientific skills as a force for good, advancing leadership, service and civic responsibility.

At Iona, you’ll have the benefit of dedicated, accessible faculty who offer the support you need to succeed in a rigorous, intellectually demanding course of study. You’ll also have the advantage of class sizes that are significantly smaller than other institutions. With labs averaging 20 students and upper level classes between 10 and 12, you’ll thrive under the personal attention of accomplished scholars who are actively involved in scientific research.

Prepared for what’s next

The physics major provides you with a firm grounding in the principle fields of classical physics: mechanics, heat, light, electricity and magnetism. You’ll also gain an understanding of the elements of modern physics: relativity, quantum theory, particle physics and thermodynamics. Whether you choose to go further in the sciences or apply your skills in other fields, you will graduate with the critical thinking skills and scientific discipline to succeed in many different areas.

Work in collaboration with NASA

Since 1996, Iona has been working in collaboration with the Astrobiology Group at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. Physics Department Chair Br. Robert Novak and Iona physics students support 
research efforts by collecting telescope data, both on location at NASA’s famed IRTF 3-meter telescope on Mauna Kea in Hawaii, and remotely from the Iona campus. Several of these students have made presentations of their work at national conferences.

Career paths of recent alumni include

  • Teaching
  • Medicine
  • Dentistry
  • Astronomy
  • Life Sciences
  • Management
  • Foreign Service
  • Software development

Clare Boothe Luce Program

Henry Luce Foundation logo
Since its first grants in 1989, the Clare Boothe Luce Program (CBL) has become the single most significant source of private support for women in science, mathematics and engineering. Clare Boothe Luce, the widow of Henry R. Luce, was a playwright, journalist, U.S. Ambassador to Italy, and the first woman elected to Congress from Connecticut. In her bequest establishing this program, she sought "to encourage women to enter, study, graduate, and teach” in science, mathematics and engineering." See more information on the national program.

Course Spotlight

Humans and the Earth System

Iona’s most popular physics course explores the physical needs for life on earth and the possibility of life elsewhere in the universe.

In this course, as in all of our science courses, we develop in our students the ability to integrate their scientific skills within the spiritual, intellectual, civic, emotional and physical dimensions of their lives.