Mathematical Physics


Physics is the branch of natural science that is concerned with models of the physical constituents of the universe, such as electrons, photons, quarks and aggregations of such particles, and the mathematical laws that govern how they move and interact with one another.  Because it deals with the behavior of the physical world at its most fundamental level, physics strongly influences the development of many other disciplines. It is foundational to the other natural sciences, and its application has resulted in the formation of several entirely separate subfields, including physical chemistry, astrophysics, geophysics, and biophysics. Physics also provides the fundamental knowledge necessary to predict and control the behavior of the physical world.  As a result, it is also foundational to many of the applied sciences and engineering disciplines, including medicine, meteorology, applied acoustics/optics, materials science, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, nuclear engineering, civil engineering, chemical engineering and biomedical engineering.

Mathematical Physics Major

The mathematical physics major is similar to a traditional physics major, but requires slightly more coursework in math and less in physics. As a result, it places a heavier emphasis on the theoretical aspects of physics. It is designed to prepare students for careers in physics, applied math (e.g. finance, statistics, economics, and computer science), and applied science/engineering (e.g. electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, biomedical engineering, nuclear engineering, and medical physics). Students interested in graduate work would be prepared for programs in any of these areas.


Viterbo offers a dual degree engineering program. The typical student completes three years of coursework at Viterbo, and then transfers to an accredited engineering school to finish an engineering degree. Upon completion of one year of coursework at the engineering institution, the student is retroactively awarded a degree in Mathematical Physics from Viterbo.  Students also have the option of transferring after two years without earning a degree from Viterbo, or finishing the Mathematical Physics degree at Viterbo and then completing a Master's degree at an engineering school.  For more information, turn to the description of the pre-engineering programs on page 99 of the undergraduate catalog.

For more information contact:
Anthony Gerig, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Physics
Chair, Department of Mathematics and Physics