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Students working together on a computer in the physics lab.

Department: Physics

Program Type: Science, Engineering, and Math

Planning to Transfer? Learn more about the transfer process including the importance of choosing a major and transfer school.


Physics improves our understanding of the fundamental forces in the universe, matter, energy, and natural phenomena ranging from atomic nuclei substructure to galaxy clusters. At ECC, the Physics Department helps students begin their educational journeys to prepare for careers in the sciences, computing, engineering, teaching, and research.

The coursework establishes an in-depth physical science-centric method of thinking and problem-solving. After completing these classes, students may transfer to a chosen university and begin junior-level courses in physics and engineering. Work with your academic advisor to develop a transfer plan customized to your interests.

ECC’s physics curriculum includes close work with faculty to build a strong foundation for scientific principles and techniques. An innovative sophomore-level summer course in modern physics introduces students to special relativity, quantum mechanics, lasers, superconductors, nuclear, and atomic physics. The laboratory component for all physics courses provides hands-on experience with the same instruments and software at industrial and academic research facilities.

Get additional information, including course listings and class descriptions.

Prepare for Immediate Employment

Program Highlights

Associate Degree

Interested in Physics?

If you have a passion for understanding how things work and enjoy scientific experiments and applied mathematics, you should consider a career in physics. Browse the Career Coach for relevant data on wages, employment, and education needed for a career in engineering, physics, or another field.

Why Study Physics If You're Not a Science Major?

Even if your career path isn't directly related to physics, the skills, and knowledge you gain from studying, it can open new opportunities and enhance your problem-solving capabilities in almost any field. Skills in critical thinking and problem solving, quantitative skills, interdisciplinary thinking, and demonstrating that you've successfully tackled subjects outside your major can make you stand out to potential employers or graduate schools.

Learn more about the Physics department at ECC!

Earning an Associate Degree at Elgin Community College can set your career in motion.

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