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Bachelor of Science (BS) in Interdisciplinary Physics

As an interdisciplinary physics student, you’ll learn core, foundational physics concepts, design, conduct, and evaluate research, and take complementary classes in areas like biology and chemistry. This major allows you to study physics without too narrow of a focus, providing opportunities to apply your knowledge to other scientific fields and grow into a well-rounded scientist. You’ll graduate with a deeper understanding of how the world around you works, prepared to pursue medical or business school, or a career in environmental science, technical sales, or patent law.

Interdisciplinary Physics at JCU

This physics track is uniquely flexible, providing you with core physics skills while allowing time for courses in areas like biology, chemistry, psychology, math, computer science, or business. It’s a great option if you hope to double major or pursue JCU’s 5-year MBA program, in which you complete a bachelor’s degree and a master's of Business Administration in five years. With a degree in interdisciplinary physics, you’ll walk away with a breadth of knowledge that can be applied to a range of careers.

According to Physics Department Chair Jeffrey Dyck, “Studying everything from the behavior of atoms to the physics of new materials in a liberal arts environment will give you a perspective that many other institutions can’t provide. In addition to your technical training, you’ll have superior oral and written communication skills that employers and graduates schools value.”

If you're planning to study physics then earn an MBA, get an idea of which classes to take each semester. Learn more.

2022-2023 Sample Course Plan

Physics majors pursue a wide range of careers, including highly interdisciplinary fields and those requiring technical innovation for 21st century healthcare challenges. John Carroll is situated in the Cleveland area, which is known for its vibrant biotech industry and renowned healthcare institutions, and our graduates can take advantage of the great opportunities here. The Biomedical Physics concentration is ideal for students who are interested in entering medical school or other health-related professions, as well as careers in Medical Physics, Biomedical Engineering, and Biophysics. Built around a core of physics and engineering content, it includes additional coursework in biology, chemistry, and more.

2022-2023 Sample Course Plan

BS in Interdisciplinary Physics Program Highlights

The JCU physics department has its finger on the pulse of industry trends, constantly updating its offerings to prepare students for a postgraduate life rich with opportunity. Recent offerings include entrepreneurship and biomedical concentrations, and each year the physics department offers a Physics Seminar course devoted to career discernment.

Recent graduates have pursued MDs at schools like Northeast Ohio Medical School, PhDs in programs like polymer engineering and chemical physics at schools like the University of Akron and the University of Arizona, and jobs like a technical chemist at PPG. The Cleveland area is a hotbed for biomedical innovation, an industry which many physics students pursue jobs in. Others go on to work in technical sales, or pursue JCU’s five-year BS/MBA program.

For decades the JCU physics department has required seniors to do a capstone project under faculty supervision, giving them hands-on experience and time to pursue their research interests. Some students also work on faculty research projects during school breaks. Recent projects include Dr. Piracha collaborations with researchers in Pakistan studying  atomic structure, spectroscopic constants, discharge dynamics, plasma parameters and photochemical processes in the domain of atomic spectroscopy.; Dr. Kara’s biomedical physics research with groups in the Medical School and Physics Department at CWRU; Dr. Dyck’s collaborations in materials physics for green energy applications with research groups at CWRU Dept. of chemistry and Dept. of physics, and with a research group in the Dept. of Electrical Engineering at Western Michigan University.

A physics major, in general, sets students up to go in so many different directions and continues to pay dividends throughout your career. You will be a “problem solver extraordinaire” and an innovator wherever you work.
—  Jeffrey Dyck, PhD, Professor of Physics and Department Chair

Notable Alum


Angela Harrivel, '96

After completing both her undergraduate and masters degrees in physics at JCU, Dr. Angela Harrivel went on to complete a PhD in both philosophy and biomedical engineering at the University of Michigan. After working as a software engineer, she joined NASA. Today she does biomedical engineering at NASA’s Langley Research Center, where she leads the Human Performance and Monitoring Team in the Crew Systems and Aviation Operations branch.

JCU Northeast Map

Interdisciplinary Physics Alumni Across the Region

John Carroll University alumni live, work, teach and support communities throughout the region from Northeast Ohio to Chicago, Indianapolis, Detroit, Columbus, Buffalo, Rochester, Pittsburgh, New York City, Washington D.C., Maryland and Virginia.