Seminars & Events

Natural Science & Mathematics Colloquium
Most Wednesdays at 4:40 in Schaefer 106

For updates, like the Colloquium on Facebook.

Program Highlight

Students preparing to drop a pumpkin from a window

The Physics Club organizes many activities for all students who enjoy physics.  


SMP Spotlight

Adam Hammett (2012), “Bichromatic Cooling of an Atomic Beam” (mentor: Josh Grossman)

Adam Hammett is employed at Holmes Tucker International as a requirements analyst.  He is also studying for a MS degree in systems engineering at Johns Hopkins University.

Interested in a career in engineering?

St. Mary’s College of Maryland does not offer an engineering degree or engineering courses.  However, the Physics Department does offer several ways to prepare for an engineering career.

  • A physics major with a handful of additional courses qualifies a graduate for many engineering jobs with the US government. According to the Office of Personnel Management, a physics graduate seeking a government engineering position should also have taken five of the following seven courses:
    • statics, dynamics
    • strength of materials (stress-strain relationships)
    • fluid mechanics, hydraulics
    • thermodynamics
    • electrical fields and circuits
    • nature and properties of materials (relating particle and aggregate structure to properties
    • any other comparable area of fundamental engineering science or physics, such as optics, heat transfer, soil mechanics, or electronics.
    Some of these courses are already part of the SMCM physics major. Others are electives offered at SMCM. The remainder would have to be taken at another institution, e.g. over the summer.
  • A physics major – particularly with an applied physics concentration – provides preparation for graduate programs in engineering.  Appropriate choice of electives at St. Mary’s, plus perhaps a small number of additional courses at another institution, will provide the best preparation.  This is the most popular route to an engineering career for our graduates.
  • We can advise students on a course of study that leads to a degree in Physics from St. Mary's and a bachelor's degree in Engineering from another institution, such as the University of Maryland. This pathway combines the small class sizes and highly adaptable skills from St. Mary's with additional engineering coursework.  Most students will take five years to complete this pathway, but students with AP credits or summer courses may be able to finish in four years.
    The Southern Maryland Mechanical Engineering Program of the University of Maryland is one particularly attractive way to add an engineering degree to a SMCM physics degree.