National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship winner Jocienne Nelson
National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship winner Jocienne Nelson examines a research sample in one of Oberlin's Physics laboratories. Photo credit: Tanya Rosen-Jones
Program Type:
  • Major
  • Minor
  • Bachelor of Arts (BA)

Physics at Oberlin is a diverse academic program offering a rich selection of physics, astrophysics, and astronomy courses and ample opportunities for active student research involvement.

Program Director

Stephen FitzGerald

Professor of Physics
Department Affiliation

Diane Doman

Administrative Assistant 440-775-8330

Why Study Physics at Oberlin?

tracks through the major
majors conducting research
whole universe to study, from atoms to galaxies
The dome atop Peters Hall. Photo credit: Yvonne Gay

Observatory and Planetarium

Oberlin College Observatory is atop Peters Hall at the center of campus. Peters was built in the 1880s and the dome was installed in 1929, along with a Gaertner 6-inch f:15 refractor telescope. The current telescope is a 14" Meade LX200. The observatory is actively used for introductory astronomy classes, for individual student projects, by the Oberlin Astronomy Club, and for public viewing.

Browse the observatory

Upcoming Physics Events

Sample Courses

  • PHYS 111 - Electricity, Magnetism and Thermodynamics 4 credits
  • ASTR 100 - Introductory Astronomy 4 credits
  • PHYS 316 - Waves and Optics 4 credits
  • PHYS 411 - Electrodynamics 2 credits

Physics News

Assistant Professor Robert Owen

Helping Kids Think Like Scientists

February 24, 2017
Poised in front of an audience in Wright Lecture Hall, Assistant Professor Robert Owen sprinkles sand on a vibrating plate. But instead of presenting to his usual audience of college students, 51 children fill the seats.

Professors Break Down Importance of Gravitational Wave Detection

February 15, 2016
For the first time, scientists have detected gravitational waves, a phenomenon first theorized by Albert Einstein’s theory of relativity. Two Oberlin professors are particularly excited by the discovery, having closely followed the project in connection to their own gravitational wave research.