Majors, Minors, & Certificates

Physics

Focused on active student participation in cutting-edge research, this hands-on program prepares you for exciting careers in physics, engineering, astronomy, business, education and technology. And keep this in mind: 100 percent of recent graduates are employed or in graduate school.

​Program Highlights

  • Undergraduate research
  • Small class sizes
  • Dynamic, growing department
  • Commitment to exploring new and effective pedagogical techniques
  • Accessible faculty
  • Student travel (Puerto Rico, China, Greenland and more)
  • Access to computational cluster
  • Interdisciplinary work in biophysics, electrical engineering and astrochemistry

Success Stats

  • 100% of recent graduates are employed or in graduate school
  • $4 million in active research grants was secured by the National Science Foundation, NASA, the Department of Defense and Department of Energy
  • The freshman retention rate is 94%

Skills Developed

  • Understanding of the fundamental concepts and theories of physics.
  • Strong analytical skills and facility with mathematical modeling.
  • Demonstrated ability with laboratory equipment and techniques including computers as analytical and experimental tools.
  • Ability to analyze and interpret experimental data, and assess the statistical significance of results.
  • Aptitude for researching and clearly expressing scientific ideas using oral, visual and written communication.
  • Ability to evaluate the quality of scientific information.
  • Competence in designing, planning and conducting an independent research project.
  • Familiarity with the historical development of physics.

Recent Employers of our Graduates

  • General Dynamics
  • GE
  • GlobalFoundries
  • IBM
  • Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory
  • NASA
  • Plug Power
  • Sematech
  • Southwest Research Institute
  • SuperPower Inc.
  • Unique Technical Services
  • U.S. Air Force
  • U.S. Army
  • X-Ray Optical Systems
  • Zoetis Pharmaceutical

Internships Sites

  • Jet Propulsion Laboratory
  • American Museum of Natural History
  • University of Vermont
  • University of Colorado, Boulder
  • Northern Arizona University
  • Sematech
  • X-Ray Optical Systems

Where our Alumni Go to Graduate School

  • Boston University
  • Dartmouth College
  • Duke University
  • East Caroline University
  • Hofstra University
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
  • San Francisco State University
  • Stanford University
  • SUNY Polytechnic Institute Colleges of Nanoscale Science and Engineering
  • Temple University
  • University of Connecticut
  • University of Maryland
  • University of Pennsylvania
  • University of Washington

Job Titles of Recent Graduates

  • Chief Executive Officer
  • Chief Financial Officer
  • Engineer
  • Medical Physicist
  • Physician (MD)
  • Physics Teacher
  • Project Manager
  • Quality Control Technician
  • Research Assistant
  • Science Writer

Physics and Astronomy

The Physics and Astronomy Department at Siena College is a friendly, close-knit department where students are welcomed as peers. We offer degrees in physics and computational science, as well as minors in astronomy and astrophysics. Our accomplished faculty and well-funded research programs make Siena a dynamic and rewarding place to study physics and astronomy.

Majors:

Minors:


Career Opportunities

Aerospace Engineers perform engineering duties in designing, constructing, and testing aircraft, missiles, and spacecraft. May conduct basic and applied research to evaluate adaptability of materials and equipment to aircraft design and manufacture. May recommend improvements in testing equipment and techniques.

Job titles: Aerospace Engineer, Flight Test Engineer, Design Engineer, Systems Engineer, Structures Engineer, Test Engineer, Aeronautical Engineer, Aerospace Stress Engineer, Avionics Engineer, Flight Systems Test Engineer

Wages:

The median annual wage was $103,720 in 2012.

GROWTH FORECAST:

Employment is projected to experience 3-7% growth from 2012 to 2022.

Mechanical Engineers perform engineering duties in planning and designing tools, engines, machines, and other mechanically functioning equipment. Oversee installation, operation, maintenance, and repair of equipment such as centralized heat, gas, water, and steam systems.

Job titles: Mechanical Engineer, Design Engineer, Product Engineer, Mechanical Design Engineer, Process Engineer, Equipment Engineer, Design Maintenance Engineer, Systems Engineer, Chassis Systems Engineer, Commissioning Engineer

Wages:

The median annual wage was $80,580 in 2012.

GROWTH FORECAST:

Employment is projected to experience 3-7% growth from 2012 to 2022.

Nanosystems Engineers design, develop, or supervise the production of materials, devices, or systems of unique molecular or macromolecular composition, applying principles of nanoscale physics and electrical, chemical, or biological engineering.

Wages:

The median annual wage was $92,030 in 2012.

GROWTH FORECAST:

Employment is projected to experience 3-7% growth from 2012 to 2022.

Civil Engineers perform engineering duties in planning, designing, and overseeing construction and maintenance of building structures, and facilities, such as roads, railroads, airports, bridges, harbors, channels, dams, irrigation projects, pipelines, power plants, and water and sewage systems.

Job titles include: Civil Engineer, Engineer, Project Engineer, Project Manager, Structural Engineer, City Engineer, Civil Engineering Manager, Design Engineer, Railroad Design Consultant, Research Hydraulic Engineer

Wages:

The median annual wage was $79,340 in 2012.

GROWTH FORECAST:

Employment is projected to experience 15-21% growth from 2012 to 2022.

Nuclear Engineers conduct research on nuclear engineering projects or apply principles and theory of nuclear science to problems concerned with release, control, and use of nuclear energy and nuclear waste disposal.

Job titles include: Engineer, Nuclear Engineer, Nuclear Reactor Engineer, Nuclear Licensing Engineer, Nuclear Design Engineer, System Engineer, Resident Inspector, Scientist, Criticality Safety Engineer, Generation Engineer

Wages:

The median annual wage was $104,270 in 2012.

GROWTH FORECAST:

Employment is projected to experience 8-14% growth from 2012 to 2022.

Physics Professors teach courses pertaining to the laws of matter and energy. Includes both teachers primarily engaged in teaching and those who do a combination of teaching and research.

Job titles include: Professor, Physics Professor, Physics Instructor, Instructor, Professor of Physics, Math and Physics Instructor, Assistant Professor, Assistant Professor of Physics, Associate Professor, Physical Science Professor

Wages:

The median annual wage was $78,540 in 2012.

GROWTH FORECAST:

Employment is projected to grow 8-14% from 2012 to 2022.

Biochemists and Biophysicists study the chemical composition or physical principles of living cells and organisms, their electrical and mechanical energy, and related phenomena. May conduct research to further understanding of the complex chemical combinations and reactions involved in metabolism, reproduction, growth, and heredity. May determine the effects of foods, drugs, serums, hormones, and other substances on tissues and vital processes of living organisms.

Job titles include: Analytical Research Chemist, Chief Scientific Officer, Director of the Biophysics Facility, Laboratory Director, Professor of Physics/Researcher in Biophysics, Research Assistant, Research Associate, Research Scientist, Scientist

Wages:

The median annual wage was $81,480 in 2012.

GROWTH FORECAST:

Employment is projected to experience 15-21% (faster than average) growth from 2012 to 2022.

Astronomers observe, research, and interpret astronomical phenomena to increase basic knowledge or apply such information to practical problems.

Job titles include: Professor, Astronomer, Astronomy Professor, Research Scientist, Associate Professor, Physics and Astronomy Professor, Scientist, Assistant Professor, Astrophysicist, Lunar and Planetary Institute Director

Wages:

The median annual wage was $96,460 in 2012.

GROWTH FORECAST:

Employment is projected to experience 8-14% growth from 2012 to 2022.

Physicists conduct research into physical phenomena, develop theories on the basis of observation and experiments, and devise methods to apply physical laws and theories.

Job titles include: Health Physicist, Scientist, Research Scientist, Physicist, Research Consultant, Research Physicist, Biophysics Scientist

Wages:

The median annual wage was $106,840 in 2012.

GROWTH FORECAST:

Employment is projected to experience 8-14% growth from 2012 to 2022.

Optometrists diagnose, manage, and treat conditions and diseases of the human eye and visual system. Examine eyes and visual system, diagnose problems or impairments, prescribe corrective lenses, and provide treatment. May prescribe therapeutic drugs to treat specific eye conditions.

Job titles: Optometrist, Doctor of Optometry (OD), Doctor

Wages:

The median annual wage was $97,820 in 2012.

GROWTH FORECAST:

Employment is projected to experience 22%+(much faster than average) growth from 2012 to 2022.

Chemical Technicians conduct chemical and physical laboratory tests to assist scientists in making qualitative and quantitative analyses of solids, liquids, and gaseous materials for research and development of new products or processes, quality control, maintenance of environmental standards, and other work involving experimental, theoretical, or practical application of chemistry and related sciences.

Job titles include: Laboratory Technician, Lab Tech, Laboratory Analyst, Lab analyst, Research Technician, Analytical Lab Technician, Laboratory Tester, lab tester, Research and Development Technician, Analytical Technician, Chemical Technician, Environmental Lab Technician and Formulation Technician.

Wages:

The median annual wage was $42,920 in 2012.

GROWTH FORECAST:

Employment is projected to experience 8-14% growth from 2012 to 2022.

Materials Scientists research and study the structures and chemical properties of various natural and synthetic or composite materials, including metals, alloys, rubber, ceramics, semiconductors, polymers, and glass. Determine ways to strengthen or combine materials or develop new materials with new or specific properties for use in a variety of products and applications. Includes glass scientists, ceramic scientists, metallurgical scientists, and polymer scientists.

Job titles: Materials Scientist, Micro Electrical/Mechanical Systems Device Scientist (MEMS Device Scientist), Polymer Materials Consultant, Research Scientist, Research and Development Scientist (R and D Scientist), Senior Materials Scientist, Staff Research Scientist, Staff Scientist, Technology Officer, Vice President Research

Wages:

The median annual wage was $88,990 in 2012.

GROWTH FORECAST:

Employment is projected to experience 3-7% growth from 2012 to 2022.

Actuaries analyze statistical data, such as mortality, accident, sickness, disability, and retirement rates and construct probability tables to forecast risk and liability for payment of future benefits. May ascertain insurance rates required and cash reserves necessary to ensure payment of future benefits.

Job titles include: Actuary, Actuarial Analyst, Pricing Actuary, Product Development Actuary, Actuarial Assistant, Actuarial Associate, Actuarial Consultant, Consulting Actuary, Health Actuary and Pricing Analyst.

Wages:

The median annual wage was $93,680 in 2012.

GROWTH FORECAST:

Employment is projected to grow 22% (much faster than average) from 2012 to 2022.

Computer and Information Systems Managers plan, direct, or coordinate activities in such fields as electronic data processing, information systems, systems analysis, and computer programming. Job titles include: Information Technology Manager (IT Manager), Information Technology Director (IT Director), Information Systems Director (IS Director), Data Processing Manager, MIS Director (Management Information Systems Director), Information Systems Manager (IS Manager), Information Systems Supervisor (IS Supervisor), Computing Services Director, Director of Application Development and Technical Services Manager.

Wages:

The median annual wage was $120,950 in 2012.

GROWTH FORECAST:

Employment is projected to grow 15-21% (faster than average) from 2012 to 2022.

Biomedical Engineers apply knowledge of engineering, biology, and biomechanical principles to the design, development, and evaluation of biological and health systems and products, such as artificial organs, prostheses, instrumentation, medical information systems, and health management and care delivery systems.

Job titles include: Biomedical Technician, Biomedical Equipment Technician (BMET), Biomedical Engineer, Biomedical Electronics Technician, Biomedical Engineering Technician, Research Engineer, Professor, Biomedical Engineering Director, Biomedical Manager, Clinical Engineer

Wages:

The median annual wage was $86,960 in 2012.

GROWTH FORECAST:

Employment is projected to experience 22%+ (much faster than average) growth from 2012 to 2022.

Physician assistants, also known as PAs, practice medicine on a team under the supervision of physicians and surgeons. They are formally educated to examine patients, diagnose injuries and illnesses, and provide treatment.

Wages:

The median annual wage was $90,930 in 2012.

GROWTH FORECAST:

Employment is projected to grow 38% (much faster than average) from 2012 to 2022.

Chemical Engineers design chemical plant equipment and devise processes for manufacturing chemicals and products, such as gasoline, synthetic rubber, plastics, detergents, cement, paper, and pulp, by applying principles and technology of chemistry, physics, and engineering.

Job titles include: Process Engineer, Chemical Engineer, Engineer, Scientist, Project Engineer, Development Engineer, Engineering Scientist, Process Control Engineer, Process Development Engineer and Refinery Process Engineer.

Wages:

The median annual wage was $94,350 in 2012.

GROWTH FORECAST:

Employment is projected to grow 3-5% from 2012 to 2022.

Lawyers advise and represent individuals, businesses, and government agencies on legal issues and disputes. The majority of lawyers work in private and corporate legal offices. Some work for local, state, and federal governments. The majority work full time, and many work long hours. All lawyers must have a law degree and must also typically pass a state’s written bar examination.

Job titles include: Attorney, Associate Attorney, Lawyer, Associate, Assistant Attorney General, Deputy Attorney General, City Attorney, County Attorney, Partner and Assistant Counsel.

Wages:

The median annual wage for lawyers was $113,530 in May 2012.

GROWTH FORECAST:

Employment of lawyers is projected to grow 10 percent from 2012 to 2022

Computer and Information Research Scientists conduct research into fundamental computer and information science as theorists, designers, or inventors. Develop solutions to problems in the field of computer hardware and software.

Job titles include: Computer Scientist, Control System Computer Scientist, Scientific Programmer Analyst

Wages:

The median annual wage was $102,190 in 2012.

GROWTH FORECAST:

Employment is projected to experience 15-21% growth (fast than average) from 2012 to 2022.

Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technicians perform routine medical laboratory tests for the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disease. May work under the supervision of a medical technologist.

Job titles include: Medical Laboratory Technician, Medical Laboratory Technician, Medical Lab Tech, Laboratory Assistant, Lab Assistant, Laboratory Technician, Phlebotomist, Clinical Laboratory Scientist, Laboratory Supervisor, Non-Registered Technician, Laboratory Associate, Lab Associate, Toxicology and Laboratory Technician.

Wages:

The median annual wage was $37,240 in 2012.

GROWTH FORECAST:

Employment is projected to experience 22% growth (much faster than average) from 2012 to 2022.

Secondary school teachers teach students in one or more subjects, such as English, mathematics, or social studies at the secondary level in public or private schools. May be designated according to subject matter specialty.

Wages:

The median annual wage was $55,050 in 2012.

GROWTH FORECAST:

Employment is projected to experience 3-7% growth from 2012 to 2022.

Graduate Teaching Assistants assist faculty or other instructional staff in postsecondary institutions by performing teaching or teaching-related duties, such as teaching lower level courses, developing teaching materials, preparing and giving examinations, and grading examinations or papers. Graduate teaching assistants must be enrolled in a graduate school program. Graduate assistants who primarily perform non-teaching duties, such as research, should be reported in the occupational category related to the work performed.

Job titles include: Graduate Teaching Assistant (GTA), Teaching Assistant (TA), Graduate Assistant, Instructor, Graduate Fellow, Graduate Research Assistant, Research Assistant (RA), Teaching Fellow, Graduate Student Instructor (GSI)

Wages:

The median annual wage was $31,270 in 2012.

GROWTH FORECAST:

Employment is projected to experience 8-14% growth from 2012 to 2022.

Physicians and surgeons diagnose and treat injuries or illnesses. Physicians examine patients; take medical histories; prescribe medications; and order, perform, and interpret diagnostic tests. They counsel patients on diet, hygiene, and preventive healthcare. Surgeons operate on patients to treat injuries, such as broken bones; diseases, such as cancerous tumors; and deformities, such as cleft palates.

Job titles include: Sports Medicine Physician, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Physician, Naturopathic Physician, Nuclear Medicine Physician, Medical Scientist, Pediatrician, Surgeon, Obstetrician, Gynecologist, Family and General Practitioner, Internist, Oncologist, Cardiologist, Anesthesiologist and Neurologist.

Wages:

The median annual wage was $187,200 in 2012.

GROWTH FORECAST:

Employment is projected to grow 18% (faster than average) from 2012 to 2022.

Business Intelligence Analysts produce financial and market intelligence by querying data repositories and generating periodic reports. Devise methods for identifying data patterns and trends in available information sources.

Job titles include: Business Intelligence Analyst; Business Intelligence Manager; Commercial Intelligence Manager; Competitive Intelligence Analyst; Consultant, Strategic Business and Technology Intelligence; Director of Enterprise Strategy; Director of Market Intelligence; Director, Global Intelligence; Intelligence Analyst; Manager, Market Intelligence

Wages:

The median annual wage was $67,650 in 2012.

GROWTH FORECAST:

Employment is projected to experience 3-7% growth from 2012 to 2022.

Technology is one of the most pervasive forces in our society today – we use it both to connect and detach, to save time and to waste it – so we’re especially dependent on those who make their living by creating, powering and supporting our electronics and information systems.

Wages:

Depends on job function.

GROWTH FORECAST:

Employment in the information technology industry is expected to grow 47% by 2020.

The education sector comprises establishments that provide instruction and training in a wide variety of subjects. This instruction and training is provided by specialized establishments, such as schools, colleges, universities, and training centers.

Wages:

Depends on job function.

GROWTH FORECAST:

​Employment in the education is expected to grow 9.4% by 2022.