Physics, Astronomy, & Geology

The Physics, Astronomy, and Geology Department offers a physics major with a concentration for students aiming for careers in physics or for students interested in secondary school teaching, or a concentration for students interested in transferring to an engineering school. A physics minor is also offered. The Geology program at Berry supports the major in Environmental Science and offers a minor in Geology.

What goes on here? Why is Berry such a great place to study these subjects?

If you want to learn, learn in a class (normally ten or less) with a professor who knows not just the subject, but you: your strengths and your weaknesses and when and how to push you. That's what happens here. And, although this may be true of many subjects, it is especially true of physics because most of physics is not obvious at all! You will need help. You will not become an expert as an undergrad; this is the time to establish a very firm hold on the basics. Go to large universities for graduate school. But for first-rate undergraduate physics education, come here.

One of the distinct advantages of Berry is the type of instruction we offer in physics. In most of your physics courses you will not sit around during class listening to a professor lecture.  Instead, you will be actively involved in doing physics under the supervision of a professor. This active involvement may include discussing physics problems with other students, using a letter card to respond to multiple choice questions, solving problems on a tutorial worksheet, or presenting homework solutions to the class. Research in physics educations shows that passive instruction (lecturing) is much less effective than active instruction when it comes to learning important physics concepts. At Berry we fully embrace the research-proven methods of active learning, so you will get more out of your classroom experience than you would in a traditional lecture course at another school.  And if you don't get everything you need in the classroom, just stop by to see your professor. We are always happy to work with our students outside of scheduled class times (we each have 10 scheduled office hours for this purpose every week).