Wanek School of Natural Sciences

Department of Physics

Undergraduate research, public outreach, summer internships, publications, and R&D projects…there’s a lot going on in the Department of Physics at High Point University. We invite you to browse our website, blog, course materials, and photo galleries. But if you really want to know what we are about, we encourage you to come to campus and spend time with our faculty, our physics majors, and our alumni. We love to talk physics and astronomy, and we love to show you our results. So check out our annual reports.

2013-2014 Annual Report (79 MB, long download)

2014-2016 Annual Report (272 MB, long download)


Dr. Briana Fiser (
Associate Professor and Chair, Department of Physics
(336) 841-9412

Exciting News

2020 Publications

Hot Subdwarf All Southern Sky Fast Transit Survey with the Evryscope (Ratzloff, J. K., Barlow, B. N., N{\'e}meth, P., Corbett, H. T., Walser, S.*, Galliher, N. W., Glazier, A., Howard, W. S., Law, N. M.), In Astrophysical Journal, volume 890, 2020. [doi]

*Denotes previous or current HPU undergraduate physics major.

What can I do with this major?

With strong problem solving skills and theoretical understanding, experience in designing and carrying out experiments, and extensive application of computational modeling and computer programming, our graduates are prepared for a variety of careers and graduate programs in science that are as diverse as our students themselves.

Traditional areas: physics, engineering, atmospheric science, nanotechnology, microelectronics, computer programming and technology, instrumentation, materials science, astrophysics, biophysics and medical physics.

Non-traditional areas: teaching, medicine, finance or law.

Opportunities for experiential learning

In their first or second year, majors take a year-long course in undergraduate research where they complete an independent research project with a faculty member. Additionally in their first year, physics majors are taught the programming language Python in introductory, calculus-based physics. Through the  Matter & Interactions curricula, majors learn both computational modeling and numerical problem solving.

Every physics course includes at least two of the following experiential learning components in which students apply what they are learning, develop critical thinking skills, and demonstrate problem solving:

  • Experimental physics (laboratory)
  • Computational modeling
  • A culminating project that is theoretical, experimental, or computational.

What are grads doing with this major?

Why Physics?

Upon graduation you will be well-prepared for a wide variety of pursuits. If you choose graduate school, an undergraduate degree in physics is excellent preparation for graduate studies in a number of fields including astronomy, earth and atmospheric science, biophysics, mathematics, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, and nuclear engineering, to name just a few.

If you are looking to enter the workforce right after graduation, your degree will open up a range of possibilities. Physics graduates work in such diverse fields as engineering, computer or information systems, medical technology, technical writing, finance, and education.
Depending on your interests, you may want to consider double-majoring while at HPU. For example, if you want to go into biophysics, you should take courses in general chemistry, organic chemistry, biochemistry, and general biology, for example. If you want to go into high-performance computing or do computational physics, consider double-majoring in computer science. If theory is your thing, then double major in mathematics.

Read more…

2019 Publications

A unified, contemporary approach to teaching energy in introductory physics (Chabay, R., Sherwood, B. and Titus, A.), In American Journal of Physics, AAPT, volume 87, 2019. [bibtex] [doi]
A PVC Geodesic Dome Planetarium (Regester, J. and McGahee, C.), In The Physics Teacher, volume 57, 2019. [doi]
EVR-CB-001: An Evolving, Progenitor, White Dwarf Compact Binary Discovered with the Evryscope (Ratzloff, J. K., Barlow, B. N., Kupfer, T., Corcoran, K. A.*, Geier, S., Bauer, E. and Corbett, H. T., Howard, W. S.), In Astrophysical Journal, volume 883, 2019. [bibtex] [doi]
Persistence of power-law correlations in nonequilibrium steady states of gapped quantum spin chains (Lancaster, J. L. and Godoy, J. P.*), In Phys. Rev. Research, American Physical Society, volume 1, 2019. [bibtex] [pdf] [doi]
The EREBOS project: Investigating the effect of substellar and low-mass stellar companions on late stellar evolution. Survey, target selection, and atmospheric parameters (Schaffenroth, V., Barlow, B. N., Geier, S., Vu\vckovi\'c, M., Kilkenny, D., Wolz, M., Kupfer, T., Heber, U., Drechsel, H., Kimeswenger, S., Marsh, T., Wolf, M., Pelisoli, I., Freudenthal, J., Dreizler, S., Kreuzer, S.), In Astronomy & Astrophysics, volume 630, 2019. [bibtex] [doi]
The orbital period-mass ratio relation of wide sdB+MS binaries and its application to the stability of RLOF (Vos, J., Vu\v ckovi\'c, M., Chen, X., Han, Z., Boudreaux, T.*, Barlow, B. N., Østensen, R., Németh, P.), In Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, volume 482, 2019. [bibtex] [doi]
Variables in the Southern Polar Region Evryscope 2016 Data Set (Ratzloff, Jeffrey K., Corbett, H. T., Law, N. M., Barlow, B. N., Glazier, A. Howard, W. S., Fors, O., del Ser, D.), In Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, volume 131, 2019. [bibtex] [doi]

*Denotes previous or current HPU undergraduate physics major.

Physics News

Research Innovation
HPU Faculty Recognized for Research and Innovation
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WXII: HPU’s Dr. Brad Barlow Receives Second Grant from NASA
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NASA Awards Second Research Grant to HPU Astrophysics Professor
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Physics at HPU

School of Natural Sciences Photos