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Physics and Engineering

Studying physics and engineering is about more than solving equations. It's about making discoveries and developing devices that will change the world.

The Department of Physics and Engineering has a tradition of excellence and a strong national reputation. We offer flexible physics and engineering degree programs, cutting-edge research opportunities, a successful alumni network, and caring professors who are committed to mentoring students.

Majors, Minors, and Programs

Computer Engineering Major
Electrical Engineering Major
Emphasis Areas in Applied Physics | Bethel University Major
Engineering: Dual Degree Major
Graduate Engineering Program Program
Mechanical Engineering Major
Physics Minor Minor
Physics (B.A.) Major
Physics (B.S.) Major
Software Engineering Major

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A Tradition of Excellence

Bethel has one of the largest undergraduate physics and engineering programs in the nation. It's about cutting-edge research, collaboration with distinguished professors, open-ended projects that challenge you to discover new solutions, highly-successful graduates, and an active science community within a Christian learning environment. It's about taking our faith in Christ and integrating it into everything we learn, into everything we do, so we can accomplish incredible things–in our careers, in our communities, and in our world.

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best research university in Minnesota

- Academic Influence


students accepted to graduate school in last decade

Program Highlights

Engineering major and other options

Students who desire a strong liberal arts and science background can pursue engineering through one of Bethel's excellent standalone engineering programs, or through the B.A./B.S. Dual-Degree Engineering program, which typically involves 3 years at Bethel and 2 years at another university with a specialized, accredited engineering program. Graduates have also gone on to M.S. or Ph.D. engineering programs after receiving a degree in physics at Bethel. 


Our state-of-the-art research laboratories were completely redesigned and expanded in 2017. Our labs are particularly well-equipped in the areas of modern optics, atomic and molecular physics, electronics, laser physics, nanotechnology, and fluid dynamics.


Collaborate with professors on applied research projects, publish in top scientific journals, and present your findings at local or national conferences.

Graduate School Success

Many of our alumni enter graduate or medical school after earning their degree from Bethel. Virtually all of our alumni received full financial support for their graduate work.


Our students intern at a wide range of companies, government agencies, and universities–including such prestigious organizations as CERN (Switzerland), MIT, Medtronic, TASER Inc., NIST, Honeywell, Argonne National Lab, Michigan State Univ., 3M, Cornell, United Launch Alliance (Delta rockets), NASA Goddard, Xcel Energy, and Columbia.


We offer scholarships to promising students each year, regardless of financial need. These financial gifts include the Gruez, Anderson, and Peterson scholarships, NASA's MN Space Grant, and the Edgar G. Johnson Memorial Scholarship.

Summer research experiences

We strongly encourage students to get experience during the summer months. Some work at Bethel as research assistants, but many do internships elsewhere. In the last several years, about 100 physics and engineering majors have been employed at over 3 dozen research sites throughout the country.

Teaching Assistantships

After their first year, nearly all successful students are given the opportunity to work as teaching assistants (TAs).

Alumni network

Our alumni come back to campus to connect with current students and offer advice. More importantly, they actively seek to hire our graduates.

Student community

Students are encouraged to join our local chapter of the Society of Physics Students and the Sigma Pi Sigma honorary society. Such cohesiveness builds a sense of unity among the students and faculty, providing a strong, supportive community of mentors and peers.

What can I do with a physics or engineering degree?

Physics and engineering students are well prepared for professional careers in many different industries and have an exceptional history of success in graduate school.


Career fields of physics and engineering graduates:

  • Astronomy
  • Computer programming
  • Crime or forensics
  • Engineering (Aerospace, Biomedical, Civil, Computer, Electrical, Geological, Mechanical)
  • Forestry
  • High school physics education
  • Lab technician
  • Mathematics or statistics
  • Medical technology
  • Medical imaging
  • Medicine
  • Nuclear lab technician
  • Optical device design
  • Physicist
  • Professor
  • Science research
  • Structural design (e.g., stadiums, bridges, amusement park rides)
  • Technical writing or illustration

Graduate Schools

Graduate schools our physics and engineering alumni attend:

  • Stanford
  • Minnesota
  • Colorado, Boulder
  • New Mexico
  • Purdue
  • Illinois
  • Ohio State
  • Yale
  • Harvard
  • University of Michigan

The majority of our graduates receive full financial support (stipend and tuition) in the form of fellowships, teaching assistantships, or research assistantships.

Graduate Fields

Graduate fields our alumni go into:

  • Physics
  • Mechanical engineering
  • Biomedical engineering
  • Electrical engineering
  • Industrial engineering
  • Civil or structural engineering
  • Statistics
  • Chemistry
  • Math
  • Cognitive science
  • Nanotechnology
  • Computer science
  • Medicine
  • Business law