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Majors -- Math and Physics

Your Springboard

Mathematics and Physics majors can propel graduates into a diverse, broad range of science, engineering and educational careers. One might build on any of these majors with graduate studies in another field to specialize and focus his or her career path. Imagine putting physics and law together to pursue patent law. Think about designing robotics for unique tasks, collaborating with NASA in a study of space, working on new laser technology, determining radiation dosages for medical treatments, or a myriad of other possibilities. Study the foundational basics at KWU... and aim high.


Whether it’s using statistics to understand a societal problem or writing algorithms for a computer program, math gives you powerful tools for communication, comprehension and change. As a Mathematics major at Kansas Wesleyan University, you will study math as part of KWU’s Christian liberal arts curriculum and learn how numbers inform everything from business and public policy to health care and the environment. You will also take classes and work on projects that will expose you to theoretical and applied mathematics as well as computer science. Because of its flexibility, an undergraduate Mathematics degree from KWU can take you in many career directions, including medicine, law, actuarial science, information security

Sample Required Courses: Foundations of Computer Systems OR Programming in C++; Calculus I, II & III; Linear Algebra; Discrete Mathematics; Intro to Mathematical Statistics; Elementary Differential Equations; Modern Applied Algebra; Real Analysis


Learn the fundamental laws of physics, develop your passion for knowledge and innovation, and discover how to apply what you are learning. Physics is the study of how the world works. It is the science that seeks to understand the laws of nature, and the relationship between energy and matter. Physics encompasses the study of the universe from the largest galaxies and black holes to the smallest subatomic particles. It is the basis of many other sciences, including chemistry, oceanography, seismology and astronomy, and can be applied to biology or medical science.

Sample Required Courses: General Chemistry I & II; General Physics I & II; Modern Physics; Thermodynamics; Electromagnet Theory; Introduction to Quantum Mechanics

Computational Physics

Computational Physics is the study and implementation of numerical analysis to solve problems in physics for which a quantitative theory already exists. It was the first field to involve the application of modern computers in science. Today, Computational Physics is a subset of Computational Science, a rapidly growing interdisciplinary field that uses advanced computing and data analysis to understand and solve complex problems.

Sample Required Courses: General Chemistry I & II; Information Mgmt. & Data Analysis; Python; Introduction to Linux; Scientific Programming; Calculus I, II & III; Elementary Differential Equations; General Physics I & II; Modern Physics

Environmental Physics

Environmental Physics uses the principles and techniques of physics to study the earth's environment, propelling advances in physics that have a positive impact on the Earth's air, water and land. Environmental physicists have made contributions to understanding global climate change and the ozone hole. Examples of applying environmental physics include research in laser physics and computing techniques; development of methods for monitoring levels of pollutants; advances in materials processing and design for more efficient energy generation and recycling methods; and geophysical methods for measuring radioactivity in new clean-up technology development.

Sample Required Courses: Environmental Awareness; General Biology: The Study of Life and Our Role in It; Ecology; Bouncing Back: Community Resilience in a Changing World; Designing for Resilience; Justice: So Who Should Survive? OR Introduction to Ethics; Environmental Sociology (“Nature & Society”) OR Environmental Psychology

Material Physics

Material Physics is used to describe materials in a variety of ways, applying such things as force, heat, light and mechanics. This interdisciplinary field is a synthesis of the physical sciences of chemistry, solid mechanics, solid state physics, and materials science, and touches on several engineering fields. This major prepares students for high-tech employment in leading-edge industries and manufacturing companies that have a need for better materials. These can include lubricants, coolants, semiconductors, metals, polymers, ceramics, glasses, and liquid crystals. 

Sample Required Courses: General Chemistry I & II; Organic Chemistry I & II; Calculus I, II & III; Elementary Differential Equations; General Physics I & II; Modern Physics; Optics; Solid State Physics; Advanced Physics Laboratory I & II

3+2 Engineering Dual Degree

The 3+2 Engineering Dual Degree Program is an attractive alternative to traditional engineering curricula, offering students the opportunity to earn a liberal arts degree from Kansas Wesleyan University and an engineering degree from Washington University in St. Louis. Following three or four years of studies at Kansas Wesleyan, students will head to St. Louis to continue their coursework at Washington University.

Washington University’s Dual Degree programs of study lead to the same degrees offered to the other students in its School of Engineering & Applied Science. These include Biomedical Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Computer Engineering, Computer Science, Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, and Systems Science & Engineering. Program graduates are "liberally educated engineers," with strong oral and written communication skills, problem-solving skills and teamwork skills.

Other advantages include:

  • opportunity to complete degrees in two diverse areas
  • extra time to pursue other academic, athletic, or extracurricular interests
  • supportive, personalized learning environment of a small liberal arts institution to build skills and confidence needed for success in an engineering program and career
  • environment for acquiring scientific problem-solving skills needed to be effective in today's technologically-oriented society

The KWU Liaison for this Washington University Dual Degree Program is Dr. Kristin L. Kraemer. Assistant Professor of Physics. Students interested in knowing more about this program may contact Dr. Kraemer directly at or by calling 785-827-5541, ext. 2416.

Sample Required Courses: General Physics I & II; Calculus I, II & III; Differential Equations; C++ Programming

Additional requirements if planning on studying Biomedical Engineering, Chemical Engineering or Computer Engineering at Washington University in St. Louis