Statistics Show Gustavus Physics Majors Earning Ph.D.s at High Rate

Posted on August 28th, 2012 by

Gustavus Professor of Physics Chuck Niederriter works with several students in the classroom.

Are you thinking about pursuing an undergraduate degree in Physics as a springboard to a Ph.D. program? If you are, statistics show that Gustavus offers one of the top undergraduate programs in physics in the country.

New statistical data obtained from the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) database WebCASPAR, shows that Gustavus ranks highly among the nation’s colleges and universities when it comes to baccalaureate origins of Ph.D.s in physics.

The data, which is from the years 2001 through 2010, shows that Gustavus ranks third in the country among bachelor only degree granting institutions with 26 alumni who have gone on to earn their Ph.D. in physics during this time period. Only Harvey Mudd College (58) and Reed College (39) are ranked ahead of Gustavus. Gustavus also ranks second among academic institutions of any kind in the state of Minnesota with only the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities ranked higher.

“The members of the physics department are proud of our program and of our students,” Professor of Physics and current Department Chair Paul Saulnier said. “The faculty in our department are dedicated to producing a top-notch program that the College, students, and alumni can be proud of.”

In addition to the impressive statistics mentioned above, physics majors at the College have also enjoyed success recently in obtaining prestigious summer internships. You can read how more than a dozen Gustavus physics students complemented their education this summer in a previously published story titled “Physics Students Have Productive Summers with Internships.”

More information about the Gustavus Physics Department is available online by going to


Media Contact: Director of Media Relations and Internal Communication JJ Akin


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