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Department of Physics

Experiences & Opportunities


Drinko Center for Undergraduate Research

The Drinko Center supports student research and creative work in all majors and at all academic levels. Drinko provides financial grants that support student projects or travel to national conferences, including the Summer Research Fellows, which provides stipends to student-faculty research teams.

The Center also organizes the Undergraduate Research and Arts Celebration (URAC), a day-long event showcasing the collaborative work between Westminster faculty and students.

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Westminster College Planetarium

The Planetarium is a 45-seat full-dome theater housed in the Hoyt Science Center. Professors and other astronomical professionals take students and members of the community on a tour throughout the depths of outer space through multimedia astronomy shows free of charge.

The state-of-the-art projection systems include a Spitz A5 analog star projector and a Warped Media digital full-dome projector, joining forces to create the most memorable astronomical experience.

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Research Experiences for Undergraduates

One of the best ways to develop research skills and stimulate your intellectual curiosity is to work as an undergraduate researcher during the summer. The National Science Foundation (NSF) has a very active and reputable Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program in which students get paid for performing research at a variety of universities across the United States and around the world.

Physics majors have participated in REU programs hosted by Duke University, the National Radio Astronomy Observatory, Case Western University, University of Rochester, and University of Salerno (Italy).

For more information, please contact the Chair of the Department of Physics, Dr. John Bonomo.

John P. Bonomo

John P. Bonomo



Professional experiences like internships provide a meaningful real-world component to your education and your resume. Internships can also lead to valuable networking opportunities and can even lead to full-time employment after graduation.

Westminster Physics majors have completed internships at sites like Kratos Defense & Security Solutions and the Ellwood City Forge.

Learn more about internships and the other opportunities available through our Office of Professional Development & Community Engagement .

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Research Professions Advisory Committee

ResPAC was founded at Westminster College in 2009 to serve the needs of students who have an interest in a career in scientific research. ResPAC membership includes students from Biology, Chemistry, Environmental Science, Neuroscience, Physics, Math, and Computer Science.

The ResPAC faculty committee organizes regular workshops that provide students with information about career and internship opportunities, helps students find and apply for appropriate graduate programs, helps them prepare for standardized tests, and offers some professional services such as mock interviews and resume advice.

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Honors Program

Westminster College’s Honors Program believes that the life of the mind is best cultivated when students take what they have learned in the classroom and go out into the world. That’s why our program builds international travel into its sequence of interdisciplinary, global honors seminars with a trip to Greece.

The curriculum gives you the opportunity to learn about human history and nature from multiple perspectives, while also supporting the development of strong leadership, communication, and writing skills. It will also connect you to a vibrant community of students from across campus who are excited about learning.

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Professional Networking Symposium

Open to all majors, the Professional Networking Symposium is an annual event designed to help students and young alumni better understand potential paths after graduation, including career and graduate school options.

The Symposium includes a career fair, breakout sessions and the opportunity to learn to network. Sessions are designed to address specific topics and interests and are moderated by experienced professionals.

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Study Abroad

Studying abroad is a life-changing educational experience for many of our students. Our Office of Global Engagement developed different kinds of study abroad opportunities, designed to meet varying curricular and economic situations.

We offer traditional semester-long, individual study abroad opportunities in more than 30 countries. Also, students can elect to take short-term study abroad opportunities, such as a May travel course, or a Study Tour, which is a travel experience tied to a regular on-campus course or co-curricular program.

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Center for the Environment

The mission of the Center for the Environment is to connect people with each other and the natural world. CfE strives to create an understanding of the dynamic relationships among society, our environment, and the economy. Students from all majors benefit from the Center’s programming and resources, which are designed to foster critical thinking, creative expression, data collection and analysis, ethical judgements, entrepreneurial endeavors, and human wellbeing.

CfE initiatives include the Westminster Bee Company, a student-led business that hand-bottles and sells the honey produced in the almost 30 beehives that make up the Westminster College apiary.

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Westminster Entrepreneurship Center (WEC)

WEC offers students in any major the opportunity to be exposed to concept creation, innovation of ideas and business ownership strategies. These activities are nurtured through practiced entrepreneurial exposures, state-of-the-art facilities, leadership collaboration, dynamic entrepreneurial engagements, competitions and events designed to offer students an unparalleled exposure to real world practical experiences.

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Student Organizations & Honor Societies


Society of Physics Students

Society of Physics Students was created to promote the appreciation of physics. Prerequisites for membership include good academic standing and an interest in science. Members do not have to be physics majors.