The American Institute of Physics (AIP) has named the University of Richmond’s Department of Physics to its list of “large” departments. It is the first time the program has made the list.

The ranking is based on data collected by AIP from colleges and universities across the U.S. that shows the number of graduated seniors with bachelor degrees in physics. AIP considers a “large” department to be one with 10 or more physics graduates each year for the past three years.

With an average of 13 physics degrees awarded each year from 2012-2014, UR’s physics program joins the ranks of other top liberal arts colleges on the list including Grinnell College, Middlebury College, Reed College and Williams College.

“Under the leadership of our past department chairs, Jerry Gilfoyle and Con Beausang, the physics department has worked hard to provide students with the best possible opportunities to learn and do physics,” said department chair Ted Bunn. “We have been extremely gratified in recent years that we have been able to reach more students, and we are happy to have been recognized by the AIP for these efforts.”

UR’s physics department offers students cutting edge research opportunities, working closely with faculty mentors on campus and at national facilities such as the Thomas Jefferson Laboratory and Texas A&M’s Superconducting Cyclotron Facility. In recent years, more than 20 students have conducted research each summer. The department also prides itself on building a strong student community, through an award-winning chapter of Society of Physics Students, and regular stargazing events in the Martha Carpenter Observatory on campus.


Associate Professor of Physics
Chair, Department of Physics
Big Bang cosmology (theory and data analysis)