American Institute of Physics Recognizes Illinois Wesleyan

Bridget Hathaway, a Class of 2018 physics major, fabricated parts for an experimental physics class during May Term of 2018 (before COVID-19 protocols).

May 7, 2021

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. — The American Institute of Physics (AIP) lists the Illinois Wesleyan University Physics Department as a top producer of graduates with bachelor's degrees in physics.

AIP designated top-producing departments as averaging 15 or more graduates that earned bachelor's degrees from 2016 to 2018. AIP ranked IWU’s Physics Department, which averaged 16 graduates during that three-year period, in the top 7% among 503 undergraduate-only institutions.

“Our emphasis on hands-on experimentation is unique among colleges in Illinois as well as many other liberal arts colleges nationwide,” said Associate Professor and Chair of Physics Thushara Perera. “In addition, our faculty have involved about 85% of our students in their research over the years. Both of these factors convert to very good outcomes for our majors, which, in turn, is a draw for talented new students. That's why we have a high number of physics graduates, nationally, among 4-year colleges.”

The physics program at Illinois Wesleyan provides a highly adaptable skill set. Graduates have gone on to become scientists, applied physicists, engineers, designers, creators and entrepreneurs, as well as many other kinds of professionals, from lawyers working on intellectual property/patent law, to doctors and teachers, and much more.

By Megan Baker ’21