The physics department encourages students to participate in an undergraduate research project. The department offers theoretical and experimental projects in astrophysics, atomic physics, condensed matter, soft matter physics, cosmology, and particle physics. A number of our students have presented their work at professional conferences and in peer-reviewed journals. Each year around 10 physics majors participate in the Holy Cross summer science research program. These student researchers receive a summer stipend and additional funds for equipment and travel.

Summer Research Program

Holy Cross maintains a robust summer research program which provides students nine weeks of campus-based research under the direction of a faculty member. For an overview of faculty research topics in the department, please visit our faculty directory. For more information about the research program, please see the Office of the Science Coordinator website.

Women in Physics

The Holy Cross Women in Physics group provides support, mentorship, and career development opportunities to its members. The group consists of students, alumni, and tenure-track and visiting faculty in the Holy Cross physics department.

WiP, as the group is affectionately known, hosts monthly events, including liquid nitrogen ice cream/pizza socials, rocket launches, astronomy nights, talks and presentations from invited guests, workshops on tackling exams and applying to graduate schools. WiP cohosts annual college events like the Women in Science day in association with the other Women in Science groups on campus and organizes and funds its members to participate in the annual Conference for Undergraduate Women in Physics hosted by the American Physical Society.

We use an inclusive definition of “woman” and “female” and we welcome trans women, genderqueer women, and non-binary people and men in our group. We believe in supporting the many intersections of our members’ identities, such as (but not limited to) race, sexual orientation, gender expression, socioeconomic class, and immigrant/indigenous status.

Upcoming Events


Past Events

April 23, 2024

Holy Cross Physics Colloquium
Understanding the Neutrino: The Search for Neutrinoless Double Beta Decay
Dr. Wesley Gillis, Bates College

April 3, 2024

Physics Department Alumni Panel 2024
Panelists: Pat Connolly ('18), Abby Corrigan ('19), Nate Gould ('20)

March 20, 2024

Holy Cross Physics Colloquium
Long range pairing under a quantum gas microscope
Botund Oreg, PhD Candidate, MIT

February 27, 2024

Holy Cross Physics Colloquium
Cosmic Explosions: Radio transients from supernovae to tidal disruption events
Dr. Yvette Cendes, Center for Astrophysics, Harvard & Smithsonian

April 21, 2023

Physics Department Alumni Panel 2023
Panelists: Jack Belanger ('22), Jake Golde ('10), Michaela Carroll ('16), and Ted O'Neill ('16)

March 29, 2023

Holy Cross Physics Colloquium
Locomotion in sand and water
Professor Arshad Kudrolli

March 22, 2023

Holy Cross Physics Colloquium
What we can learn from physics lab courses
Professor Ben Pollard

December 5, 2022

Holy Cross Physics Colloquium
Exploring the Higgs Boson and Beyond at the Large Hadron Collider
Professor Martinez Outschoorn

November 15, 2022

Women in Physics Presents: Meet and Greet with Dr. Berghaus
Students met with Dr. Kim Berghaus, a theoretical physicists at Stony Brook University.

October 17, 2022

Holy Cross Physics Colloquium
Future Changes in Extreme Precipitation over the Northeast U.S
Robert Nazarian, Ph.D. ('12)

April 6, 2022

Physics Department Alumni Panel 2022
Panelists: Allison Hartman ('13), Chantal Umahoza ('20), and Dan Barrett ('13)

April 15, 2021

Women in Physics Presents: A virtual screening of the movie Picture a Scientist
This event was followed by a live panel discussion with representatives from STEM departments.

April 28, 2020

Women in Physics Presents: Breakthrough
The group watched two documentaries via Zoom and had a lively discussion. The documentaries included “Breakthrough: Connecting the Dots” and “Breakthrough: Snapshots from Afar.”


3-2 Program in Engineering

The 3-2 Program offers a cooperative, five-year program for students who are interested in combining the liberal arts and sciences with engineering. The majority of students who take part in the program are physics majors.

Students spend three years as full-time students at Holy Cross and two years as full-time students at Columbia University in New York City. At the conclusion of the program, students receive both a bachelor of arts from Holy Cross and a bachelor of science in engineering from Columbia University. For program requirements and other information, visit the program’s website.

Workshop Tutors

Students may work as tutors in department workshops, furthering their own understanding of subject matter through explanation and education. Tutors are chosen by the department based on academic and interpersonal skills. For more information, please see the Academic Services and Learning Resources website.

Teacher Education Program

The Teacher Education Program prepares undergraduate students to become highly effective, reflective, justice-seeking educators. The program leads to an initial license in Massachusetts at the secondary or middle school level. Interested students should consult with the director of the Teacher Education Program or visit the program’s site.

Navy ROTC With a Physics Major

An education in physics dovetails well with the College’s Naval ROTC program, and each year physics majors and minors take part in this program. Visit the Department of Naval Science website for requirements and benefits.

Nugent Gold Medal

The Nugent memorial medal was founded in the early 1900s by Rev. Edward Evans Seagrave in memoriam of John F. Nugent 1893. It is presented to students who have shown excellence in physics at Holy Cross. The award is usually made to a single student each year, but occasionally two exceptional students will share the award, and in some years no student will achieve the high standards required of the award.

YearNamePostgraduate Pursuit
2023Benjamin BrownPark Nicollet Methodist Hospital
2022Joseph E. NyhanUniversity of California, Santa Cruz
2021Michael McGrathJohns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab
2020Wilber A. Alfaro CastroBoston College
2019Yihui JinUniversity of Chicago
2018Zachery H. St. PierreSoftware Developer at Medumo
2017Joseph G. Wihbey, III3-2 Engineering Program, Columbia University
Mechanical Engineer at Sikorsky
2016Zachary FernandesEconomics Research Assistant, Federal Reserve Bank, Washington DC.
2014Kevin BlanchetteMSc., Imperial College, London, England
2013Craig RichardsonEngineering Program, Boston University
2012Justin DeFrancisco
Robert Nazarian
Ph.D. Program, Johns Hopkins University
Ph.D. Program, Princeton University
2011Steve AndersonPh.D. Program in Physics, University of New Hampshire
2010Brendon O’Leary
Joshua Ryor
Ph.D. Program, Yale University
M.S. in Offshore Wind Farm Analysis, University of Edinburgh
2009John SingletonMS in Engineering Program, Carnegie Mellon University
2008James DalyMedical School, Rosalind Franklin University
2007Daniel O'ConnorSponsored Teaching in Singapore
2006Stephanie Stattel3-2 Engineering Program, Columbia University
2005Corinne Butova
Gregory Weston
Programmer analyst, Meditech Inc.
Medical school, Columbia University
2004Lindsey LavoiePh.D. Program, University of Florida
2003John GiblinPh.D. Program, Brown University
2002Caroline Berger
Keith McIntire
Ph.D. Program, Duke University
3-2 Engineering Program, Columbia University
2001Lori MassoEngineer, Raytheon Co. & MS Program, Tufts University
2000Anne Marie MarchPh.D. program, Stony Brook University
Assistant Physicist at Argonne National Laboratory