Physics is the most fundamental of all the sciences. Questions asked and problems solved by physicists form the foundation for all scientific inquiry. If you want to understand nature at its most fundamental level, you need to know a bit of physics. And there's no better place to start than Oakton.

Oakton's Department of Physics offers a technical physics course where you'll develop an understanding of basic physics principles: motion; light and optics; electricity and magnetism; and thermodynamics, including heat, temperature, pressure and volume of gasses, liquids and solids.

Oakton also offers a two-semester sequence of algebra-based courses that focus on all the topics listed above, but in more depth than the technical course. Students taking this two-course sequence might be considering careers in health-related fields, technical fields or may want to satisfy a general education requirement.

We also offer a three-semester sequence of calculus-based courses that cover the same topics as above but in even more depth while using calculus in addition to algebra and trigonometry. The third-semester course covers additional topics including special relativity and quantum mechanics. Students taking these courses typically plan to transfer to a four-year college or university to pursue majors in physics, engineering, chemistry or other science and technology-related fields.

Finally, we offer a course in descriptive astronomy that covers topics such as why we have seasons; why we have lunar and solar eclipses; how we measure the temperature, size, chemical composition and distance to stars; properties and classifications of galaxies; Big Bang Theory; and what is dark matter and dark energy. This course is offered in both an online and face-to-face format.

Degree and Pre-Major

If you plan to pursue a four-year degree in physics, we recommend our physics pre-major, which provides the smoothest transfer experience.

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Oakton offers an Associate in Science (A.S.) degree for students intending to transfer into baccalaureate programs in fields such as engineering, mathematics or the sciences. Oakton’s A.S. degree is offered with emphasis for either Mathematics/Computer Science or Science majors.

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Job Outlook

Potential Careers

  • Data analyst
  • Nuclear engineer
  • Operational researcher
  • Patent attorney
  • Software engineer
  • Telecommunications researcher

Meet Your Faculty

Chad Landrie, Chair
Professor of Chemistry
B.A. Monmouth College
Ph.D. University of Illinois at Chicago
Office: 109, Lee Center, Des Plaines

John Carzoli
Professor of Physics
B.S. Beloit College
M.S. University of Oklahoma
Ph.D. University of Oklahoma
Office: 302, Lee Center, Des Plaines

Theodore Gotis
Professor of Physics
B.S. Loyola University, Chicago
S.M. University of Chicago
Office: 305, Lee Center, Des Plaines

Part-Time Faculty

Kenneth D'Aquila
B.S. Northwestern University
Ph.D. Northwestern University
Office: 100 Lee Center, Des Plaines

Stephen Dickman
B.S. University of Iowa
M.S. University of Iowa
Office: 100 Lee Center, Des Plaines

Suleyman Tari
Ph.D. University of Illinois at Chicago
Office: 100 Lee Center, Des Plaines

What's Next?

We are glad you are considering attending Oakton College. No matter where you are in your decision-making process, we are here to help you with your next steps. Whether you're ready to apply now, need information on paying for college or have questions and want to contact someone, we're here to help.

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