Physics and Philosophy


The Physics and Philosophy concentration is for students with a deep interest in physics who do not need to acquire the laboratory and computational skills of a professional physicist. The concentration allows students to grapple with computational problems and deepen their investigation of conceptual and epistemological issues. By the end of the program, concentrators possess an excellent conceptual understanding of the most philosophically interesting physics, relativity and quantum mechanics.

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Student Goals

Students in this concentration will:

  • Attain an understanding of philosophical areas of physics, including relativity and quantum mechanics
  • Grasp the nature of physics, the distinction between physics and philosophy, and the character of physical law
  • Understand the philosophical fields of epistemology and metaphysics
  • Research and write a thesis relating to the philosophical aspects of the physical world


Click here for a list of the Physics and Philosophy concentration requirements.

Honors and Capstones

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Seniors wishing to earn Honors by presenting an Honors thesis should consult their concentration advisor during their sixth semester. Students should have a grade point average of over 3.4 in physics, philosophy and history of science courses (of which at least five must be taken for a letter grade). Honors theses are usually prepared over a period of two semesters with an advisor from the Department of Physics or the Department of Philosophy. Please see the program's website for a complete description of program requirements.

Liberal Learning

This concentration allows you to address the following Liberal Learning goals:

  • Expand your reading skills
  • Collaborate fully
  • Understand differences among cultures
  • Engage with your community
  • Develop a facility with symbolic languages
  • Experience scientific inquiry
  • Evaluate human behavior

Download the full statement on Liberal Learning at Brown

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Affiliated Departments


Graduating Class

Year Total Capstone Honors

If you are an advisor and would like to make changes to the information on this page, contact, or email Dean Besenia Rodriguez.