A report released by the American Institute of Physics ranked Geneseo fourth in the nation for the number of physics graduates among 513 institutions that offer bachelor's degrees in physics.
While these rankings do not include schools with graduate programs in physics, Geneseo's output, with an average of 19 graduates, is comparable to that of the University of Rochester, which does offer a graduate program. Geneseo graduates more physics majors than any other SUNY school that offers the major on an exclusively undergraduate level.
The faculty of the physics department at Geneseo plays a major role in helping the program flourish.
"Like in the other science departments, our faculty are interested in teaching, and students sense that," said department chair Kurt Fletcher. "There is a strong sense of community, so students feel they can identify with the department."
"The teachers create a great learning environment by making themselves very approachable," said sophomore Greg Nicotera.
Physics, widely considered to be a difficult major, requires intense commitment from students and faculty alike. Physics professor Edward Pogozelski said that he encourages students by recognizing that "failure is a necessary path for success."
Pogozelski attributed the rising number of physics majors to the rising standards of the college, as the program attracts academically talented students.
"The students are what drive me to do what I do," he said. "If I did not like them I would quit."