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Academic Programs

Most physics majors are preparing for one of the following upon graduation:

  1. graduate study in physics;
  2. graduate study in related sciences or enrollment in professional schools (medicine, law);
  3. employment in government or industrial laboratories;
  4. teaching physics in high school.

The American Institute of Physics is an excellent source of information on employment trends and opportunities for Physicists. See the searchable state-by-state listing of employers who have recently hired physics bachelor’s into science and engineering positions. You should also check out the AIP reports describing where physicists work and what they do throughout the economy, as well as the data on where STEM graduates work collected by the U.S. Census Bureau.

The Bachelor of Science (BS) degree in Physics is the appropriate choice if you plan graduate study in Physics.

The Bachelor of Arts (BA) curriculum has a flexible course of study for students who do not plan to attend graduate school in physics, but who desire an interdisciplinary program with an emphasis in physics. This program may be of interest to students who wish to double major. Since your interests and goals govern your choice of courses, you should try to establish your career objectives as early as possible. This should probably be done by the end of your freshman year. At that time you will prepare, with the help of your adviser, a plan of study. This plan of study will serve as a guide, although it may be modified at a later time if necessary.

Either the BS or BA curriculum provides sufficient course options so that you can achieve any of the above career objectives. The learning objectives and outcomes for the physics BS and BA programs are listed here: Learning Objectives/Outcomes.