As a physics major, you'll study, measure, and manipulate the fundamental interactions of matter, energy, space, and time. This will give you the tools to solve scientific mysteries and reveal the workings of nature. Physics has produced the science behind many technologies. Some of these technologies include superconducting magnets for MRI machines, cell phones, supermarket scanners, particle accelerators, and fiber-optic communications. If you have a passion for knowledge, physics may be for you. Our program will give you the keys to a wide range of challenging and fulfilling careers.
Career options include astronomy, atmospheric sciences, complex systems modeling, geophysics, laser technology, nuclear medicine, and particle accelerator technology.
- Our physics program is ranked #2 by U.S. News & World Report.
- 70% of students reported having an internship or co-op during their degree program.
- 99% of students reported securing their first choice destination upon graduation.
- The average starting salary for a physics graduate is $85,500.
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What You'll Study
When you’re a physicist, you understand the fundamentals. You work with the integrations of matter, energy, space, and time to solve scientific mysteries and reveal the workings of nature. Physicists are behind quantum computers, superconducting magnets, atomic clocks, and so much more. As a physics student, you take classes in electricity and magnetism, thermal physics, electromagnetic fields, and quantum physics. Once you graduate you might find yourself in astronomy, nuclear medicine, laser science and engineering, quantitative finance, and solar energy engineering.
In addition to courses in theoretical physics, this program offers advanced laboratory courses supported by Grainger Engineering surcharge funds. It is also very flexible, allowing electives that can be used to create custom programs combining Physics with other disciplines and training in technical areas.
Minor in Computer Science
The CS Minor is offered for students seeking significant knowledge of digital computing without the more complete treatment of a major in computer science. This minor may be taken by any student except majors in the Computer Science degree programs and in Computer Engineering.
The physics program will give you the keys to a wide range of challenging and fulfilling careers. About seventy-five percent of our physics graduates continue their education in graduate school, and about twenty-four percent take positions in industry.
Common career paths for physics students include: aerodynamicist, acoustical physicist, automotive engineer, astrophysicist, application engineer, biophysicist engineer, computer system engineer, environmental analyst, environmental specialist, forensic scientist, fiber optic engineer, fluid physicist, geodesist, geophysicist, health physicist, lab technician, materials scientist, medical physicist, nuclear physicist, oceanographer, operations analyst, particle accelerator, project engineer, physicist, physiognomist, plasma physicist, process engineer, quality engineer, radiological laboratory director, research physicist, satellite data analyst, seismologist, solid Earth physicist, stratigrapher, systems engineer, technical analyst, and technical consultant.
The average salary between 2020-21 for physics grads was reported as $85,500.
employed or continuing education
employed after graduation
attending graduate school
average starting annual income
Sample employer destinations: Epic Systems, Fannie Mae, Intel View All
Sample grad school destinations: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Stanford University, University of California, San Diego View All