Best Schools for Physics Majors: List of Top Schools

Physics tends to be identified as a graduate field, but there are also opportunities for undergraduate students looking to major in physics. Discover the best schools for pursuing a major in this field. Take a look at the schools' rankings, degree offerings and potential areas of study within these physics programs so that you can compare similarities.

School Information

Learn about schools with high-ranking programs that offer Bachelor of Science degree in the field of physics. One school has consistently been at the top of the rankings for physics, overall. The other institution boasts a top graduate physics program. Award-winning faculty and a research-intensive curriculum are some other highlights of these programs. For more specifics, read on.

1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, MA

School Highlight: U.S. News and World Report listed Massachusetts Institute of Technology's physics graduate program as number one in the nation in 2014.

The MIT Department of Physics offers prospective physics majors a Bachelor of Science in Physics program, which prepares students for graduate study or careers in fields like astrophysics, management, law, and medicine. Since 1998, the MIT program has seen four alumni win the Nobel Prize; seven faculty members possess an Oersted Medal, the most prominent award of the American Association of Physics Teachers.

2. California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, CA

School Highlight: The California Institute of Technology (Caltech) offers the #2 graduate physics program in the nation, according to a 2014 publication from U.S. News and World Report.

Undergraduate students interested in a physics major can pursue courses in waves, quantum physics and statistical mechanics, on top of the five terms of introductory physics. This undergraduate program is heavily research-based and, as a result, computational physics and programming courses are required.

Top Physics Schools

School Name Distinction Location
Harvard University Ranked #2 for graduate physics in 2014 by U.S. News and World Report Cambridge, MA
Stanford University Requirements for a bachelor's degree with honors include completion of a senior thesis Stanford, CA
University of Arizona Undergrads encouraged to participate in faculty research Tuscon, AZ
University of Michigan - Ann Arbor Hosts student organizations such as the C. Wilbur Peters Chapter of Society of Physics Students (SPS), Sigma Pi Sigma (SPS), and the Society for Women in Physics Ann Arbor, MI
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Students enrolled in the B.A. or B.S. program can participate in research projects Chapel Hill, NC

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