Bachelor's Degree in Physics: Program Overviews

Physics is a natural science that uses mathematics to quantify changes in energy and matter. People who earn a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science sometimes specialize in a particular aspect of the field, like astrophysics, quantum mechanics, or biophysics.

Essential Information

Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science programs in physics cover the theoretical foundations and history of physics research. Programs also teach students to conduct physics research and analyze the results through lab experiments. Specializations include astrophysics, quantum mechanics and biophysics. Students in physics bachelor's degree programs need to have a high school diploma and exceptionally strong skills in the physical sciences, mathematics and analytical thinking. Taking Advanced Placement (AP) courses in physics, algebra and calculus helps students prepare for college-level physics coursework.

Bachelor's Degrees in Physics

Classes in physics bachelor's degree programs cover topics in mathematics, statistics, scientific research methodology, and the natural sciences. Since research in physics is applicable to many fields, courses are often interdisciplinary. Students also complete hands-on laboratory experiments. Typical topics include:

  • Astrophysics
  • Thermal physics
  • History of physics
  • Quantum physics
  • Theoretical physics
  • Analytical mechanics

Employment Outlook and Salary Info

The skills that students learn in a bachelor's degree in physics prepare them for careers in and out of scientific disciplines. Many graduates work in academia, while others choose careers in business, law or consulting. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, high school teachers were projected to see an average growth of 6% in employment from 2014-2024. The mean annual wage for these workers was $57,200 in May 2015.

Continuing Education Information

Many advanced research, consulting, and academic positions require a master's degree or doctorate in physics. These programs are usually more specialized than undergraduate physics degree programs and generally require students to complete a thesis or dissertation prior to graduation.

A bachelor's degree program in physics teaches students skills in practical mathematics, experimental design, and data collection and prepares them to pursue further schooling, teaching, or entry-level research positions.

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