Students may want to earn a bachelor's, master's or doctoral degree in physics, depending on their career aspirations. These programs are offered through the physics departments of many 4-year colleges and universities.
10 Physics Schools
Physics programs are widely available and students have many different schools to choose from. Here are just a few of the schools across the country that offer physics programs at various levels of study, with undergraduate tuition provided for the academic year 2015-2016:
|College/University||Location||Institution Type||Degrees Offered||Undergraduate Tuition (2015-2016)*|
|American University||Washington, DC||4-year, Private, not-for-profit||Bachelor's||$43,103|
|Boston University||Boston, MA||4-year, Private, not-for-profit||Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral||$48,436|
|Emory University||Atlanta, GA||4-year, Private, not-for-profit||Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral||$46,314|
|Clemson University||Clemson, SC||4-year, Public||Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral||$14,272 in-state, $33,190 out-of-state|
|Harvard University||Cambridge, MA||4-year, Private, not-for-profit||Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral||$45,278|
|Florida State University||Tallahassee, FL||4-year, Public||Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral||$6,507 in-state, $21,673 out-of-state|
|Brigham Young University-Provo||Provo, UT||4-year, Private, not-for-profit||Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral||$5,150|
|Georgetown University||Washington, DC||4-year, Private, not-for-profit||Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral||$48,611|
|Cornell University||Ithaca, NY||4-year, Private, not-for-profit||Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral||$49,116|
|George Washington University||Washington, DC||4-year, Private, not-for-profit||Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral||$50,435|
Source: *National Center for Education Statistics
Find schools that offer these popular programs
School Selection Criteria
Students may want to consider the following when choosing a physics school:
- Students should think about their career goals. Many positions in varying fields are available to those with a bachelor's or master's degree, whereas a doctoral degree is often required for management and independent research roles.
- Research experiences such as work-studies and internships offered by a school can greatly benefit students, and can be a determining factor when choosing a school.
- Students may want to take into account what concentrations and courses are available at the school in question.
- A school's opportunities for continuing education may be of consideration for students looking to advance their knowledge.
Bachelor's Degree in Physics
Bachelor's degree programs begin with set general education courses that usually include mathematics, communications, humanities, social science, and a physical or natural lab science. Classes also combine a core curriculum in advanced mathematics with electives for specialization.
Master's Degree in Physics
Upon completion of a bachelor's degree with a major or minor in physics, students can apply for a master's degree in physics. Master's degree programs usually comprise additional courses in math and physics, along with seminars and advanced research projects. Students are often required to complete a graduate thesis or supervised research project. In addition to a high grade point average in an appropriate bachelor's degree with a major or minor in physics, admission to a master's degree program typically requires proper scores on a Graduate Record Examination (GRE), a personal letter of intent and letters of recommendation.
Doctoral Degree in Physics
The general purpose of the doctoral degree is to prepare students for a career in independent research. Like the master's degree program, doctoral degree programs in physics consist of courses in advanced physics, seminars and supervised research projects. Doctoral degree programs generally require an original thesis and dissertation, or an acceptable alternative independent research project. For a doctoral degree in physics, students should have to have completed a bachelor's and master's degree program in a related field that includes graduate courses in mathematics and physics, along with letters of intent and recommendation.
Students interested in studying physics should consider a number of things when applying to different schools, including a school's research and continuing education opportunities. These programs can be found at both the undergraduate and graduate level, with doctoral degree programs allowing students to pursue careers in academia and independent research.