Thermodynamics Degree Programs with Course Information

While no schools offer entire degree programs in the field, individuals can study thermodynamics by enrolling in a physics degree program. Compare the bachelor's and master's program, career options, and continuing education information.

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Essential Information

Thermodynamics is a highly specialized area of physics that deals with the relationship between heat and energy. Both bachelor's and master's degree programs in physics are available from many 4-year universities. Undergraduate degrees will teach a wide variety of topics in the science of physics but at the master's level, students may concentrate in an area such as thermodynamics. Program specializations include physics education and general physics.

Prerequisites for the bachelor's degree programs include a high school diploma or GED and SAT or ACT test scores. Master's students need to have an undergraduate degree in physics or math and GRE scores. A senior project may be required for the Bachelor of Science degree and a thesis for the Master of Science degree.

Bachelor of Science in Physics

Areas of concentration within the Bachelor of Science in Physics program include a general physics and a physics education option. The physics education major will prepare graduates for obtaining state teacher certification. The general physics option is appropriate for students who are interested in how the laws of physics influence various fields of science.

Courses will cover the key laws of physics, and may include science education classes. Some courses include:

  • Thermodynamics
  • Magnetism and electricity
  • Mechanics
  • Computer science
  • Teaching Science and education foundations

Master of Science in Physics

Many concentrations are available to students enrolled in a master's degree program in physics. A few of those areas include secondary education, solid state physics, theoretical physics and biophysics. The M.S. program is designed for students who wish to learn more about physics and conduct research in a specific physics sub-specialty.

The coursework for a master's degree program in physics depends largely on a student's area of interest. Some core classes are required but a majority of courses are electives and might include:

  • Kinetic theory and thermodynamics
  • Mechanics
  • Teaching physical sciences
  • Experimental physics
  • Radiation and nuclear energy
  • Nanophysics

Popular Career Options

Bachelor of Science in Physics graduates can work in many areas including:

  • High school physics teacher
  • Actuary
  • Business consultant

The Master of Science in Physics opens career options that depend on the concentration area and interests of a student. Some possible career outcomes include:

  • High school physics teacher
  • Community college physics instructor
  • Computer programmer
  • Physicist
  • Environmental scientist

Continuing Education Information

Students continuing their graduate education will pursue a Ph.D. in Physics. The Ph.D. program length can vary and depends in large part on the completion of the research and dissertation component of the degree. Graduates of the Ph.D. in Physics often teach at a university, while others pursue careers in various technical industries.

Students interested in thermodynamics can complete a bachelor's or master's degree program in physics. While students in the bachelor's program will learn a variety of physics topics including thermodynamics, master's students have the opportunity to focus on a thermodynamics field of study to learn in-depth knowledge.

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