What Can I Do With A Physics Major?

Physics opens doors. Whether you delve of scientific research, pursue a career designing and building useful things, or leap straight into business and citizenship, a background in physics will help you succeed.

Alma’s physics program rigorously prepares students for graduate study in physics or engineering, and approximately half of Alma physics graduates enter those programs. Those whose primary interest is physics often earn doctorates and find positions as faculty members at colleges and universities. Physics graduates who seek immediate employment usually find positions related to their academic program, most in computer-related fields. About half eventually earn graduate degrees, often with company sponsorship. Physics is also excellent preparation for non-technical careers such as law or business. (The American Physical Society has a neat list of physicist career profiles.)

Engineering Career Paths

A degree in physics is all that you need for many technical jobs, but students who want training in a specific engineering specialty leading to a formal engineering license have two options available. Historically, the most common option has been to complete a bachelor of science in physics at Alma and then enroll in a master’s program for an engineering specialty (a “4-2” plan). Alma students have been very successful in finding placement at strong engineering schools. The other option is to complete three years of classes at Alma and then transfer to an approved engineering school for two more years of coursework (a “3-2” program): these students graduate with a physics degree from Alma and an engineering degree from the other school. More information is available on the Engineering Science program page