Bachelor's Degree Programs in Physics

Find out how to enroll in a bachelor's degree program, and get information about the classes you could take during your studies. Learn about employment opportunities for physics majors. Schools offering Biology degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

How Can I Prepare For a Bachelor's Degree in Physics?

A bachelor's degree program in physics usually takes about four years to complete, and you must have a high school diploma or a GED to be admitted. Your transcript should show four years of high school math and science, including physics, to demonstrate basic competency and understanding.

You'll also have to submit your SAT or ACT scores, which should be high in math and science areas. If you qualify for a high school AP course in a field such as calculus or physics, you should take it for the opportunity to test out of some college courses. Online programs aren't generally available in physics, mainly because science programs have extensive lab requirements.

Prerequisites High school diploma, or equivalent, and standardized test scores
Common Courses Mathematics, electronics, relativity, modern physics, quantum mechanics
Other Requirements Thesis or senior project
Possible Career Fields Computer science, environmental science, engineering, mathematics, education

What Courses Will I Take?

Bachelor's degree programs in physics programs have core curricula, and they also provide you with a number of elective options. Core courses include foundational courses that include labs along with courses on mechanics, dynamics and optics. Other course subjects you could explore include these:

  • Modern physics
  • Magnetostatics and electrostatics
  • Analytical geometry and calculus
  • Space science
  • Relativity
  • Quantum mechanics
  • Electronics
  • Biophotonics
  • Laboratory physics
  • Differential equations
  • Thermodynamics

Are There Any Additional Requirements?

You may also have to complete a senior project or thesis prior to graduation. This gives you the opportunity to apply your skills and knowledge. Through such a project, you'll perform original research or - in a program that blends engineering with physics - design a physical system based on criteria you'll establish at the beginning of your final year. Some schools also offer internships in physics, in partnership with such groups as the National Science Foundation and Women in Physics, which is a branch of the American Physical Society.

How Can I Use this Degree?

With a bachelor's degree in physics, you can enter development and design to improve how products work. You could also become a physics teacher with the appropriate teacher certification. If you go into engineering physics or astrophysics, you can continue your education, which could lead to a career as a space scientist. Careers in physics are as varied as the field itself, so with a bachelor's degree, you could find positions in engineering, math, computer science or environmental science.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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