How Can I Earn a Degree in Chemical Physics?

Find out about the interdisciplinary nature of chemical physics degree programs and the courses typically offered at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Get information about online learning options and career possibilities. Schools offering Science, Technology, and International Security degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Types Of Chemical Physics Degree Programs Are Out There?

If you have an interest in studying chemistry and physics, you can find several undergraduate- and graduate-level chemical physics programs. These programs are designed for students specifically interested in studying the mathematical and physical properties of chemical bonds and chemical reactions. At the undergraduate level, a school's chemistry department offers many of these programs, while physics departments offer others.

Degree ProgramsUndergraduate and graduate levels
Undergraduate Common CoursesMath, physics, general, organic, and physical chemistry
Graduate Common CoursesResearch, magnetic and electrical properties of crystalline structures, chemical reaction dynamics, combustion systems
Online OptionsGeneral physics and chemistry classes
Job SalaryMean annual salary of $74,720 for chemists and $83,360 or more for postsecondary teachers*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Are the Undergraduate Chemical Physics Programs Like?

You'll find that undergraduate chemical physics programs are only offered as bachelor's degree programs. During your four years of study, you'll take mostly math and physics courses, as well as completing a standard chemistry curriculum. For example, you're likely to take general, organic and physical chemistry as well as some biochemistry courses. You should also expect courses on advanced calculus, differential equations, biophysics and computational physics.

How Are Master's Degree Programs in Chemical Physics Designed?

Many schools offer chemical physics as a concentration within their graduate-level physics programs. Although most of your time will be spent conducting independent lab research, you're also likely to take classes focused on the magnetic and electrical properties of crystalline structures, laser-based tests for combustion systems and chemical reaction dynamics.

Are There Any Chemical Physics Programs Offered Online?

You probably won't find any chemical physics programs offered entirely over the Internet. However, some schools do offer general chemistry and physics classes online, if you need to brush up on these subjects before you pursue a degree. Most schools' online programs have technical requirements, including a high-speed Internet connection and a compatible Web browser. You may also need various media viewing software, like Adobe Acrobat or Apple QuickTime.

What Are My Professional Options with a Chemical Physics Degree?

With a degree in chemical physics, you may be qualified to work as a chemist or materials scientist. However, you also may want to become a chemistry or physics teacher. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) determined that the 2014 median annual salary for chemists and material scientists was $74,720 ( College chemistry teachers earned a mean annual salary of $83,360, while physics teachers earned a mean of $90,500, reported the BLS.

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