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Online Quantum Physics Degree Program and Courses

Learn about options that could allow you to take quantum physics classes. Find out about degrees offering these classes and their requirements, as well as jobs that might require a background in this field.

What Online Degrees and Courses are Available in Quantum Physics?

There are no degree programs that focus specifically on quantum physics. However, you can earn a Bachelor of Science, Master of Science (M.S.) or Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Physics. In these physics programs, you may be able to focus your coursework or research on quantum topics. Bachelor of Science and Ph.D. degrees are usually only available through on-campus programs, and most online programs award master's degrees. Some of these online programs are designed for currently licensed middle or high school teachers who seek a physics education endorsement.

You can also take standalone graduate-level courses online in areas related to quantum physics, but you may need to take these courses through a degree program to receive college credit. These courses are designed to provide a basic knowledge of quantum mechanics.

Degree Levels Available Bachelor's, master's, Ph.D.
Online Availability Some availability, mostly at the master's level or standalone courses
Important Prerequisites Bachelor's degree required for master's programs
Teaching certificate required for education programs
Basic understanding of foundational concepts in order to enroll in standalone courses
Common Courses Calculus, relativity, classical mechanics, quantum mechanics, magnetism
Online Learning Learn through forum discussions, broadcast lectures, video conferencing; requires high-speed internet connection
Career Options Physics education endorsement for middle and high school teachers, research positions, teach at 2-year college, prepare for further study
Median Salary (2018)$120,950 (for physicists)*
Job Outlook (2016-26)14% growth (for all physicists)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Are the Admission Prerequisites?

You'll need to earn your Bachelor of Science in Physics or a related field before enrolling in a master's degree program. Your undergraduate transcript should demonstrate coursework in thermal physics, electromagnetics and mechanics in addition to extensive lab experience. If you're entering a physics education program, you are usually required to have teaching licensure. If you're taking standalone quantum mechanics courses, you'll need a basic understanding of electromagnetic fields, linear systems, calculus and probability.

What Can I Learn?

Course requirements in a master's degree program may vary depending on whether you choose a program in physics education or general physics. However, you may have some of the same core courses, including calculus, differential equations, relativity and classical mechanics. You'll also have advanced coursework in quantum physics. Many master's degree programs also require an independent study project or thesis focused on your area of specialization.

Some online master's degree programs allow you to focus your study on subfields of physics. In a beam physics program, you'll learn about optics, charged particles, magnetism and devices for optical applications. You can also choose a distance learning master's degree program in optics with a curriculum that covers quantum physics concepts.

Individual courses are designed to provide supplemental knowledge for professional development. For example, some standalone courses in quantum mechanics are geared toward engineers. Other courses aren't focused toward a single discipline, but they teach you how to calculate quantum mechanical variables and identify situations where quantum mechanics should be applied to solve physics-related problems. Individual courses also teach you how read technical literature.

How Are Online Courses Conducted?

Online courses are available in the form of downloadable audio, video and text materials and may be delivered via a course delivery system such as Blackboard. You can communicate with your instructors and classmates through online discussion boards, e-mail or live chat. Many online programs and courses can be completed on your own schedule, but you typically have designated due dates to turn in assignments and complete exams. Some programs offer a combination of online and on-campus courses.

What Can I Do With My Degree?

If you're already a middle or high school teacher, an online physics education master's degree will provide you with an additional endorsement to help advance your career. Other master's degree programs in physics can prepare you for additional study in numerous physics specialties at the doctoral level. You could also teach physics at 2-year colleges or seek research positions in government or industrial labs.