Department of Physics and Physical Oceanography

For Prospective Students

  • Physics graduates often receive some of the top starting salaries after graduating from college ;
  • Physics majors score amongst the best on entrance exams to medical and law schools;
  • There is a critical need for physical oceanographers; and,
  • You can take physics courses as early as freshman year.
  • If you are planning to take the calculus sequence, MAT 161-162, you should consider taking PHY 201-202

We encourage you to take physics classes early and to become aware of the benefits of graduating with a degree in physics.

Physics graduates don't always do physics. In fact, the majority go to other fields. The most marketable skills that physics majors have are their analytical and problem solving skills. This allows them to go on enter careers such as engineering, business, management, finance, law, and computer science. Knowledge of the fundamentals of physics also allows one to go into fields such as medicine, bio-physics, or patent law.

Students with a bachelor's degree in physics often receive top starting salaries after graduating from college.

A survey by the National Association of Colleges and Employers of starting salaries offered by campus recruiters shows physics graduates can expect a starting salary between $46,000 and $58,000 per year. This generally exceeds the starting salaries of graduates in most other science fields. The mean starting salary for a physicist is higher that of graduates who majored in chemistry, psychology or biology. Graduates with physics degrees also tend to outpace other fields outside of the sciences, including those graduating with degrees in marketing, accounting and even finance.

"I usually pick one small topic like this to give a lecture on. Poets say science takes away from the beauty of the stars -- mere gobs of gas atoms. Nothing is "mere." I too can see the stars on a desert night, and feel them. But do I see less or more? The vastness of the heavens stretches my imagination -- stuck on this carousel my little eye can catch one-million-year-old light. A vast pattern -- of which I am a part -- perhaps my stuff was belched from some forgotten star, as one is belching there. Or see them with the greater eye of Palomar, rushing all apart from some common starting point when they were perhaps all together. What is the pattern, or the meaning, or the *why?* It does not do harm to the mystery to know a little about it. For far more marvelous is the truth than any artists of the past imagined! Why do the poets of the present not speak of it? What men are poets who can speak of Jupiter if he were like a man, but if he is an immense spinning sphere of methane and ammonia must be silent?" - Richard Feynman