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Rank undergrad physics degrees by job potential

  1. Nov 18, 2011 #1
    I'm planning to major in physics at my university. However, this will be a second degree. My first was a 3 year biology degree 7 years ago. I'm interested in the job prospects of the various physics degrees and since my university is a small undergraduate school, they offer multiple bachelors/cross disciplinary degrees. I'd be interested to see how these rank in terms of immediate job potential upon graduation.

    4 year Physics Major
    4 year Computational Physics Major
    4 year Chemical Physics Major
    4 year Mathematical Physics Major
    4 year Honours Physics
    4 year Honours Computational Physics
    4 year Honours Medical Physics
    4 year Honours Chemical Physics
    4 year Honours Mathematical Physics

    Obviously the honours would outrank the standard 4 years, but how do they rank amongst each other? I'm most interested in the Chemical Physics stream, either 4 year or honours and the Medical Physics Honours. However, do either of these streams make much difference at the undergrad level or do they require graduate work before becoming employable. I'd assume the Computational would have the most immediate job potential because of the cross over between computational physics and comp sci.
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 18, 2011 #2


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    Education Advisor

    Without really looking at the courses associated with each program it's difficult to comment. I have no idea what the difference between an Honours program and a Major program is at your school.

    With regards to getting into a medical physics graduate program (which you'll need to go through if you want to work as a medical physicist), you need a physics degree, so presumably any of those would count. I know a few program directors who are somewhat leery of undergraduate medical physics programs though, because some of them water down the physics and produce students who subsequently struggle with passing their qualifying exams.
  4. Nov 18, 2011 #3


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    Well from what I know at Universities in Canada at least is that with honours degree you can get a co-op placement while studying and upon completion of your 4 year program you have the option of graduate level studies.

    *also many of the honours programs have a final undergrad thesis.

    Hope this helps :)
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