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What kind of grad programs can I get into with a physics degree?

  1. Jun 3, 2013 #1
    A question I have always had is what sort of graduate school programs are open to you with a Physics undergrad. Obviously Physics and Astrophysics. But I have also heard Materials Science and Electrical Engineering. Is this true? What other programs would be open to a Physics major? And how would applying to an EE or Materials Science program as a physics major affect your chances of admission?
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 5, 2013
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 5, 2013 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    [mentor's note: moved into a separate thread for better visibility]
  4. Jun 5, 2013 #3
    Thank you!
    Glad it is a question worth asking.
  5. Jun 6, 2013 #4
    To clarify, I am majoring in physics, but am unsure about my ability to excel in the field. As such, I am looking for options that, if I decide that Physics grad school is not right for me, I can pursue right out of college with a Bachelors degree in Physics.
  6. Jun 6, 2013 #5


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    Education Advisor

    Many of the "interdisciplinary" fields are open to physics graduates. Sometimes it's a matter of just checking out the individual websites. Sometimes it's not a specific degree that's needed for admission as it is, a specifc set of courses... courses that you can pick up as electives in your senior year if you need to.

    Some "tangential" graduate fields that a physics BSc graduate may want to look into:
    - medical physics
    - health physics
    - geophysics
    (Sometimes the above are part of graduate programs in physics, sometimes they are seperate.)
    - neuroscience
    - materials science
    - biomedical engineering
    - electrical engineering
    - nuclear engineering
    - mechanical engineering
    - earth and atmospheric sciences
    - applied mathematics or modelling
    - complexity science
    - computer science
    - informatics
    - environmental science
    - physical chemistry

    And then of course, provided you have the prerequisites there are also professional programs such as medicine or law. Physics graduates tend to do rather well on the MCAT.

    And as far as applying to each with a physics degree, I think in most cases what matters is that you satisfy the admission requirements by having covered the prerequisite material. If you have it likely won't matter what your degree is. If you haven't, you won't be in the running anyway.
  7. Jun 6, 2013 #6
    Thank you! Tremendously helpful!
  8. Jun 6, 2013 #7
    A few more:

    Actuarial Science
    Financial Mathematics
    Computational Biology and Bioinformatics
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