The Department of Physics and Astronomy offers an undergraduate curriculum leading to a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree in physics and a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree with a major in physics with options in Applied Physics and in Astronomy. The B.S. in physics is designed for those students who expect to enter one of the various fields of research or development in government or in private industry. The curriculum, in addition, serves those students who are interested in continuing into graduate study and those preparing to teach at all levels. The B.A. degree in physics is less specialized and more adaptable to studies in various fields, including preparation for teaching at the secondary school level.
The adjacent list of career possibilities shows the enormous flexibility of a physics degree. It is good preparation for a very broad range of occupations. Keep in mind, however, that a major factor influencing employability is preparation. How well a student researches job alternatives, gains additional educational and experiential background to qualify for areas of increasing employability, and goes about applying for these position openings, have pronounced influences on employability. In general, the physics student with additional skills or a highly specialized emphasis has special advantages in the job market. Students also have a strong chance of increasing employability by strengthening their skills with additional course work from related disciplines, such as geology, oceanography, statistics, computer technology and mathematics.
The physics student should develop: a basic interest in natural phenomena; a good memory, imagination, inquisitive nature; higher mathematical skills; the ability to concentrate for sustained periods and the patience to repeat an experiment; the ability to observe facts and draw logical conclusions; a mild distrust of conventional assumptions.