The College of Liberal Arts & Sciences offers a BA or BS, as well as a MS and a PhD in Physics. Physics deals with the properties of matter and energy and includes: acoustics, atomic physics, cryogenics, electromagnetism, elementary particle physics, and thermodynamics. It is the branch of science concerned with the study of properties and interactions of space, time, matter, and energy.
Sample of Related Skills
- Demonstrate understanding of scientific literature, such as journal articles and textbooks
- Demonstrate understanding of the general principles in physics and patterns in nature
- Integrate the scientific method in to problem solving and experimentation
- Apply the basic laws of physics in the areas of classical mechanics, Newtonian gravitation, special relativity, electromagnetism, geometrical and physical optics, quantum mechanics, thermodynamics and statistical mechanics
- Apply basic mathematical tools commonly used in physics, including elementary probability theory, differential and integral calculus, vector calculus, ordinary differential equations, partial differential equations, and linear algebra
- Use basic laboratory data analysis techniques, including distinguishing statistical and systematic errors, propagating errors, and representing data graphically
- Communicate verbally, graphically, and/or in writing the results of theoretical calculations and laboratory experiments in a clear and concise manner that incorporates stylistic conventions used by physicists worldwide
Popular Career Paths
Acoustics: Involves the study of the physical properties of sounds. This includes applying the skills obtained from degree in physics to the noise control of objects like vehicle tires as well as the architectural design of concert halls.
Cyrogenics: Includes the study of matter at temperatures much colder than those found on earth. Low temperature physicists are concerned with phenomena such as superfluidity and superconductivity.
Optics: Involves the study of light and electromagnetic radiation. This can be applied to life in many ways such as laser technology and fiber-optics.
Particle Physics: Entails the study of the most fundamental particles of which matter is made and is also referred to as high-energy physics. It is often considered the new frontier of theoretical physics and has many opportunities of study.
Rheology: Involves the application of physics to the study of the deformation and flow of matter.
Robotics: Includes the science and technology of robots, and their design, manufacture, and application. It also involves a daily focus in electronics, mechanics, and software.
Explore More Career Paths
- American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics - professional organization career resource for physics majors interested in aerospace and astronautics
- American Institute of Physics - online federation of a multitude of organizations within the physical sciences
- American Physical Society - resource for students with informational about jobs as well as career guidance in the field of physics
- Careers in Physics - resource for some of the available career paths and subsequent job titles in the field of physics
- International Organization for Medical Physics - professional organization for those in the field of medical physics
- Physics.org - interactive career guide for those majoring in physics
- The Physics Careers Resource - general information regarding the field of physics as well as information for students
- Profiles of Physicists - list of interviews of physicists from a wide range of job titles and companies
- ResearchGate - professional network for researchers and scientists.
- Society of Physics Students - professional student organization containing a wide variety of information including career resources
- UniverseToday.com - general information regarding a career in the field of physics
- WorldWideLearn.com - online resource with general information for anyone interested in pursuing a degree and subsequent career in physics
Jobs to Consider
Places to Seek Employment
The United States Military
National Aeronautics and Space Administration
State and Local Governments
Patent Law Firms
Product Design Firms
View specific employers by state.
- Identify areas of interest in physics so you can focus your academics and experiences towards these fields.
- Become familiar with the required professional qualifications associated with careers that interest you (i.e. advanced degrees, licensure and/or certifications).
- Gain direct experience within the areas that interest you most through research projects, independent study, internships, part-time jobs, student organization involvement, or volunteering.
- Register for KU Career Connections and subscribe to the Internship Newsletter to receive automated weekly emails with specific internship information.
- Consider joining a professional organization related to your area of interest in physics, and, if possible, attend local and/or regional conferences to make connections with professionals working in your field.
- Earn a minor or take additional coursework outside your major when relevant.
- Maintain a strong GPA if you are considering pursuing graduate or professional education.
- Consider getting involved with a student organization at KU related to your area of interest, such as: Physics & Engineering Student Organization (PESO), Society of Physics Students, and the University of Kansas Geophysical Society.
- Develop your resume and tailor it to your area(s) of interest: sample resume (pdf), sample resume-physics/astronomy (pdf).
Job and Internship Search Resources
- Bright Recruits - job board for those with a background in physics and engineering
- Careers FAQ - answers to frequently asked questions about careers in physics
- Government & Non-Profit Resources - more resources from career.ku.edu
- National Aeronautics and Space Administration - resource for physics students interested in internships and opportunities with NASA