Why should I choose physics?

Are you curious about how the universe works? Would you like to discover new things? Do you like to solve problems? Do you like to figure out new technologies? Do you like using math for practical things? Are you interested in acquiring skills that apply to many career fields?

A magnet levitating above a high-temperature superconductor, cooled with liquid nitrogen.

Discover how and why

Physics is crucial to understanding the world around us, the world inside us, and the inner workings of the universe. It is the most basic and fundamental science. Physics challenges our imaginations with concepts like relativity and string theory, and it leads to great discoveries, like computers and lasers, that lead to technologies which change our lives—from healing joints, to building faster computers, to curing cancer, to developing sustainable energy solutions.

Physicists Learn Useful Skills

Physicists are problem solvers. Their analytical skills make physicists versatile and adaptable so they work in interesting places. You can find physicists in industrial and government labs, on college campuses, in the astronaut corps, and consulting on TV shows. In addition, many physics graduates work at newspapers and magazines, in government, and even on Wall Street—places where their ability to think analytically is a great asset.

Want a job?

Physics brings a broad perspective to any problem. Because they learn how to consider any problem they are not bound by context. This inventive thinking makes physicists desirable in any field. A bachelor’s degree in physics is a great foundation for careers in:

  • Journalism
  • Law
  • Finance
  • Medicine
  • Engineering
  • Computer Science
  • Astronomy
  • Biology

Even when the job market is slow, physicists get job offers—well paying jobs. Not only is the national unemployment rate for physicists amongst the lowest in the country, employers know that a physicist brings additional skills with expertise and pay accordingly. That's why physics graduates can expect career salaries similar to those of computer science and engineering majors.

Want to save lives?

Physicists are at the forefront of developing new medical technologies. Nearly every hospital in the country employs a medical physicist who manages the sophisticated equipment used to diagnose and treat patients, including X-Ray machines, MRIs, PET scans, and lasers used for microscopy, cancer treatment, and surgery. If you want to be a doctor, then you should be a physicist first. Physics majors achieve exceptionally high scores on the MCAT exam, and the top medical schools are looking for people with great problem solving skills.