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Program Description

Physics is the field of study concerned with the nature and properties of matter and energy: how we define measurable quantities, like energy and speed, and how these concepts are related (for example, Newton’s Law of gravity or the theory of special relativity). If you want to learn more about how the universe is structured and functions, consider studying physics at the University of Utah. In addition to learning scientific and theoretical concepts and facts, physicists also develop excellent analytical thinking skills and problem-solving techniques. The Physics curriculum has three emphasis areas: Astronomy & Astrophysics BA/BS (meant for students who want to study the universe), Biomedical Physics BA/BS (for students who want to enter biomedical fields), and Applied Physics BA/BS (best for students who desire careers in industry). Students may also pursue a Physics Teaching BA/BS track, preparing them to become teachers in the state of Utah. Because the skills gained from this program are so broadly-applicable, students who decide not to pursue graduate-level degrees can use their abilities in a wide variety of careers.

The Student Experience

Students are encouraged to enrich their studies by completing a Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program through the National Science Foundation, allowing them to develop professional and academic skills for use throughout their undergraduate career and beyond. If you want to get involved in your department and meet fellow students, consider joining one of the following clubs: the Undergraduate Student Advisory Committee, the AstronomUr Outreach Group, the Society of Physics Students, or the ACCESS Program for Women in Science & Mathematics.

Career Opportunities

Students can pursue a number of careers upon graduating from the program. If you chose the professional track, continue your studies at the graduate level to become a professional physicist, working in a lab or at a university, teaching and researching. Biomedical physics students may enter careers in the field of biomedicine, helping to develop biotechnology or working at nonprofit research centers. Applied physics students can become engineers or programmers, while teaching students can teach physics in elementary and secondary schools. Students may also find work outside the field of physics: alumni have been hired as operations analysts or as freelance technical writers.

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Last Updated: 11/21/17