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Degree Information

Career Opportunities in the Field of Physics

The American Institute of Physics has an extensive Statistical Research Center which publishes regular updates on national data regarding Physics majors at all levels (high school, undergraduate, graduate, postdocs, and even faculty).

Penn State helps prepare you for research and development work in industry, for governmental agencies, and in academia. A recent survey noted that the earning power of a physics undergraduate degree can be substantial; the median annual income of those with physics bachelor degrees put them in the top five of all undergraduate majors.

You also may go to graduate school for master's or doctoral degrees in physics or other branches of physical science. There are often opportunities to study for a master's degree while working in industry or for the government. Most doctoral students receive a stipend and a grant-in-aid for tuition that is earned by teaching or doing research.

If you are planning advanced work in almost any branch of science or engineering, you may find that a bachelor of science degree in physics serves as an excellent starting point for technical and nontechnical fields such as aerospace, astronomy, computer science, medicine, law, business, and engineering. To teach physics in high school, you will also take education courses to become certified. You will need a doctoral degree to become a college or university professor.

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