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Josh sitting at the laser table

Department of Physics & Astronomy

What do physicists actually do?  More than you ever imagined! Physicists put their theoretical knowledge of science to practical use in fields like electronics, optics, communication, aerospace technology and medicine. Steven Chu, Professor of Physics at Stanford University, former Director of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, 1997 Nobel Laureate in Physics and former U.S. Secretary of Energy, states "I am optimistic about the future of physics. Since venturing into biophysics and biology, I appreciate even more that physics is the best liberal arts education possible. My definition of a "liberal arts" education is an education that gives one the tools to allow one to follow their intellectual curiosity well after their formal education ends. Most physicists feel that their training allows them to go anywhere, intellectually."

Still not convinced?  Take a look at the undergraduate research our students have been doing and see where they go after graduation.  Then check out some of the information from the American Physical Society on Why Physics, and Careers (the Compadre page is particularly useful). For instance, did you know that physics majors score higher than any other traditional major on both the MCAT and the LSAT?

"But physics? That's hard."  The biggest myth about physics is that you have to be an Einstein to do well. What it really requires is someone who's interested and who's willing to work hard.  Take a look at the possible graduate and career paths that you can take with a physics degree (to the left under Degree Paths) and the things that our current and former students are doing (to the left under Department News), and decide where you want to be in four years.