What is Physics?
Physics is the study of matter and energy and the fundamental forces of nature that govern the interactions between particles. Physicists study a wide range of physical phenomena, from quarks to black holes, from individual atoms to the many-body systems of superconductors. It is the foundation of all the physical sciences. The knowledge and problem-solving skills acquired by physics graduates enable them to pursue careers in a wide range of scientific and professional disciplines.
What Can I do With a Degree in Physics?
A Bachelor of Physics Degree from the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Purdue University prepares students to pursue careers in an extraordinary variety of areas, including technical and managerial careers in industry, and basic research in universities, industrial laboratories, and national laboratories. The general problem solving skills developed in physics studies serve students well not only in careers in physics, but also in careers in other sciences, engineering, law, medicine, management, finance, and government. A master's degree empowers students to obtain advancement in secondary school teaching in Indiana, or to gain employment in research or other science-related positions in government or industry. About fifty percent of graduating seniors from the Department of Physics and Astronomy and Astronomy at Purdue University pursue a Ph.D degree, which is required for advancement at universities and at higher-level positions in research in industries.
Why Study Physics at Purdue?
Purdue Department of Physics and Astronomy is the largest in Indiana, and one of the largest in the country, both in size and in breadth of its course offerings and research programs. While it is located at a Big 10 school with all of the opportunities of a major University, Purdue has the small-school advantage of special courses just for physics majors, with excellent student-teacher ratios. The Department of Physics and Astronomy at Purdue University is also unique in offering a thorough training in electronics, computational physics, and several choices in advanced laboratory.
Special Programs and Opportunities
The Department of Physics and Astronomy participates in several programs that enhance the academic experience of undergraduates, and assist them in gaining employment or entry into graduate schools.
Physics majors can optionally take several selected courses in other departments and earn a "minor" in Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics, Computer Science, Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences, Statistics, or in several other areas.
The Department offers a minor in Astronomy for all majors, as well as a minor in Physics for non-majors. See the links below for more information:
- Astronomy minor - (students entering Purdue Fall 2011 or after)
- Astronomy minor - (students entering Purdue prior to Fall 2011)
- Physics minor - (students entering Purdue Fall 2011 or after)
- Physics minor - (students entering Purdue prior to Fall 2011)
The Department of Physics and Astronomy at Purdue University emphasizes undergraduate research as an integral part of the learning experience that reinforces and amplifies skills acquired in the classroom. A seminar class is offered in the first semester that introduces freshman students to "Current Topics in Physics Research." The class serves to familiarize students with research being carried out currently in the department and prepares them to become involved in undergraduate research as early as their second semester at Purdue. The Department encourages also students to participate in one of the many summer internship programs offered around the United States.