APAM offers undergraduate and graduate studies in the field of applied physics


The applied physics undergraduate program stresses the basic physics that underlies most developments in engineering and the mathematical tools that are important to both physicists and engineers. Since the advances in most branches of technology lead to rapid changes in state-of-the-art techniques, the applied physics program provides the student with a broad base of fundamental science and mathematics while retaining the opportunity for specialization through technical electives. The applied physics curriculum offers students the skills, experience, and preparation necessary for several career options, including opportunities to minor in economics and to take business-related courses.

The Department offers graduate study leading to the degrees of Master of Science (MS), Doctor of Engineering Science (EngScD) and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in applied physics, with specialization in plasma physics and controlled fusion; solid-state physics; optical and laser physics; and medical physics.

Career Directions in Applied Physics

  • Applied physics provides excellent preparation for and is a traditional pathway to graduate programs in physics-related areas including the applied physics areas of condensed matter, plasma, and optical physics, and biophysics, as well as areas such as high energy physics and astrophysics.
  • Applied physics is a great vehicle for entry into many types of graduate-level programs in engineering fields, with a background as compelling for these graduate programs as are bachelors degrees in engineering.
  • Applied physics provides superb preparation for a wide range of positions in university, government, and industrial organizations, in part because the applied physics curriculum is highly customizable with elective chains possible in diverse applications of the student’s choice.
  • Applied physics is perhaps the best preparation for careers in general technology areas, and is ideally suited for up-and-coming areas, such as energy and nanotechnology.
  • Applied physics is very well suited for any career requiring strong experimental and/or theoretical and/or calculation skills.
  • Applied physics is a strategic major for pre-med, pre-dental, pre-teaching, and other pre-professional students, in part because it provides a strong background in core areas, combined with great flexibility in the choice in electives.
  • Applied physics is an ideal background for careers in patent law.
  • Applied physics offers a seamless way to enter masters programs and then start careers in the highly-recruited area of medical physics.
  • Applied physics is excellent preparation for careers at the interfaces of biology, medicine, and physics.
  • Applied physics provides a very desirable pathway to careers in finance.

Applied Physics Career Resources