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What path in college would I need to take to get a job in Physics.

I am interested in becoming a physicist but I do not know what path/classes to take in college.

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Loriel’s Answer

Good evening!

The short and simple answer is you need a degree in physics however if you’re already in an institution that does not offer a degree in physics you may want to consider the degrees below or possibly consider transferring to a university that offers your degree!

Bachelors in physics
Bachelors in science concentration in physics
Bachelors in science engineering.


Good luck!

Loriel recommends the following next steps:

As an academic advisor I would strongly encourage you to reach out to your academic advisor at your university to discuss in more detail what would be your next best steps. If you are currently not in university the next best thing for you to do would be in to research colleges and universities in your area that offer a degree in physics.
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Samia’s Answer

Most colleges offer Academic Advising for students based on which program they are enrolled in and they are a great resource to provide guidance on what classes to take for the career path you are interested in. I recommend looking into connecting with someone in your college's Science program Academic Advising department to help you explore which classes, major, and academic program would be best for you to be on the path to becoming a physicist. You should also reach out to the school's Career Services department to ask them which majors have they seen students graduate with who went into the Physics career field. Hope this helps!
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Atul’s Answer

There is a major offered by most state universities in Physics.
If you combine Physics with Math and Computer Sc, - you can work at NASA, Software Industry and high-tech manufacturing including Robotics.
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Elaine’s Answer

A Physics degree combined with Maths or Applied Maths or Computing, would prepare you well for a career in Physics. The other benefit to this course of study is that it is broad enough that it would prepare you for a move into many other careers also if you discovered along the way that you did not want to work in physics alone.
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Joseph’s Answer

As others have mentioned, you'll want to target a degree program or major in Physics or at least as closely related as you can - the exact programs and their requirements vary from institution to institution, so consult with your institutions student advice service for details. For my university, I had to pick the degree program before I started, and was given lists of mandatory and optional classes to take. I think many US universities have a slightly more flexible system where you try things out and pick a major/program at a later point, though.

The mandatory classes for a physics program can vary quite a bit, but I'd expect most institutions have a similar standard of study requirements covering core physics topics such as classical mechanics, electromagnetism, basic quantum mechanics, and such. I'd also expect a core of mathematics requirements to support the physics - calculus, complex numbers, vector calculus, etc.
Beyond the core subjects, I'd then expect you'd need various additional optional physics-related classes - you might have a minimum number of physics-related classes to achieve, for example. You'd generally be able to use these to specialize your learning in certain areas of physics - for example taking a bunch of cosmology, relativity and astrophysics classes; or something else like nanomaterials, computational physics, engineering and such.
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