Frequently Asked Questions
How do I know who my physics advisor is?
Advising is done for all Physics and Applied Physics majors according to year. Dr. John Jaszczak is the advisor for freshmen, Dr. Will Cantrell is the advisor for Sophomores and Juniors, and Dr. Bob Weidman is the advisor for Seniors. The exception is for Physics majors with Secondary Education Concentration, for which Dr. Jaszczak is the advisor regardless of year.
I’m a new physics major but have been placed in MA1032 Data, Functions, and Graphs Plus, so I cannot take PH 1160 Honors Physics I. What should I do?
Placement in Calculus I or higher is necessary to be able to register for PH 1160. If you are not calculus-ready, options may include taking the math placement exam, or taking a course equivalent to MA 1032 before starting at Michigan Tech. Alternative scheduling of classes is also possible but would typically require more than eight semesters to earn your degree.
I am a Physics major and earned a 3 on the Calculus AP exam. Can I get credit for MA 1160 Calculus I with Technology?
With a score of 3 or higher on the Calculus AP exam you can get AP credit for MA 1160 and move on to Calculus 2; however, students scoring a 3 or a 4 are encouraged to consider whether or not they have really MASTERED the material covered in Calculus I, as mastery of calculus is vital to succeeding in physics. Students who are not confident in their mastery of the material may waive the AP credit and register for MA 1160. Students should also be aware that if they enroll in MA 2160 Calculus 2 without first taking MA 1160 Calculus I, they will have to learn introductory use of Mathematica (which is covered in MA 1160) on their own.
What kind of careers are available to students earning degrees in physics?
Students who earn physics degrees in our program typically continue their studies in graduate school. Graduate studies in physics and related fields usually is supported financially through teaching assistantships, research assistantships, and fellowships. There are also many rewarding careers for students that choose not to attend graduate school. Detailed career information is available through the American Institute of Physics website at www.aip.org.
Nationally, about 95% of all domestic graduate students in physics receive full financial support, including tuition and a stipend to live on.
Who Is Hiring Physics Bachelor’s? http://www.aip.org/statistics/trends/states/state.html
A searchable state-by-state listing of many employers who recently hired physics bachelor’s into science and engineering positions.
Latest Employment Data for Physicists
http://www.aip.org/statistics/trends/emptrends.htmlReports that provide the latest data on where physicists work and what they do throughout the economy and at different degree levels.
Statistical Research Center home page http://www.aip.org/statistics
Can students with B.S. degrees in physics study in related technical areas in graduate school?
An undergraduate degree in physics provides an excellent foundation to do graduate study in a variety of other fields. From our own programs here at Michigan Tech, physics majors have gone on to do graduate study in the following fields besides physics:
- Applied Mathematics
- Atmospheric Sciences
- Electrical Engineering
- Optical Sciences
- Materials Science
- Mechanical Engineering
Undergraduate Advisor—Second-Year and Third-Year Students
Fisher Hall 121