Applied Physics—BS

Apply the Laws of Physics to the World Around You

Breakthrough ideas and technologies make the world better. With a BS in Applied Physics from Michigan Tech, you’ll learn the fundamental laws of the physical universe so you can find those breakthroughs.

At Tech, you will thrive in a environment where you connect physics, engineering, computing, and mathematical modeling to solve industry challenges. You’ll acquire the specialized knowledge, quantitative skills and research experience to advance such fields as astrophysics, communication, computational mathematics, material science, medicine, nanotechnology, and planetary science. You’ll work with the latest high-tech equipment and prepare yourself for higher study or an in-demand career that matters. 

Get the educational momentum you need to succeed in this highly competitive field. Our students learn best by doing, which is why we emphasize challenging lab work and rewarding research. They learn skills like critical thinking and problem-solving. And employers and graduate schools look more favorably upon those with transferable skills. With a strong, quantitative education in physical sciences, you’ll have the framework needed to excel in whatever comes next—whether you’ve got your sights set on advanced graduate work or a career in industry.

Customize Your Degree

The Bachelor’s of Science in Applied Physics lets you build your own unique degree program to start you on your post-undergraduate pathway. Prior to your third year, you’ll work one-on-one with your academic advisor to identify your application interest. This is usually an interdisciplinary topic where you can apply your physics knowledge, or where you can apply knowledge in that area to physics. Together you’ll add the courses (12 credits) you need to your academic plan allowing you to go deeper in this interest area. 

Want to explore starting a business using your physics knowledge? Choose entrepreneurship as your application interest. Interested in physical chemistry?  Add additional chemistry courses. Computational math or statistics your thing? You’ll find plenty of class options in our mathematics department. Looking to do more with nanotechnology and materials? Take coursework in the College of Engineering.

You can explore application interests in:

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Astrophysics
  • Computational Mathematics
  • Computer Science
  • Data Science
  • Enterprise
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Materials Science
  • Nanotechnology
  • Physical Chemistry
  • Planetary Science
  • Statistics

There is no limit to what constitutes an application interest. Speak to an academic advisor to learn more.

  • #3
    best college in Michigan
  • 32
    most valuable college major
  • 100%
    students do undergraduate research

Tomorrow Needs Talented Applied Physicists

Demand is high for individuals with a strong, quantitative education in physics, including high-level laboratory experience from undergraduate research. A Bachelor of Science in applied physics prepares you for a successful career. You’ll graduate thoroughly prepared to find success in graduate school in physics or another STEM field, law or medical school, research labs, or a career in industries such as aeronautics, electronics, engineering, finance, or transportation.

Career Opportunities for Applied Physics Majors

Physics jobs are seeing 5% growth, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Your future career options are unlimited with a Bachelor of Science in Applied Physics. Career opportunities include:

  • Aerospace Engineer
  • Applications Developer
  • Business Analyst
  • Clinical Technologist
  • Computer Animation Specialist
  • Consultant
  • Data Analyst
  • Dentist
  • Materials Engineer
  • Medical Physicist
  • Programmer
  • Program Manager
  • Project Manager
  • Patent Attorney
  • Physician
  • Project Engineer
  • Research Analyst
  • Researcher
  • Marine/Oceanographic Scientist
  • Scientific and Computational Manager
  • Software Engineer
  • Systems Engineer
  • Teacher/Professor
  • Technical Writer
  • Water Engineer
  • Veterinarian

Companies Hiring Michigan Tech Applied Physics Majors

The growing list of companies hiring Michigan Tech applied physics majors includes:

  • ArcelorMittal
  • Argonne National Lab Chicago
  • Dow Corning
  • Laurium Labs
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology Lincoln Lab
  • Milwaukee Tool
  • Nova Measuring Systems
  • Perceptron
  • Seagate
  • University of Nebraska Medical Center

Graduate Schools Accepting Michigan Tech Applied Physics Majors Include

The growing list of colleges and universities accepting applied physics majors includes:

  • Michigan State University
  • Naval Surface Warfare Center
  • Northern Illinois University
  • Oregon Health and Science University
  • Pennsylvania State University
  • University of Central Florida
  • University of Chicago
  • University of Colorado-Boulder
  • University of Idaho
  • University of Minnesota Duluth
  • University of Nebraska
  • Texas A&M University

Ready to take the next step?

Learn more about studying applied physics at Michigan's flagship technological university.

"It’s nice being able to go talk to your professor directly, like right after class. Tell him: I missed this part or really didn’t understand this part. Is there another way you can put it that will help me?"Conner Hawry '23, BS Applied Physics

Study Applied Physics at a Technological University

Gain foundational knowledge and understand the behavior of matter and energy. Develop analytical and quantitative skills required to succeed in graduate school or the job market.

  • Get personalized attention: With an average incoming class of 20 physics majors, your professors know you individually and understand your interests and needs. You receive the one-to-one guidance you need in a timely fashion.
  • Applied learning: Design your own application area and explore interdisciplinary connections. Recent application areas include computational mathematics, planetary science, aerospace engineering, and nanotechnology. Or utilize your interest in physics by getting involved with the Enterprise Program—teams of undergraduate students working on real-world products and research for industry.
  • Customize your physics education: Make yourself more marketable in the eyes of prospective employers. Applied Physics pairs well with mathematics,computer science,electrical engineering, and materials science and engineeringmajors. You can add one of two physics minorsin astrophysics or nanoscale physics to further your specialization. Or any of the other 80+ minors offered at Michigan Tech.
  • Get paid for summer research: A commitment to undergraduate research experience gives our students an edge. As soon as the summer after your first year, join one of many research groups and turn your growing knowledge into practical experience under the guidance of a faculty member in our state-of-the-art labs. One of the factors that gives our students an edge is the opportunity to engage in research as an undergraduate student and gain hands-on experience with state-of-the-art research instrumentation.
  • Physics study abroad: Visit international research labs like CERN, home of the Large Hadron Collider, the most powerful particle accelerator ever built.

Undergraduate Majors

Not sure which major is the right fit? No problem. Just declare the General Sciences and Arts major, give yourself time, and decide when you arrive on campus. To learn more speak to an academic advisor.

Further Customize Your Degree With A Minor

You may choose to pursue one of 80+ other minors or certificates. With a BS in Applied Physics you can design your own educational pathway. Although you can declare a minor anytime, we recommend that you begin your minor studies as early as possible in your academic career. To learn more speak to an academic advisor.

  • Astrophysics
  • Nanoscale Sciences and Engineering (Nanotechnology)
  • Physics

Tomorrow Needs You

Supercharge your physics skills to meet the demands of a technology-driven society at a flagship public research university powered by science, technology, engineering, and math. Graduate with the theoretical knowledge and practical experience needed to solve real-world problems and succeed in academia, research, and tomorrow's high-tech business landscape.

"I’ve always wanted to be a scientist. And I felt that, to answer the big questions about the universe which I always wanted to answer, the most realistic way to do that was to go into physics."Cameron Shock, applied physics