Applied Physics—BS

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Starting with your first semester you will work in the lab to deepen your understanding of physical properties. Through honors-level first-year courses, you will start to familiarize yourself with faculty research in cutting-edge labs. A Bachelor of Science in applied physics from Michigan Technological University will provide you with 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.

"My time at Michigan Tech has been filled with many opportunities to learn, both in academics and in research. These opportunities have encouraged me to go further with my educational goals."Crystal Massoglia, '18, physics and applied/computational mathematics, BS double major and astrophysics minor

About the Program

Get involved in research. Undergraduate students have opportunities to work with faculty on a variety of research projects. Students are paired with a faculty member for a minimum of two semesters of research, but students frequently exceed this degree requirement by taking advantage of the department's many opportunities for continued research. We take pride in providing hands-on education; undergraduate research experiences are just one of the many teaching-learning experiences in our program.

The physics department prides itself on a sense of collegiality. This comes not only from faculty-student mentoring but also peer-to-peer support. With such a small undergraduate community (typically 25 students per incoming class), students quickly become an integral part of the department's culture. Students are exposed to many disciplines within physics throughout their undergraduate career, which greatly increases post-graduation success.

Physics in a group image at CERN sign
Physics students inside the European Laboratory for Particle Physics; Geneva, Switzerland, CERN.

Get Involved

Students broaden their degree experience by working directly with the physics department staff and faculty. Opportunities include working as an academic coach to students in the Physics Learning Center, design and execute real-world, textbook concept demos for classrooms on the Demonstration Crew, become a teaching assistant in labs, and work side-by-side with faculty on cutting-edge research projects.

First-year physics students automatically become members of the Michigan Tech chapter of the Society of Physics Students—a national professional organization designed to help students develop into successful members of the professional physics community.

After Graduation

Our graduates have found jobs with the following companies and agencies:

  • Argonne National Lab Chicago
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology Lincoln Lab
  • Dow Corning

Our graduates have been accepted at the following graduate schools:

  • Michigan State University
  • University of Colorado Boulder
  • Los Alamos National Laboratory
  • Pennsylvania State University
  • University of Chicago
  • University of Minnesota Duluth
  • Naval Surface Warfare Center
  • Oregon Health and Science University

Click here for more information about the diversity of employers hiring physics bachelors nationwide.

Program Learning Goals

The Bachelor of Science in applied physics is intended for students pursuing a career in physics or closely related fields. While this career path typically includes graduate studies, it can also lead to a variety of careers in technical areas in industry and government.

Physics majors finish their program of study as well-rounded critical thinkers and lifelong learners. Graduates are prepared to successfully compete for and perform in graduate study or professional work in physics, engineering, education, or related fields. Specific learning goals for graduates with a BS degree in applied physics include:

  • Students will demonstrate a mastery of the fundamental concepts and principles of the major areas of physics (e.g. classical mechanics, quantum mechanics, electricity and magnetism, optics, and thermal physics)
  • Students will be able to carry out basic and advanced laboratory work in physics
  • Students will be able to design and carry out an effective research program
  • Students will effectively communicate scientific work both orally and in writing
  • Students will demonstrate the application of fundamental knowledge and skills in a cognate field of study