Physics—BA

Unlock the Secrets of the Universe: Study Physics Without Becoming a Scientist

Have a passion for physics, but are not sure you want to work as a scientist? The Bachelor of Arts in Physics degree is intended for students seeking a foundation in physics as a liberal arts degree, but who typically do not intend to pursue physics as a profession.

The flexibility in this degree program allows students to gain significant educational breadth in other disciplines. The Bachelor of Arts in Physics can be a valuable major In combination with a minor in engineering, mathematics, business, or technical communication (among other disciplines).

As a physics major, you’ll learn how the universe works by examining from the smallest subatomic particles, atoms, and molecules, up to the largest stars and galaxies. you’ll learn not only what holds the atomic nucleus together, but also how proteins function and why stars shine. 

You’ll study the theoretical frameworks of physical theories. You’ll learn the fundamental postulates and mathematical formulations that underlie the successful models of the physical universe. You’ll gain insight into the nature of the physical world and develop new ways of thinking about problems and build models that describe their inner workings.

The analytical and quantitative thinking skills you develop as you work toward your degree can be valuable in many different careers. Undergraduate physics training provides excellent preparation for a career or for graduate work in many fields—from sciences to law, medicine, and even finance.

  • 100%
    of physics BS students conduct undergraduate research
  • #3
    best college in Michigan
  • 32
    most valuable college major

Choose your Career Path

The Bachelor of Arts in Physics offers excellent preparation for many different career paths. Customize your course of study through your choice of electives, which serve as a secondary lens through which to see your physics education. With the strong problem-solving, critical thinking, and quantitative skills you will gain through your physics studies, you are prepared to continue your professional studies with a solid scientific background. 

This degree is well suited for students seeking to continue their education in medical, dental, business, or law school. Or use your grasp of physics concepts and technical terminology to become a scientific and technical writer. The options are endless.

Pre-Health Professions Pathway

Put your skills to work in a career in medicine. Allocate your free electives to a pre-health minor and prepare for admission into health professional programs. Physics majors perform 4.3 points better than average on the MCAT. Plus, physics majors with a pre-health minor can take advantage of many professional program partnerships. For instance, Michigan State University College of Human Medicine provides early assurance of admission (February as opposed to June) for select Michigan Tech pre-health minors.

Pick from these pathways:

Pre-Law Pathway

Physics provides excellent preparation for a career in law. 73% of physics majors who apply to law school are accepted. You’ll develop your analytical and critical thinking skills in the physics degree program. Being comfortable with the complexities and properties of physics lends itself to patent law. You may choose to allocate your free electives towards a minor in law and society and take additional classes in humanities, social sciences, physics, or psychology.

Science and Technical Writing Pathway

Your grasp of physics concepts and technical terminology will serve you well in a technical or scientific writing career. If you have an interest in science and technical writing, you may choose to allocate your free electives towards a minor in writing along with other courses in humanities, social sciences, or physics.

Business and Entrepreneurship Pathway

Leverage your math, data analysis and predictive modeling skills for a career in business. If you are interested in pursuing a career in Business you may choose to allocate your free electives towards a minor or certificate in business or entrepreneurship along with other courses in business, physics and psychology.

Other Possible Pathways

You may choose to pursue one of 80+ other minors or certificates. With a BA in Physics you can design your own pathway.

Tomorrow Needs Experts With Physics Knowledge

The demand for individuals with a strong, quantitative education in physics, including application development and high-level laboratory investigation is great. You’ll graduate thoroughly prepared to find success in graduate school in physics, business, law, and medical school, or a career in industries such as aeronautics, astronomy, electronics, engineering, finance, and transportation.

Career Opportunities for Physics Majors

Your future career options are unlimited with a Bachelor of Arts degree in physics. Career opportunities can be found as:

  • Aerospace Engineer
  • Applications Developer
  • Associate Engineer
  • Business Analyst
  • Clinical Technologist
  • Computer Animation Specialist
  • Consultant
  • Data Analyst
  • Dentist
  • Lab Associate
  • Lead Engineer
  • Mechatronics Instructor
  • Medical Physicist
  • Programmer
  • Program Manager
  • Project Manager
  • Patent Attorney
  • Physician
  • Researcher
  • Marine/Oceanographic Scientist
  • Science and Technology Teacher
  • Scientific and Computational Manager
  • Test Development Engineer
  • Technical Writer
  • Water Engineer
  • Veterinarian

Companies Hiring Physics Majors

The growing list of companies hiring physics majors includes:

  • Accenture
  • Analog Devices
  • Covance
  • Epi
  • Eurofins
  • Ford Motor Company
  • GE Aerospace
  • General Motors
  • Intel
  • JP Morgan Chase
  • Lanier Technical College
  • Rockwell Automation
  • Sims Academy of Innovation and Technology
  • Steelcase
  • U.S. Bank
  • U.S. Department of Defense
  • Whirlpool Corporation

Graduate Schools Accepting Tech Physics Majors

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

  • London School of Economics
  • Michigan Tech College of Forest Resources
  • Oakland University
  • Piedmont University (Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellowship)

Ready to take the next step?

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

"Physics is hard. Being able to do hard things is valuable. Physics gives me the confidence to receive a difficult assignment and learn to figure it out."Ezra Cotter ‘21, BA Physics

Study 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.
  • Customize your physics education: Make yourself more marketable in the eyes of prospective employers. With a BA in Physics you can design your own educational pathway. You can also add one of two physics minors in astrophysics and 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.

  • Get involved: 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. Or get involved with any number of student or professional organizations—Society of Physics Students; Women in Physics; Keweenaw Rocket Range; Pre-Health Association; and more.

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.

"A physics degree gives you the confidence to approach problems that are outside of your comfort zone and general area of knowledge."Nathan Schlorke ‘21, BA Physics