Prospective Undergraduate Students
The scope of physics is so vast and plays such a fundamental, important role in all engineering and science disciplines that it is difficult to define physics without limiting its breadth. For example, astrophysicists have the largest possible laboratory- the universe. Elementary particle physicists are interested in what happens inside the atomic nucleus. They learn about nature's fundamental building blocks which make up nuclear particles. Although these two extremes may seem unrelated, new discoveries on the subnuclear scale are keys to unlock the mysteries of the universe on the grandest scale. Because of their diversifed interests, physicists become involved in a wide variety of research areas; one can't list them all. Because physics is used in many different ways, it is impossible to describe "the" physics career.
7 Reasons to Major in Physics & Astronomy at the University of Utah
- You have a passion for exploring the mysteries of the universe.
- You like to challenge yourself, solve problems and puzzles, and want to contribute to human understanding.
- You seek an environment where you can pursue your passion with other like-minded students, and maybe even help teach others. Physics is a social endeavor!
- You want the chance to do research. At Utah’s flagship research institution, ambitious Physics & Astronomy majors have the opportunity to do work at the leading edge of science and publish and present their results.
- You are interested in graduate school in Physics or Astronomy or other professional graduate programs. Surveys show that Physics majors achieve among the highest scores on both MCAT (medical school) and LSAT (law school) exams.
- You are interested in gaining highly-sought technical expertise in areas such as computation, problem solving, numeracy, analysis, and data science, and applying these skills to solving real-world problems.
- You want a useful degree from a well-regarded program on your resume as you set out to make your impact on the world.
Undergraduate Majors, Emphases, and Minors of Study
This degree provides the most rigorous theoretical preparation in Physics and is primarily targeted to students who aspire to a career as a professional scientist.
- Broadest and deepest understanding of physics
- Great foundation for graduate work
- Opportunities for theoretical understanding
This emphasis focuses on practical skills and training in optics, electronics and similar applications.
Why Applied Physics?
- Interest in experimental physics
- Emphasis and training in practical skills
- Wide range and variety of career options in industry and graduate studies
Astronomy & Astrophysics
This emphasis is intended to prepare students for graduate school in astronomy and astrophysics.
Why Astronomy & Astrophysics?
- Strong physics background
- Interested in the great unknown
- Great research opportunities
This emphasis is primarily targeted to students preparing for careers in biomedical-related science.
Why Biomedical Physics?
- Strong preparation for medical school, dental school, or graduate school in Biological or Medical Physics
- Substantial training in physics, chemistry, and biological sciences
This degree is designed to prepare a student to become a physics teacher in Utah.
Why Physics Teaching?
- Passion for educating the future
- A student will also need to meet the State Office of Education education requirements to become certified as a secondary education teacher.