Physics, B.S.

Physics, B.S.

What is a Physics Degree?

Physics BS

Physics involves the study of natural phenomena observed in our world, from the subatomic scale to the vastness of the entire universe.

Whether you want to explore the mysteries of antimatter, aid in the development of laser technologies, or discover new energy sources, a physics degree from Florida Tech gives you the knowledge and hands-on experience you need for a physics career.

Gain Practical Experience

Physics degree students learn scientific skills in small classes with intensive faculty-student interaction. The learning environment is conducive to preparing students for real world scientific work whether in academia or industry. Students learn to conduct and communicate research experiments, working with direct supervision by a faculty member in charge of the research. Opportunities in research include participation in experiment design and construction, data collection, and analysis.

The physics department is located in the F.W. Olin Physical Sciences building, a 72,000 sq. ft. facility equipped with state-of-the-art labs, clean rooms, a 3,000 sq. ft. high bay area, rooftop observatory, teaching classrooms with full multimedia, smart whiteboards, and other facilities.

Why Pursue a Physics Degree at Florida Tech?

The physics program at Florida Tech has set the standard since 1958 with the very first space sciences program in the world, successfully preparing students for high-tech careers at top space agencies and research firms. According to the American Institute of Physics, Florida Tech’s program is one of the largest in the US in terms of the number of BS degrees awarded annually. In addition, Florida Tech ranks in the top 5% of all US institutions awarding undergraduate physics degrees to women.

At Florida Tech, you’ll have all the tools and resources that you’d expect to find at a larger university but in a smaller, more intimate setting.

Internationally Recognized Faculty—Personalized Attention

Florida Tech has a low student-to-faculty ratio of 11 to 1, a benefit not every physics college can offer. In these small classes, students can work closely with their professor and receive focused attention, particularly when involved in research opportunities. The internationally recognized scientists in our physics program hold doctoral degrees from distinguished universities, and are active in research that involves world-class experiments studying some of the most relevant topics in physics, including lightning, astronomy and astrophysics, experimental high-energy particle physics, and space physics.

Students are encouraged to participate in research right away, in their first year at Florida Tech. The academic environment is centered on preparing students for real-world scientific work, whether in academia or industry. This research-based focus gives students an opportunity to be published in scientific journals, and build leadership and professional experience through internships and professional organizations.

High-Tech Lab Facilities

Florida Tech’s facilities are what you would expect from the best physics colleges. The Department of Physics and Space Sciences is located in the F.W. Olin Physical Sciences Building, a 70,000-square-foot facility that is equipped with state-of-the-art labs; clean and dark rooms; a 3,000-square-foot high bay area; a rooftop observatory; teaching classrooms with full multimedia; and smart whiteboards. In addition to students having access to the largest research-grade telescope in Florida, the 0.8-meter Ortega Telescope, students also have access to telescopes at Kitt Peak National Observatory in Arizona and Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory in Chile.

Located in the Heart of Florida’s High-tech Corridor

Florida Tech is the perfect place for a BS in Physics. The 130-acre campus is located on the Space Coast (so named because of the presence of NASA and the Kennedy Space Center on Cape Canaveral just north of us), minutes away from the Indian River Lagoon, the most diverse estuary in North America.

The area has the fifth largest high-tech workforce in the country, with more than 5,000 high-tech corporations and government and military organizations located nearby. This workforce also provides an abundance of internship and employment opportunities.

Florida Tech is just over the causeway from the Atlantic Ocean with its 72 miles of beautiful beaches, and a short trip to the Florida Keys or the Orlando theme parks. We also have a rich campus life that includes a wide range of intramural and collegiate sports, clubs, and social activities.

How Will a Physics Degree Prepare Me for the Future?

Peerless Study and Internship Opportunities

Companies and organizations around the world provide Florida Tech students with physics internships to prepare them for future careers. Some of these companies include:

  • CERN in Switzerland
  • Harris Corp.
  • NASA Kennedy Space Center
  • Lockheed-Martin

These challenging and dynamic physics internships provide our students with valuable experience in their field. Students are trained in conducting measurements and data analysis, as well as building equipment and detectors.

Stunning Undergraduate Research Opportunities

In addition to physics internships, students also participate in research at Florida Tech or around the world. Conducting research at locations such as Fermilab in Chicago and CERN in Switzerland, our students participate in design and construction of detector systems for experiments, data collection, and analysis. Florida Tech students also conduct research in on-campus laboratories, guided by one of our internationally recognized faculty members.

What Can You Do With a Physics Degree?

Ours is one of the largest and most diverse undergraduate programs in the country. If working at space agencies, doing critical research, and development or meeting some of the world’s biggest challenges interests you, a BS in Physics from Florida Tech is what you need to succeed. Physics careers are waiting for graduates who can demonstrate an understanding of the physical world on a fundamental level.

Get Recruited Upon Graduation

Employers who have recruited Florida Tech students with a physics degree for internships and careers include

  • Boeing
  • Brookhaven National Laboratory
  • Leonardo DRS
  • Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory
  • Harris Corp.
  • Jet Propulsion Laboratory
  • Kennedy Space Center
  • Lockheed-Martin
  • Museum of National History
  • NASA
  • NASA Goddard
  • Space Telescopic Science Institute

Career Outlook

The Occupational Outlook Handbook, published by the US Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), provides information about specific jobs including median annual pay, working conditions and job outlook, among other things.

Scientific research and development services firms and the federal government employ a large percentage of all physicists and astronomers, with most jobs centered in research, usually requiring a doctoral degree. Bachelor’s degree holders often find physics careers as research assistants and technicians. The outlook for physics careers is expected to grow by 14% through 2020.

Other Career Options

With the acquisition and development of proficiency in mathematics, experimental laboratory, and problem-solving skills, Florida Tech graduates are prepared to engage in physics careers such as:

  • Physicist
  • Astronomer
  • Biophysicist (doctoral or professional degree required)
  • Chemical and material scientist
  • Civil engineer
  • Computer and information research scientist
  • Electrical and electronics engineer
  • Environmental scientists and specialist
  • Geoscientist
  • Mathematician
  • Nuclear engineer
  • Postsecondary teacher (doctoral or professional degree required)

Graduate and Doctoral Programs

After receiving their physics degree, more than half our physics students go on to graduate programs at Florida Tech or at other prestigious universities, such as:

  • Auburn University
  • CalTech
  • Columbia
  • Emory
  • Georgia Tech
  • Johns Hopkins
  • MIT
  • Ohio State University
  • Penn State
  • Princeton
  • Rice
  • University of Florida
  • University of Texas
  • Yale
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