Physics - Premedical Physics, B.S.
What is a Premedical Physics Degree?
The pre-med program in physics fulfills the admission requirements for medical, dental, or veterinary school while providing in-depth training in the physical sciences. Premedical physics students build a strong foundation in mathematics, biology, and chemistry, and take specialized courses in modern physics, biochemistry, physical mechanics, and quantum mechanics.
Whether you want to explore the mysteries of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, become a leader in cancer research, or enter a prestigious medical, veterinary, or dental school, you can reach toward your goal with a pre-med program in physics from Florida Tech. Students begin with courses such as Biological Discovery and Calculus-Based Physics, later specializing in technical electives and labs.
Gain Practical Experience
At Florida Tech, we recognize the importance of experimental research to students’ growth and understanding of their curriculum. Our pre-med program in physics involves students in research beginning their first year. Many students work alongside their mentors doing professor-led research projects, presenting research results at national conferences. The Physics and Space Sciences Department is housed in the F.W. Olin Physical Sciences Center, which contains teaching and research laboratories, a clean room and dark room, a high bay area, and a rooftop observatory. Students also have access to the Space Life Sciences Lab facilities at Kennedy Space Center.
“Why Pursue a Premedical Physics Degree at Florida Tech? ”
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The Florida Tech premedical physics program is one of a very few of its kind in the United States. In fact, Florida Tech’s program is among the top 10% largest programs in the US according to the American Institute of Physics.
Students find Florida Tech one of the best pre-med colleges due to the wide range of research topics they can choose including physics, astrophysics, space sciences and atmospheric physics. Subjects range from distant black holes, x-rays from lightning and the search for the Higgs boson. The program is also suitable for those students intending to do graduate work in physics or biophysics.
Small Classes—Personalized Attention
Another quality that makes Florida Tech one of the best pre-med colleges is its experienced and well-respected faculty. Premedical physics students learn in small classes from professors who are passionate about two things: research and teaching. The physics department is a tight-knit and active community of scholars and learners, with faculty-student interaction and collaboration. The professors are top researchers in their field, conduct innovative research and involve undergraduate students in research as early as their first year.
Florida Tech’s facilities easily compete with those of the best pre-med colleges in the country. Our students have access to the F.W. Olin Physical Sciences Building for learning and research, which houses the Department of Physics and Space Sciences. Among the amenities of this state-of-the-art building are teaching and research laboratories, clean room and dark room, 3,000-square-foot high bay area, and rooftop observatory. Students also have access to the Space Life Sciences Lab facilities at the NASA Kennedy Space Center; the Ortega 0.8-meter telescope, the largest research-quality telescope in Florida; and telescopes from Arizona’s Kitt Peak National Observatory and Chile’s Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory.
Located in the Heart of Florida’s High-tech Corridor
Florida Tech is the perfect place for a BS in Premedical 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.
Build Lasting Professional Relationships through Campus Organizations
Beyond the classroom, premedical physics majors build leadership and professional experience through participation in academic organizations like Sigma Pi Sigma (the national physics honor society), student government, and over 100 other campus-wide student organizations.
The Florida Tech Pre-Med Club is a group of students who are dedicated to helping each other reach their graduate school goals. Club members study for and take standardized tests in the medical field (such as the MCAT) as well as network for job and pre-med internships. Finally, the Florida Tech Pre-Med Club participates in regular field trips to medical schools and listens to guest lecturers.
“How Will a Premedical Physics Degree Prepare Me for the Future? ”
Peerless Study and Internship Opportunities
Pre-med internships are one of the central parts of the learning experience for Florida Tech students seeking to pursue work in medicine-related fields after college. Our premedical students take part in internships around Florida and the country working for businesses and organizations that match their own interests. A few of these companies include:
- Cancer Care Center of Brevard
- Brevard Zoo
- East Central Florida Memory Disorder Clinic
- Kennedy Space Center
Most students choose to spend their time getting medical-related experience during their pre-med internships. The majority of these students volunteer at local hospitals, spending a great deal of time shadowing physicians. With quality pre-med internships, our students gather the hands-on experience that will put them ahead of the competition when entering graduate schools and careers.
Participate in Summer Research that Enhances Your Experience
Florida Tech student researchers go to national conferences and often win awards for their research. A few of our students have even published papers with the help of their faculty advisors on topics such as:
- Space weather
- Sprites and other high-altitude lightning
- Using X-rays to study lightning
- Human space flight
Other universities and corporations also play a big role in our student’s college experience through summer research programs. When you choose to participate in summer research opportunities you conduct research at locations such as the Life Science Labs at the Kennedy Space Center, the Midwest Research Institute, and the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory.
“What Can You Do With a Premedical Physics Degree? ”
People interested in medical school usually focus on degrees associated with being a doctor, such as chemistry and biology. There is another degree available to those following steps to become a doctor. A graduate from Florida Institute of Technology with a BS from the pre-med program in physics completes the courses necessary to meet the typical entrance requirements for schools of medicine, dentistry, osteopathic medicine, podiatry, and optometry.
In terms of undergraduate degrees earned annually, our premedical track is compared to some of the best pre-med colleges in the country.
Get Recruited Upon Graduation
For those individuals not interested in taking the steps to becoming a doctor, physics graduates typically enter the workforce in one of any number of high-tech corporations that have R&D divisions. Employers seek out graduates from the pre-med program in physics at Florida Tech, including:
- American Museum of Natural Science
- Baltimore Aquarium
- Leonardo DRS
- Florida Medical Entomology Lab
- Harris Corp.
- Kennedy Space Center
- Sea World
- The Space Telescopic Science Institute
To get a better idea of the careers available to those who take the steps to becoming a doctor, the Occupational Outlook Handbook can help. Published by the US Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), it provides information about specific jobs including median annual pay, working conditions and job outlook, among other things.
According to the Bureau, employment of physicians and surgeons is expected to grow by 24% through 2020, faster than the average for all occupations. Job prospects should be good for physicians willing to practice in rural and low-income areas, because these areas typically have difficulty attracting doctors. Wages of physicians and surgeons are among the highest of all occupations.
For those students who ultimately follow the steps to becoming a doctor or other careers in medicine, career opportunities include:
- Physician and surgeon
- Physician assistant
- Medical scientist
- Medical and health services manager
- Medical and clinical laboratory technologists and technician
- Diagnostic medical sonographer
- Medical scientist
Other Career Options
Graduates of the premedical physics program are well prepared for entry-level positions as research scientists in a variety of industries. Premedical physics alumni have gone on to positions in health care/medicine, education, research, and the space industry. While other careers in healthcare are also growing, related non-medical occupations such as nuclear engineering, geoscience, or biophysics also provide job growth over the next decade. A premed physics degree can lead to careers such as:
- Materials scientist
- Research scientist
- Nuclear engineer
- Post-secondary teacher
Graduate and Doctoral Programs
Our students are accepted to medical school in numbers well above the national average. After graduating from pre-med program in physics, graduates go on to medical programs at such prestigious universities as:
- Auburn University
- Cal Tech
- Cornell School of Veterinary Medicine
- Dartmouth University
- Georgia Tech
- Johns Hopkins
- Johns Hopkins University College of Medicine
- SUNY Stony Brook
- SUNY–Buffalo College of Medicine
- University of Arizona
- University of Florida
- Vanderbilt University