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What Can I Do With This Major for Majors in Physics



A branch of the physical sciences, physics is the study of energy and the behavior of single atoms and their component pieces. Physicists are the most fundamental of scientists, for they examine the basic laws of nature. They seek to study and understand what happens when atoms and subatomic particles break down and assemble, how they react to collisions with each other and to electro-magnetic radiation. Physicists use mathematics to understand, explain and predict their theories and equations. They often apply their predictions and theories to other fields - chemistry, biology, geophysics, engineering, communication, transportation, electronics and health.

A physicist can be either an experimentalist or a theoretician. Almost all have doctorates, essential for college and university teaching and research, upper level research positions in government and industry, and higher administrative positions. Those with bachelors degrees may work in applied research and development as research assistants or in design, administration or engineering. Some specialized areas include: biophysics, health/medical physics, nuclear physics, optical physics, fluid physics and plasma physics.

The Physics Department offers two options, the professional option and the applied option, for students pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in physics. The general option leads to a Bachelor of Arts degree. The professional option is intended for students who, usually after graduate study, expect to become physicists in industrial or government research and development laboratories, or in teaching institutions. The applied option is intended for students who plan to pursue a technical career in physics or other technical areas, usually without further study. The general option is a flexible liberal arts program with physics as a major component for students who do not necessarily wish to become physicists.

A Sample Of Related Occupations

Acoustical Physicist Geophysicist Optical Physicist
Astrophysicist Health Physicist Plasma Physicist
Biophysicist Materials Scientist Quality Assurance Specialist
Engineer Medical Physicist Research Physicist
Fiber Optic Engineer Molecular Physicist Teacher/Professor
Fluid Physicist Nuclear Physicist Technical Consultant

Types of Employers


Private & Nonprofit Organizations
Aircraft & instrument manufacturers Engineering Firms Scientific Journals
Chemical Manufacturers Health Care Clinics Technical consulting firms
Defense manufacturing companies Information technology companies Testing Labs
Educational Institutions Production facilities .
Electrical equipment companies Research & Development Labs .


Government Agencies
Centers for Disease Control Environmental Protection Agency National Science Foundation
Department of Agriculture Food and Drug Administration Occupational Safety and Health Administration
Department of Defense National Aeronautic and Space Administration (NASA) Patent & Trademark Office
Department of Energy National Bureau of Standards Smithsonian Institution
Department of Health and Human Services National Institutes of Health .

Internships Obtained by Rutgers Students


Organization Job Title
Douglass Social Media and Communication Team Visual Media Manager/graphic design specialist

Jobs Obtained by Rutgers Graduates


First Jobs of Recent Graduates - Physics
Organization Job Title
NJ Dept. of Envir. Protection Environmental Specialist

Rutgers Univ. Dept. of Ceramics Fiber Optic Engineer

Allied Signal Lab Technician

Chicopee Research Lab Technician

Lowe Paper Company Project Engineer

Frigidaire Corp. Quality Engineer

Clemson University Research Assistant

Compulink Management Center Systems Engineer

Infotech Development Systems Engineer

New Brunswick School System Teacher

Hamamatsu Technical Consultant


Jobs of Experienced Alumni - Physics
AT&T Corporate Headquarters (MS) Associate Manager

G.H. Besselaar Associates Clinical Research Associate

AT&T (PhD) Engineer

Technical Staff, David Sarnoff Research Center (MS) Member

Henleal Corp. (JD) Patent Attorney

Hoechst Celanese Corp. Physicist

University of Pennsylvania (PhD) Physics Professor

Syracuse University (PhD) Research Associate

Allied Signal, Inc. Research Physicist

GEC - Marconi (MS) Senior Engineer

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Graduate Schools Attended


Institution Degree Field
Dartmouth College MBA Computers & Technology

Drexel University MS Physics

Hunter College MS Occupational Safety & Health

Massachusetts Institute of Technology MS Engineering Management

Rutgers University JD Law

Rutgers University MS Ceramic Engineering

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