Which degree is best for me?
The Bachelor of Science in Physics-General Emphasis is the traditional degree for those who intend to go on to graduate study in the sciences or engineering. This is the degree for those who desire the most rigorous and scientific undergraduate experience possible. Students who receive this degree will be well positioned for technical or entry-level engineering careers where scientific problem solving and adaptability in problem solving is required.
The Bachelor of Arts in Physics is for those who desire a bachelor degree in physics but want more flexibility and the ability to pursue parallel interests. Compared to the B.S. the B.A. has less work in the fourth year. This would also be the degree for making a custom course of study where physics is the core area and another area is supplemented; e.g. art, business, law, other sciences. The options are endless.
The Bachelor of Arts degree plus Secondary Education Certification program has been created to qualify students to teach high-school physics within a four-year program. We have recently revamped our undergraduate program so that a student may major in physics and receive their secondary education certification within a four-year program.
The Bachelor of Science - Applied Physics Emphasis is for those students who want to combine the power of the fundamental approach of physics with applied focus of engineering. This would be the program to consider if you intend to work in a high-tech engineering firm that is on the cutting edge of the current technology, where an ability to understand the basic physics will pay off. This would also be a good option for those who want to continue to advanced study in an engineering discipline and do engineering research.
The Double Major of Physics and Mechanical Engineering is a combined program where you will receive two bachelor degrees in just 4 ½ years. This program was created by the departments of Physics and Mechanical Engineering to combine the Applied Physics Emphasis program with the regular Mechanical Engineering degree. This is an extremely strong and cost-effective career preparation path for someone who will be doing advanced mechanical engineering research or unique applications such as remotely controlled robots for NASA.
A Double Major of Physics with Mathematics provides extremely good foundation for those students intending to go to graduate study in physics, mathematics, or engineering. This option is especially popular with those students who are drawn to theoretical work. To double major with mathematics requires taking a few extra math courses starting in your sophomore year in order to finish in 4 years. Students who arrive with AP or prior college credit can easily satisfy the extra math requirements. For the mathematics General Option and Applied - Scientific Modeling Option, the minimum extra courses that need to be taken are 6 and 7, respectively. This extra course load is equal to the number of free electives in the Physics BS curriculum.