This degree program provides training in the four major fields of physics: quantum mechanics, thermodynamics, electricity and magnetism, and mechanics.

Degree Benefits:

  • Competitive salary (Physicists generate a median salary of $129,950* per year)
  • Job growth outlook (8%)*
  • Multiple opportunities for career growth

Career Options Include:

  • Accelerator Operator
  • Data Analyst
  • Lab Technician
  • Research Associate

*Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Physicists and Astronomers, on the Internet at (visited Mayrch 24, 2022).

Find an online bachelor's or master's degree:


What you need to understand about online or campus learning is that the amount of time it takes to complete courses entirely depends on your commitment to studying.

A typical bachelor’s degree requires 120 to 129 credits to complete the course, which can take around 4 years for full-time students. Students that already have an associates degree, could complete this within 2 years depending on the amount of courses and classes they take each semester. Online training usually takes 4 years but can take up to 7 years since most students only study part-time. In fact, most online schools have a time limit to complete programs, where they give you 7 years to complete the program and if you don’t finish in that time you will lose credits earned toward your degree.

Another example is studying for a master’s degree full-time on campus can take 2 years to complete, where studying online for the same course can take 3 to 4 years depending on how many courses you complete each semester. However, you should also be aware that, if you devote more time to studying than most on-campus students; if you complete courses during the summer and maintain a full course load each year, you will be able to finish your degree in less than 4 years.

Before choosing a major there are some important facts you should know about.

In general, you can begin your career in Physics by earning a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) or a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree in Physics, but in many cases for the position you are seeking you may need to obtain a master's degree in Physics. Furthermore, there are numerous specializations and subfields associated with a major in Physics. You will want to research the college or university to determine if they have the major you are considering.

This is a very important question to ask yourself. Your major should play a big part in the schools you are considering. Not every college may offer the major of your choice, so doing your homework is the first step of the selection process.

Courses required to obtain a bachelor's degree in Physics consist of general core courses that Freshman and Sophomores take and Junior and Senior level courses focus more on the major concentration classes. Associate degrees, on the other hand, normally prepare grads for entry-level with the basic skills and expertise required in a field. Affiliate's levels can likewise allow students to finish general education and learning demands with a two-year program, then later transfer right into a four-year program. There are two major titles of bachelor's levels: BA (Bachelor of Arts) and BS (Bachelor of Science). There are bachelor's degree programs in a wide range of majors, consisting of STEM subjects, social sciences, arts, and all kinds of specific subjects. You can find some sample major concentration courses that you may be required to take below:

  • Physics for Engineers & Physical Scientists
  • College Composition
  • Calculus
  • Intro to Physics & Astronomy
  • Intro to Quantum Physics
  • Special Relativity
  • Mechanics
  • Differential Equations
  • Statistical Mechanics
  • Quantum & Atomic Physics

If you’re concerned about the specific graduation rate at each school you’re most interested in, the Office of Institutional Research at each university should have that information. Nationwide, only 41% of university students finish within the four year timetable. The remaining 59% tend to stay in school for five years or more.

This can get very expensive. Students have to pay for additional terms of tuition. Universities and colleges may also penalize students who are taking too long to graduate. So, you need to have a plan that enables you to graduate within four to six years. See an advisor for your major every semester. Take the classes that they tell you are required. Try to take more than just the 12 minimum full-time credits per semester-instead, take 15; if you don’t have to work more than 10 to 15 hours a week, try to take 18 credits. Take summer classes to get ahead (or catch up if you fail a class).

Don’t change majors too often. If you’re not sure of your major, take just your general education credits and try a few majors you’re interested in-take an introductory class for each major and find the one that fits you best.

The college or university itself should be accredited. Look for a regionally accredited school based on that school’s location. The six regional accreditation agencies are The Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, The New England Association of Schools and Colleges, The North Central Association of Schools and Colleges, The Northwest Association of Schools and Colleges, The Southern Association of Schools and Colleges, and The Western Association of Schools and Colleges.

Online-only schools should have accreditation from the Distance Education Accrediting Commission, the Distance Education and Training Council, or the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges but they should also hold regional accreditation.

Accreditation is an important part of the selection process. It adds value to a Bachelor of Science in Physics degree by offering wider acceptance than degrees from non-accredited schools receive. Accreditation ensures employers and other reviewers of your educational background that you have a quality education in Physics. It informs potential employers that the graduate has the expected level of education and knowledge to perform work in today’s high-paced, technology-driven environments.

The Department of Education designates regional and national accreditation agencies. It is also through this department that educational loans and grants are provided to college students. The federal policy is to limit student loans to schools and colleges with acceptable accreditation. Which means that, if your school isn’t accredited, you will likely not be eligible to receive any financial aid. For many students, accreditation is key to getting funds to pay for the substantial costs of a degree in Physics.

The cost will depend on several factors. Are you pursuing your Physics degree online or in a traditional setting? If you attend your courses on campus, you will also need to pay for food, room and board, and other fees. This can increase the cost of your Physics education significantly unless you have a plan in place to keep these costs low. If you attend a public, state school, it will depend on whether or not you are a resident. In-state students usually pay much lower rates than out-of-state students. However, this can be overcome by attending classes online, as most institutions charge in-state rates for all online courses. Either way, you need to research the costs for each Bachelor of Science in Physics program you are considering applying to, as each institution will have their own rates.

We recommend that students make a specific inquiry about job placement assistance programs at any school they consider for a Physics Bachelor's degree program. Advanced institutions incorporate career planning into the two or four-year course of study for a bachelor’s or master’s degree in Physics. The school may host job fairs, business community awareness communications, and host interviews for employers from across the region.

The school of Physics, college, or university is a broad community of alumni, business sponsors, and corporate partners. Both new and established schools often have extensive local, regional, and national networks. The overall resources of the Physics school and the larger schools can potentially assist in producing high levels of job opportunities and hires for recent graduates.

Some schools pair students with advisers, career counselors, and job coaches at various stages of their academic careers. Observers can see the results in annual satisfaction surveys, and the numbers of students that get interviews and offers of employment.