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UMM Home > Career Services > Career Planning & Decision Making > What can I do with a Major in... > Physics


Description of Major
The physics program is designed to help students understand the concepts of classical and modern physics while also developing their ability to solve quantitative problems in these areas. It provides the opportunity for students to acquire the skills necessary to perform experimental work. The program develops students' ability to communicate, in form and content, both verbally and in writing, the results of scientific work. The physics program offers a background suitable for students planning to pursue graduate study or careers in industry, research, or teaching. It also provides a solid foundation for any career requiring analytical reasoning.

A liberal arts education and study in a particular major will lead to the acquisition of a group of skills which enable one to solve problems, communicate effectively, and perform complicated tasks. These skills are essential in any career. The following is a list of important and commonly agreed upon career skills identified by UMM physics faculty as a part of the project to Improve Public Understanding of Liberal Learning (IMPULL). The skills are those which all or most students studying physics are likely to acquire through classroom instruction, co-curricular or extra-curricular activities.

Leadership/Management Skills:
-applying data
- analyzing
-identifying people who can contribute to
the solution of a problem or task
-unwillingness to automatically accept the
status quo
-identifying priorities and parameters


Communication/Writing Skills:
- comprehending written material
- writing factual material clearly and
- understanding the feelings of others
- writing effectively
-expressing one's feeling appropriately


Instructing/Educational Skills:
- explaining
- teaching a skill, concept or principle to
- ability to hear and answer questions


Research/Analytical Skills:
- applying information creatively to solve
specific problems
- manipulating information using expertise
in mathematics
- using library and research facilities
- calculating
- breaking down principle into parts
- perceiving and defining cause and effect
- applying appropriate methods to test
the validity of data
- evaluating information against
appropriate standards
- analyzing and evaluating ideas and
- reading
- using numbers as a reasoning tool
- reviewing large amounts of material and
extracting essence
- using a variety of sources of information
- designing an experiment, plan or model
that systematically defines a problem


Artistic/Creative Skills:
- designing and or using audio-visual aids  


Technical/Manual Skills:
- using tools assembling
- using computers
- setting up


Additional Skills, or Skills Peculiar to the Physics Discipline:
- analytical thinking  


Jobs Obtained by UMM Physics Graduates
Studies conducted by the UMM Career Center have shown that graduates obtain jobs that are both related to their major and jobs that may not be formally related to the major. Over 60% of the physics graduates from 1964-1998 said their job was in the same field or related to their undergraduate major. Other studies have shown that liberal arts graduates find employment that makes use of their skills, special knowledge, values, and interests, even though the employment field may not be related to their academic major. Listed below are some jobs obtained by UMM physics graduates:

Bank Teller
Clinical Research Coordinator
Computer Analyst/Manager
Computer Network Specialist
Computer Operations Manager
Computer Scientist
Computer Software Developer
Electrical Engineer
Electronics, General Manager
Financial Analyst
Hotel Owner
Hydrodynamic Physicist
Mechanical Engineer
Naval Officer
Physicist/ US Naval Officer
Power Systems Engineer
Quality Assurance Manager
Quality Control Engineer
Research Assistant
Retail Owner
Road Construction Supt.
Software Analyst/Consultant
Software Engineer
Teaching Assistant


There are many occupations that do not require a specific undergraduate major; they are often learned as a result of one-the-job training rather than prior education. What is sought among prospective employees is the development of certain sills and abilities that can be developed not only through an academic major but through courses taken as part of one’s general education, and through internships, directed studies, tutorials, seminars, study abroad, work-study and summer employment, and volunteer experiences.

Physics (Adobe Acrobat Supplement)
Graduate/Professional Schools in Physics
FSU Match Major Sheets