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Physics

Major in the College of Natural Sciences

Why is the sky blue? Why do black holes exist, and what causes them? What's the most likely explanation as to how the pyramids were built? What math and science explains the underlying reasons about what happens in nature and the world around us?

Physics. While other sciences explain how, physics is all about the "why."

Do we promise you'll find answers to all the whys? Nope. We do promise that by the time you get your physics degree, you'll be more intrigued by the whys than ever before. As a result, you'll be the kind of thinker who can take on a wide variety of career challenges, including medicine, fusion, nuclear engineering, teaching, government policy, semiconductor research, science journalism, space and atmospheric research, acoustics, petroleum exploration, business, and-of course-physics.

Learn more about the physics major through student testimonials and information on career options.

Declaration Requirements

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Prospective University of Texas at Austin students should visit UT Admissions to learn about the application process and how to declare a major.

How to Declare

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Step 1: Internal transfer students must apply to the College of Natural Sciences prior to completing 60 hours or four long semesters at UT. Applications are due to the College of Natural Sciences in the spring. Learn more about the college's internal transfer requirements.

Step 2: Once accepted into the College of Natural Sciences, all students will start as entry-level physics majors until they successfully complete the entry-level requirements.

Required Courses

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Visit the physics degree plan to view all required courses for the physics major in the College of Natural Sciences.

Specializations

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Physics degrees offered include Bachelor of Arts (BA), Bachelor of Science and Arts (BSA), as well as six Bachelor of Science (BS) options. Learn the difference between the BA vs BSA vs BS degree. The Bachelor of Science options are as follows:

  • Physics
  • Computation
  • Radiation Physics
  • Space Sciences
  • Teaching
  • Honors

Personality

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Physics students tend to be eager to tackle new, hard problems on almost any scientific or technical subject. They tend to be unafraid to learn new tools and techniques, often on their own, when needed. They delight in making connections between seemingly different subjects.

Skills

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Simply put, physics majors develop the ability to solve problems. They learn to apply a set of basic concepts and principles to a wide variety of physical situations. They acquire the ability to apply both experimental and theoretical techniques, and to make the connection between theoretical understanding and real world, physical phenomena of all kinds. They become adept at using both the analytical as well computational tools of mathematics and computer science to quantitatively understand the universe we live in, from the smallest to largest scales. They learn to isolate the important features of complex systems, identify the important parameters, and make approximations.

MAJOR ≠ CAREER

Your major does not always determine your career path. Many graduates pursue careers outside their field, depending on their interests and experiences.

EXPERIENCE + DEGREE = CAREER

It’s not just your major that matters! Make yourself marketable by gaining a variety of experiences in college. Read a few inspiring stories by professionals whose experiences led to great careers.

Contact a Vick Center career counselor today to find out how you can turn your major into a career.