Undergraduate Studies in Physics

Choosing a major is one of the most important decisions a college student must make. Love for the subject matter and natural aptitude are important considerations. Of equal and more practical significance is the knowledge that satisfying professional opportunities exist for successful graduates in the field. You must also be confident that your university and departmental education will prepare you to be competitive in the job market and successful in your career.

The Physics Program at UH

The department offers the following undergraduate degrees: the Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in physics, the B.S. in physics with a geophysics specialization, the B.S. in computational physics (pending) and the Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in physics.

Potential Physics Majors

Physicists attempt to understand natural laws using in-depth analysis of simple systems. Studying physics requires insight about those features of a problem that are most significant, and possession of the experimental, analytical, or numerical skills to solve these problems. Physicists make significant contributions in many fields. In the last century, physicists have received several Nobel prizes in chemistry, biology and economics.

Students considering majoring in physics should have strong mathematics backgrounds. Those who have a natural curiosity for investigating how things work would enjoy physics as a major. Potential physics majors should also have an interest in other natural sciences such as chemistry.

Many employers find physics majors attractive because they possess strong mathematics backgrounds and computation skills, and have experience with instrumentation and measurement.

Employment Outlook

There has never been a better time to earn a degree in physics. The demand for trained physicists is strong and there is a national shortage of physicists. In addition to exciting career opportunities, highly competitive salaries and comparatively low unemployment rates reward today’s successful physics majors.

UH graduates with the B.S. in physics are prepared to enter physics graduate programs leading to the master’s or Ph.D. degrees in physics. They are also prepared for careers in many diverse areas requiring a physics degree, such as within the aerospace industry at NASA, and the high-tech materials and electronics industries. Students with training in physics also find employment in fields as diverse as commodities or stock brokerage, medicine, and the energy industry.

Graduates with a B.A in physics generally are prepared to teach physics at the high school level, once they have obtained the appropriate teacher certifications. They are also prepared enter graduate programs in business administration or law.

The department welcomes inquiries from interested students. For more information about the department’s undergraduate programs, please call the undergraduate faculty advisor at (713) 743-3588 or e-mail dstokes@uh.edu.