Careers & Outcomes

What can I do with a Physics degree?

Physics encompasses the study of the universe, from the largest galaxies to the smallest particles, and underlies many pivotal scientific discoveries.  Physics students should have a good grasp of scientific principles, strong mathematical skills, and an interest in discovery relating to the physical world.  Physics graduates have skills that are in high demand in diverse sectors, including research, engineering, computer science, business, medicine, and education.  About half of students earning a bachelors in physics pursue a PhD in order to further their employment opportunities.

  • The analytical skills that physicists learn make them versatile and adaptable, so they have a reputation as problem solvers... and work in interesting places.
  • Physics brings a broad perspective to any situation. This inventive thinking makes physicists desirable in any field.
  • Employers know that a physicist brings additional skills with expertise and pay accordingly. That's why physics graduates can typically expect career salaries similar to those of computer science and engineering majors.

Career Center

One-On-One Advising

Perhaps the best resources at the Career Center are the counselors, who work with students individually to discuss your interests and goals, and brainstorm ideas for helping you achieve your goals. It's never too early in your college career to meet with one of these professionals. Whether you're interested in working internationally, beginning a corporate career, going to graduate school, or performing public service work after graduation, the counselors can help you decide the best plan of action.

Schedule an Appointment

Register for CAREERLink

CAREERlink is a career management system where you can search and apply for jobs, internships, and co-ops, manage your applications, and RSVP for programs and workshops. On CAREERlink, you can also upload and submit application materials such as resumes, cover letters, and other supporting materials like writing samples and portfolios.

Visit the Careerlink Website

Resources and Tools

Whether you need assistance with writing a resume, applying for graduate school, or finding an internship, we are here to help!

Explore our resources

Outcome Data

Every year the Career Center at Washington University surveys the graduating class to gather information about their post-graduation plans. They've compiled data for the past 3 years so you can see exactly what EPS graduates have gone on to do immediately following graduation.

Outcome Data

What does a career with a Physics degree look like?

The American Institute of Physics provides information about physics degree recipients including field of employment, starting salary, and more, along with resources for those with undergraduate and graduate degrees, including job boards.

Explore the American Institute of Physics Employment Data

Top Destinations for WashU Physics Majors

With 97% of reporting graduates securing opportunities within 6 months of graduation, WashU physics majors have gone on to graduate studies, academia, and internships, as well as employment in diverse fields such as engineering, government, and research.

Here are just a few of the top destinations reported by recent WashU graduates:

Post-Grad Employers:

  • Accenture
  • Belvedere Trading
  • Boeing
  • Capital One
  • CORO
  • Epic
  • Geico
  • Graphiq
  • Less Annoying CRM
  • MIT Lincoln Laboratory
  • Morgan Stanley
  • Open DNS
  • PhysAssist Scribes
  • QuEST Global
  • SAGA Innovations
  • Sudvarg Digital Solutions
  • Teach for America
  • Tribe Dynamics
  • US Federal Government
  • US Senate
  • University of Texas - Austin
  • Washington University in St. Louis

Graduate, Medical, and Law Schools:

  • Case Western Reserve University
  • Cornell University
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
  • Michigan State University
  • Ohio State University
  • Pennsylvania State University
  • Princeton University
  • Rice University
  • Stony Brook University
  • UCLA Health
  • University of Arizona - Tucson
  • University of California - Berkeley
  • University of California - Los Angeles
  • University of Chicago
  • University of Cincinnati

Internships (Pre- and Post-Grad)

  • Boeing
  • Bristol-Myers Squibb
  • Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard
  • California Institute of Technology
  • Capital One
  • Duke University
  • Epic
  • IBM
  • Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory
  • MD Anderson Cancer Center
  • Milwaukee Brewers
  • MIT Lincoln Laboratory

Explore more outcomes, destinations, placements, starting salaries and other details about WashU physics graduates on the Career Center website.

 

Additional Resources to Explore Physics Careers

  • Careers Toolbox

    From the national Society of Physics Students, and wealth of information to help you find success in your path toward success.

  • Employment Statistics

    Detailed information from the American Institute of Physics

  • Career Resources

    Job listings and other resources from the American Institute of Physics

  • Job Listings & Resources

    Library Guide from the Physics Library at WashU with detailed career information and research

  • Young Scientist Program

    The Young Scientist Program is designed to attract students from disadvantaged backgrounds into scientific careers through activities emphasizing hands-on research and individualized contact between young people and active scientists.

Yiyang Zhang

"I have been a graduate student in the Physics Department of WashU for four years, and I am really enjoying the life here. Everyone in the department is easy to get along with, and all the professors are willing to provide academic support. With the resources and opportunities provided and the nice atmosphere created by the department, I am able to focus on my academic goals and am ready to pursue my career after graduation."

―Yiyang ZhangPhD Candidate