How to Become a Physicist?

6 minute read
How to Become a Physicist

Physics is one of the most popular academic branches in the science stream. It sets out to explore the mathematical intricacies of our universe ranging from cosmological to subatomic! If you are intrigued by how the universe works and want to delve deeper into its mysteries, then Physics is the perfect area of study for you. As a discipline, it is research-oriented and intellectually stimulating as it intersects with all other subjects in the vast stream of Science! Physicists study the complexities of the structure of matter and its behavior and how it interacts with energy as well as its transfer, amongst others. This blog brings a comprehensive guide on how to become a Physicist, from the educational qualifications you need to the career opportunities you can explore!

Must Read: Experiment With Diverse Career in Physics

IndustryEnergy, Instrumentation, Manufacturing, Telecommunication, Aerospace & Defence
EligibilityMasters or Doctorate Degree in Physics
Average Starting SalaryINR 65,300 per month
Job OpportunityAcademic Research, Scientist, Astronomer, Geophysicist, Nanotechnologist, Meteorologist, Metallurgist, etc.

Must Read: Branches of Physics

Who is a Physicist?

Simply put, a physicist is someone who possesses expert knowledge of physics, including the relationship of matter with energy across different time periods within the universe. Physicists primarily focus on the genesis and fundamental causes of any phenomenon. They mostly illustrate their knowledge and comprehension of the subject mathematically. These scientists concentrate on myriad areas of research, which range from particle physics, subatomic physics, cosmological and biological physics, etc. Mainly, we find two kinds of physicists – Experimental Physicists and Theoretical Physicists. The former has expertise in the understanding of all the physical phenomena as well as analysis of various experiments, while the latter has specialized knowledge of mathematical modeling of the tangible systems to explain and predict various natural phenomena.

Must Read: Modern Physics

Types of Physicist

  • Theoretical Physicists develop theories and models to describe how specific components of the world behave.
  • Experimental physicists test theoretical physicists’ theories and models to verify their assertions and offer changes.
  • Applied Physicists – They utilize physicist research to tackle problems in technology, science, and society.

Skills Required to Be a Physicist

Mathematical AbilityTechnical Knowledge Scientific Reasoning
Writing SkillsAnalytical ThinkingLogical & Reasoning Skills

How to Become a Physicist?

As Physicists integrally work in the field of research, getting the right foundational and expert knowledge of this discipline is essential to follow this career path. We have elaborated below the major steps you need to take to become a Physicist.

Earn a Bachelor’s Degree

If your interest lies in understanding the essence of Physics and how it delves deeper into the mathematical beauty of the universe, then opting for a bachelor’s degree in Physics is the best way to begin. Since this is one of the important branches of science, you will find a good variety of courses available for you. Here are some of the bachelor’s degree courses you can opt for:

BSc (Hons) Physics and AstrophysicsBSc PhysicsBachelor of Science in Physics – Nuclear Science
BSc (Hons) Physics
with Particle Physics and Cosmology
Bachelor of Science
(Honours) in Materials Science
Bachelor of Arts in Physics – Physical Theory and Experimental Technique
Bachelor of Medical and Radiation PhysicsBachelor of Science (Biomolecular Physics)Bachelor of Science in Molecular Biochemistry and Biophysics
Bachelor of Science (Honours) (Earth Science)BSc (Hons) Theoretical Physics and Applied MathematicsBachelor of Science in Physics – Earth and Planetary Sciences (Climate Focus)
Bachelor of Science (Honours) (Atmospheric Science)Bachelor of Science in Physics and AstronomyBachelor of Science in Nuclear Medicine Technology

Must Read: BSc Physics Syllabus

To apply for any of the aforementioned undergraduate programs in Physics, here are the general eligibility requirements you must fulfill:

  • A candidate must have studied science at the higher secondary level in school, with physics, chemistry, and biology as subjects.
  • If you are planning to study any of these programs abroad, you will have to provide SAT scores along with language proficiency scores of IELTS /TOEFL, etc. The universities abroad also require applicants to submit a Statement of Purpose and Letters of Recommendation.

Finding the right university for your chosen undergraduate program to take the first step towards the career path of becoming a Physicist is also an arduous task. Here are the major universities offering bachelor’s degree programs in Physics:

Explore Research Opportunities

After completing a bachelor’s degree in Physics, the next step is to pursue a postgraduate degree as well as a doctoral degree to steer towards the career path of a Physicist. But there are many research institutes in India and abroad which offer internship and training opportunities to Physics graduates to help them gain research exposure. Here are the top research institutes and universities in India you can consider to get research experience and get one step closer to becoming a Physicist:

  • Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi
  • Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur
  • Tata Institute of Fundamental Research Mumbai
  • The University of Delhi
  • Indian Institute of Space Science & Technology, Trivandrum

To know more, check out our exclusive blog on Research Institutes in India!

Earn a Master’s Degree

As an undergraduate degree only imparts students with the foundational knowledge of a discipline, getting a master’s degree is essential for those aspiring to become a Physicist. A master’s level program exposes you to the core and advanced areas of physics. During this course, you gain specialization in your chosen area and write a research thesis which simplifies the process of applying for a doctoral or research program. Take a look at the top master’s degree programs you can pursue:

Master of Science in Physics – Optics and Medical ImagingMSc in Fusion EnergyMSc by Research in Astrophysical and Geophysical Fluid Dynamics – Magnetohydrodynamic Experiments
MSc – Theoretical PhysicsMSc Space Exploration SystemsMaster of Applied Science in Astrophysics and Astronomy
MSc Physics of MaterialsMaster of Science in Nuclear, Plasma, and Radiological EngineeringMSc (Res) Particle Physics
Physics: Energy and the Environment MScMSc by Research PhysicsMaster of Science in Medical Physics

Pursue a Doctoral Program

Gaining a master’s degree, you will be imparted with the quintessential research skills as well as expert knowledge in this field thus readying you for a doctoral degree to pursue the path of a Physicist. A doctorate program will also help you explore the best areas of research you are interested in and thus will simplify your quest towards becoming a Physicist. Check out the top doctoral programs in Physics:

Doctor of Philosophy in Biophysical Sciences and Medical PhysicsDoctor of Philosophy in Applied PhysicsDoctor of Philosophy in High Energy Physics
Doctor of Philosophy in Physics – Condensed Matter PhysicsDoctor of Philosophy in Physics – Materials PhysicsDoctor of Philosophy in Earth System Science

Here are some of the top universities around the world where you can pursue a master’s or doctoral degree in physics:

Explore Career Opportunities

After completing a master’s degree, you can start exploring research opportunities as Research Assistant or become an Assistant Physicist at any reputed Academic and R&D organisation and pursue your doctoral degree alongside. Here are the most prominent opportunities you can explore to pursue a career in Physics:

  • Data Scientist
  • Medical Physicist
  • Research Analyst
  • Optical Engineer
  • Geophysicist
  • Professor


How long does it take to be a physicist?

A bachelor’s degree is the minimal education required to become a physicist, and it takes four years to finish. It will take an additional four to five years to complete your Ph. D. The amount of work and effort required to succeed in school while getting your degree is enormous.

How do I start being a physicist?

A degree in physics, applied physics, or a comparable science or engineering topic is required. A suitable postgraduate qualification, such as a master’s degree or PhD, may also be required. If you do not meet the entry requirements for a physics degree, you may be able to complete a 1-year physics foundation course.

Can I become a physicist in IIT?

The IITs do offer a Physics course, but it is an Integrated MS physics course, which means that after 5 years of study, you will be awarded a BS+MS degree in Physics.

Hence, we hope that this blog cleared your doubts regarding the career path of how to become a Physicist. Planning to study a degree in Physics abroad? Get in touch with our Leverage Edu counsellors and we will guide you in finding the best university for your chosen program and further help you draft an impressive application as well. Sign up for a free session with us today!

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