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 behaviour 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!
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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 phenomena. They mostly illustrate their knowledge and comprehension of the subject mathematically. These scientists concentrate on myriad areas of research, which ranges 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 a specialized knowledge of mathematical modelling of the tangible systems to explain and predict various natural phenomena.
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 Astrophysics||BSc Physics||Bachelor 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 Physics||Bachelor of Science (Biomolecular Physics)||Bachelor of Science in Molecular Biochemistry and Biophysics|
|Bachelor of Science (Honours) (Earth Science)||BSc (Hons) Theoretical Physics and Applied Mathematics||Bachelor of Science in Physics – Earth and Planetary Sciences (Climate Focus)|
|Bachelor of Science (Honours) (Atmospheric Science)||Bachelor of Science in Physics and Astronomy||Bachelor of Science in Nuclear Medicine Technology|
To apply for any of the aforementioned undergraduate program in Physics, here are the general eligibility requirements you must fulfil:
- 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:
- Monash University
- University of IOWA
- University of Virginia
- University of Manchester
- Royal Holloway, University of London
- University of Birmingham
- Iowa State University
- University of Warwick
- University of Leeds
- University of York
- University of Alberta
- University of Sheffield
- University of Aberdeen
- Northumbria University
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 the 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 Imaging||MSc in Fusion Energy||MSc by Research in Astrophysical and Geophysical Fluid Dynamics – Magnetohydrodynamic Experiments|
|MSc – Theoretical Physics||MSc Space Exploration Systems||Master of Applied Science in Astrophysics and Astronomy|
|MSc Physics of Materials||Master of Science in Nuclear, Plasma, and Radiological Engineering||MSc (Res) Particle Physics|
|Physics: Energy and the Environment MSc||MSc by Research Physics||Master 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 Physics||Doctor of Philosophy in Applied Physics||Doctor of Philosophy in High Energy Physics|
|Doctor of Philosophy in Physics – Condensed Matter Physics||Doctor of Philosophy in Physics – Materials Physics||Doctor 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:
- Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
- Stanford University
- Harvard University
- University of Cambridge
- University of Oxford
- University of California, Berkeley (UCB)
- California Institute of Technology (Caltech)
- Princeton University
- ETH Zurich (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology)
- University of Tokyo
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
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!