Physics (BS)

Physics is one of the oldest natural sciences, intersecting areas of mathematics, technology and even philosophy. The study of phys­ics not only seeks to unlock the underlying laws of the universe, but also leads to breakthroughs with real-world application. A vast discipline with loose boundaries encompassing a number of fields and subfields, physics is a critical piece of the interdisci­plinary solutions necessary to tackle the major problems of today.

In the Department of Physics at Ohio State, our faculty and students explore a number of dynamic subfields including Astrophysics; Atomic, Molecular and Optical Experiment and Theory; Biophysics; Condensed Matter Experiment and Theory; High Energy Experiment and Theory; Nuclear Experiment and Theory; and Physics Education.

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Degree Outcomes

Degree Outcomes

  • Physics majors score higher on the LSAT (Law School Admissions Test) than any other major
  • Physics majors score higher on the MCAT (medical school entrance exam) than any other major
  • Several of our physics alumni have been hired to work at non-technical companies, such as JPMorgan Chase and Nationwide Insurance, because of their critical thinking and problem-solving skills
  • Physics has one of the higher average starting salaries at $50,700, mid-career average salary is $105,100
Student in lab


All physics and engineering physics students take the same core physics courses. Courses beyond the core are tailored to individual programs. Recent Ohio State graduates have chosen many different careers, including physics, engineering, financial analysis, law, medicine, secondary education and more. Others choose to pursue a PhD in physics, which gives them top consideration for research and college-level teaching positions.

courses you might take:

1250H: Honors Physics: Mechanics and Conservation Laws; Special Relativity

Incoming physics majors are encouraged to take Physics 1250H during their first term at Ohio State. This course is an in depth study of classical mechanics including Newton's laws, conservation laws, and introduction to special relativity. Students are encouraged to speak to a physics advisor if they'd like to discuss their eligibility for this course.

Physics 5500H: Honors Quantum Mechanics I

The Department of Physics offers both honors and traditional versions of Quantum Mechanics. The Honors Quantum Mechanics course is a rigorous course recommended for students who are intending graduate study in physics and who have a strong interest in quantum mechanics. This is a yearlong sequence.

Physics 5400H: Honors Intermediate Electricity and Magnetism I

The Honors Electricity & Magnetism course is a rigorous course recommended for students who are intending graduate study in physics and who have a strong interest in E&M. This is a year long sequence.

Physics 5700: Advanced Physics Laboratory

During their senior year, students in the program will take an Advanced Physics Laboratory course in which they will choose three classical experiments to carry out. These experiments include the Milikin oil drop, muon lifetime, double-slit, and more. Emphasis is on experimental techniques, analysis of collected data, and formal presentation of experimental results.

Beyond the Classroom


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