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Degree Overview: Bachelor of Science (B.S.) Degree in Math and Physics

Majors Overview April 1, 2015

Get information about a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree program in Math and Physics and its education requirements, coursework, career choices, job and wage outlook, and continuing education choices.

Bachelor of Science (B.S.) Degree Programs in Math and Physics

Schools offer interdisciplinary bachelor’s degree programs devised for students who like both physics and math. The primary focus of a B.S. in Math and Physics is typically on the fundamental laws of physics via practical lab experiments along with basic concepts in math through courses in mathematical analysis.

Graduates can pursue employment in various areas, such as scientific and engineering fields. They may also opt to join graduate school to broaden their career choices, especially as a master’s or Ph.D. degree is sought by employers for many math and physics jobs.

Education Requirements

High-level science and math courses taken during high school would benefit students interested in the B.S. in Math and Physics. Students seeking admittance to some degree programs may be required to sit for placement exams in science and mathematics or qualify for a specific level of classes before they can gain enrollment as a math and physics major.

Coursework

Coursework is math- and science-heavy, with core coursework likely to include the study of electricity, apart from chemistry and computer programming. Core coursework may cover topic areas such as:

•Computer programming
•Chemistry
•Differential equations
•Calculus
•Classical mechanics
•Thermodynamics
•Quantum mechanics

Career Choices

Armed with a B.S. in Math and Physics, students can pursue entry-level careers in various fields, including business or engineering; they can even seek scientist occupations. There are multiple fields in scientific and engineering areas available to graduates of these bachelor’s degree programs (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). They can seek jobs in fields such as:

•Atmospheric science
•Aerospace engineering
•Industrial engineering

Job and Wage Outlook

Over the 2012 – 2022 decade, job growth rates of seven percent have been predicted for aerospace engineers (BLS). During the same decade, industrial engineers are expected to witness five percent growths, while atmospheric scientists, including meteorologists, could see ten percent job growths. In May 2012, aerospace engineers brought home an average annual wage of $103,720, while industrial engineers and atmospheric scientists earned respective average annual wages of $78,860 and $89,260.

Continuing Education Choices

Schools typically offer master’s degree level programs in either physics or mathematics. They may offer these in combination with astronomy, or as options in applied mathematics, such as algorithms or computer engineering, pure mathematics, or in combination with astronomy. Program coursework may directly entail Ph.D. programs that more commonly offer combined math and physics choices.

Students who seek science- and math-related careers often need to complete higher degrees, such as a Ph.D. or master’s degree. Interested students may also find doctorate degrees in math and physics, wherein they may choose a choice of concentration in physics or applied math, and may be required to complete a dissertation.

In these degree programs, 30 credit hours beyond the master’s degree level may have to be completed, or up to a total of 90 credit hours, including courses such as mathematical methods and functional analysis.

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