About the physics major

Physics is the study of matter and energy, from the smallest scale (elementary particles) to the largest (evolution of stars and galaxies). In this sense, physics is foundational to all other sciences.

As a physics student, you'll solve technical problems by learning to analyze complex relationships in mathematical terms. Because of this broad-based and flexible problem-solving background, physics graduates find employment in a wide variety of specialty areas and fields, some of which are not directly associated with physics.

Skills and abilities this major develops: data acquisition and analysis, math skills, problem solving, laboratory methods, computer skills, understanding theoretical concepts, and technical writing.

Engaged learning experiences

Regardless of your major or future career, engaged learning is vital to your present and future. It makes you more marketable for jobs and professional schools upon graduation, it enables you to build deeper connections with faculty and staff in your field of study, and it makes your learning personal by connecting your interests and values with the curriculum from your classes. Check out the three ideas below for places to get started, or learn more at IU Indianapolis’s Institute for Engaged Learning website.

Quick facts

Sample coursework

  • Calculus 1, 2, and 3
  • Differential equations
  • Heat electricity, and optics
  • Mechanics
  • Modern physics
  • Physical optics
  • Quantum mechanics
  • Thermal and statistical physics

Possible careers

  • Intelligence analyst
  • Patent examiner*
  • Postsecondary teacher*
  • Quality control and testing
  • Quantum technology scientist
  • Scientific programmer

*These careers require additional training or education.

Where could I work?

  • Dow AgroSciences
  • Eli Lilly and Company
  • Heart Center of Indiana
  • Lancaster Laboratories
  • Naval Criminal Investigative Services (NCIS)
  • Raytheon Company

Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Cluster

This major belongs to the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) cluster. The STEM cluster is the academic home of University College students pursuing majors in the sciences, technology, engineering, informatics, and computing. The STEM cluster partners with students on their academic advising and career plans to guide them into their degree-granting schools.

Learn about the STEM cluster

Learn about other clusters

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