Physics (B.S./B.A.)

FAST FACTS ›

  • Our graduates go on to graduate school in physics, medical physics, engineering, biochemistry, as well as to law and medical school.
  • You can choose to get a Bachelor of Science or a Bachelor of Arts in physics.
  • The Bachelor of Arts is an excellent preparation for law school, especially if you are interested in intellectual property or patent law.
  • All our students do research in astrophysics, atmospheric and space physics, biophysics, condensed matter and materials physics, and theoretical quantum physics.
ABOUT.

Physics is all about the behavior of matter and energy, and every day is spent looking deeper and deeper into its fundamentals. Classical physics includes mechanics, heat and thermodynamics, electricity and magnetism, acoustics and optics. Modern physics is concerned with the study of atoms and molecules; atomic nuclei; elementary particles; and the properties of liquids, crystalline solids and other materials — as well as the areas of relativity, cosmology and the large-scale structure of the universe. Clemson’s physics program examines each. You can choose to receive a Bachelor of Science or a Bachelor of Arts — the difference is with the Bachelor of Science you can choose to take a biophysics concentration or an emphasis area in a science or engineering, while the Bachelor of Arts requires more liberal arts classes and includes a minor in any of a large number of subjects. 

CLASSES.

What you'll study:

From your first semester on campus, you’ll be diving into physics, chemistry and calculus classes. If you choose to receive a Bachelor of Science in physics, you’ll choose from seven emphasis areas or focus on a concentration in biophysics, which is a great prep for med school or graduate work in the biological sciences.

The Bachelor of Science emphasis areas include 

  • chemistry, 
  • computer science, 
  • engineering, 
  • environmental engineering, 
  • geology, 
  • mathematical sciences, 
  • and physics and astronomy.

Biophysics Concentration (B.S.)
If you’re thinking about going to medical school or if you want to do graduate work in biological sciences, the biophysics concentration offers excellent preparation. It allows you the flexibility to select courses in chemistry, biological sciences, genetics, physics and mathematics.

Bachelor of Arts in Physics Dual Degree
If you elect to receive a Bachelor of Arts in physics, you can also choose to pursue a dual major program with physics teaching in the School of Education. This is the best way to prepare to be a physical science teacher.

BEYOND THE CLASSROOM.


As a physics student, you’ll do research in the lab and in the field — at observatories and even national facilities such as neutron sources.  

Internships and Research Projects:

TRAVEL:
Each summer, several undergraduate physics majors travel to Paderno, Italy, to study theoretical and experimental surface physics. They engage in hands-on experimental training at the Surface Physics Laboratory of Elettra in Trieste.
ROCKETS:
For several years, Professor Miguel Larsen has guided Clemson students in NASA-funded research at the University of Alaska Geophysical Institute’s Poker Flat Research Range, Alaska’s center for arctic space and atmospheric research.
RESEARCH:
Join one of our numerous undergraduate opportunities and faculty-led research teams in the areas of astrophysics, biophysics, advanced materials, nanomaterials, surface and interface nanosciences, solid-state matter and surface structure.
IONS:
We have a world-class user facility that delivers highly charged ions to targets of many kinds and purposes.

Connect with Other Students:

  • Society of Physics Students
  • American Physical Society
CAREERS.

What are students doing at graduation?*

12%

Employed

88%

Grad School

0%

Seeking Employment

0%

Other

Where are students headed at graduation?*

Recent employers and job titles*

  • Lexicon Pharmaceuticals — Lab Assistant
  • Naval Surface Warfare Center — Analyst
  • General Electric — Systems Engineer

Recent graduate schools and sought degree types*

  • Washington University, St. Louis — Ph.D.
  • University of Wisconsin, Madison — Ph.D.
  • Georgia Tech — Master’s

Common Career Areas**

  • Astronomy/Astrophysics
    • Research
    • Writing
    • Public Relations
  • Biophysics
    • Research and Development
  • Condensed Matter
    • Research and Development
  • Geophysics
    • Research and Development
    • Environmental Consulting
    • Law
  • Administration
    • Medical/Health Physics
    • Research and Development
    • Clinical Service
    • Monitoring
    • Enforcement
  • Nuclear Physics
    • Research and Development
    • Instrumentation
    • Law
    • Quality Control
    • Operations and Maintenance
  • Particle/High Energy Physics
    • Research and Development
    • Instrumentation
    • Operations and Maintenance
  • Science Education
*Represents only Clemson University graduates who completed Michelin Career Center surveys from 2009 to 2011.
**Used w/permission from Univ. of Tennessee.
FIND OUT MORE.

Have more questions or want more information? Fill out the form below, which goes directly to the following department contact. If you’d also like to receive general University information from Clemson’s admissions office, please follow the link to the right and sign up to join our mailing list.

Christopher Porter, CES Undergraduate Recruitment Director
864-656-7870 — cporter@clemson.edu