Physics Careers

Goshen College Alumni

Here are current positions held by some physics alumni:

  • Civil Engineer
  • Professor of Physics
  • Systems Engineer
  • High School Teacher
  • Hazardous Materials Specialist
  • Research Technologist
  • Systems Designer
  • Electrical Engineer
  • Assistant Band Director
  • Assistant Librarian
  • Biomechanist

  • Lab Technician
  • Design Engineer
  • Business Owner
  • Lecturer in Environmental Engineering
  • Director of Development
  • Research Technician in Neurobiology Lab
  • Web Developer
  • Victim Offender Reconciliation Program
  • Pharmaceutical Research
  • Chemical Engineer

Overview

From the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science:

Physics is all around us. It is in the electric light you turn on in the morning; the car you drive to work; your wristwatch, cell phone, CD player, radio, and that big plasma TV set you got for Christmas. It makes the stars shine every night and the sun shine every day, and it makes a baseball soar into the stands for a home run.

Physics is the science of matter, energy, space, and time. It explains ordinary matter as combinations of a dozen fundamental particles (quarks and leptons), interacting through four fundamental forces. It describes the many forms of energy—such as kinetic energy, electrical energy, and mass—and the way energy can change from one form to another. It describes a malleable space-time and the way objects move through space and time.

There are many fields of physics, for example: mechanics, electricity, heat, sound, light, condensed matter, atomic physics, nuclear physics, and elementary particle physics. Physics is the foundation of all the physical sciences—such as chemistry, material science, and geology—and is important for many other fields of human endeavor: biology, medicine, computing, ice hockey, television…the list goes on and on.

About the Coursework

The physics department at Goshen College prepares responsible physicists, engineers, and teachers for academic, research, and industrial positions. Student involvement in active research within the department fosters an understanding of the philosophical and structural concepts of physics as well as an ability to apply the science itself. The department consciously promotes an active participation in the wider scientific and engineering communities.

The major in physics offers two tracks: standard and biophysics. The department also offers a 3-2 pre-engineering program, where the student spends three years at GC and two and a half years at an engineering school, earning both a bachelor of arts and a bachelor of science degree.

Possible courses include:

  • Thermodynamics
  • Analytical Mechanics
  • Electronics
  • Quantum Theory

  • Research Seminar
  • Classical Field Theory
  • Molecular Cell Biology
  • Statistical Mechanics

For a full list of requirements and courses, refer to the course catalog.

Certification for secondary education in physics or physical sciences is also available. See the education department for more information.

Possible Career Paths

Upon graduation, the physics major is prepared for graduate study in physics or engineering. Other possibilities include science secondary education or the combination of a physics baccalaureate degree with a master’s degree in business administration, as background for a management career in technology and engineering industries.

Study of physics also provides the training and experience for careers in biophysics, neurosciences, and many careers beyond the standard boundaries of science and engineering.

The list below provides several career options, but it is not exhaustive. Please note that some positions require additional education.

  • Acoustics Physicist
  • Aerodynamist
  • Applied Physicist
  • Astronomer
  • Astrophysicist
  • Biophysicist
  • Civil Engineer
  • Computational Scientist
  • Computer Programmer
  • Engineer
  • Forensic Scientist
  • Geophysical Surveyor
  • Government Policy Analyst
  • High School Teacher
  • Laboratory Director
  • Laboratory Technician
  • Laser Engineer
  • Lawyer, Technology Specialist
  • Medical Devices Designer

  • Medical Physicist
  • Nuclear Physicist
  • Photo Optic Technician
  • Physician
  • Physicist
  • Project Manager
  • Professor
  • Quality Control Engineer
  • Research Assistant
  • Research Scientist
  • Research & Development Engineer
  • Satellite Data Analyst
  • Software Engineer
  • Solid State Physicist
  • Systems Analyst
  • Technical Consultant
  • Technical Writer
  • Theoretical Physicist

Additional Resources