Navigation + Search
Home / Info for High School Students / Physics Majors – Where did they go from here?

Physics Majors – Where did they go from here?

(updated June 25, 2018)

Classes of 1999 – 2018
Note 1 – students who went on to graduate school went to a physics graduate program unless indicated otherwise
Note 2 – x2 means that two students went to that institution (x2)
Amazon Software Development Engineer
Americorps (x2; 1 is planning to attend grad school in cognitive science, the other is planning on grad school in physics after working with elementary/ middle school kids in Buffalo, NY to explore science through experiments)
Avery Dennsion Corp.
Bloomberg LP
Brandeis (x2)
Blue Chip Consulting Group
Brown Univ. (x3)
Cal Tech (x1, 1 in Materials Science and 1 in Math following Fulbright in Dresden)
Cardinal Coated Glass Research Scientist/Safety Engr
Cambridge University in UK (1 on Churchill Scholarship & 1 on Gates Scholarship)
Case Western Reserve Univ.  (x21; Entrepreneurship, Electrical Engr.x2, Medical School x3, Business, Engineering & Management x2, Systems & Control, Biomedical Engr., STEP program, lab technician, 1xMS physics STEP, MATH x2, several Ph.D. Physics, 1 working at CWRU farm for a year and then applying to Ph.D. programs in philosophy, 1 working in a biomedical research group, 1 in MS in Aerospace Engr., 1 MS Materials Science)
Centric Consulting
Cleveland State (Masters Education (x2)
Cleveland Clinic
College of William and Mary for Ph.D. in Applied Science of Plasma Physics
Colorado State (x4)
Cornell (x5, 1 in Applied Physics)
Duke (x5, 1 lab manager, 1 in medical physics MS program and then Ph.D., 1 in Radiation Oncology pending medical school)
Eastman School of Music graduate program
Epic Healthcare
Epic Medical Systems (x2)
Federal Bureau of Investigations (Engineering Research Facility/Data Intercept Technology Unit)
GE Lighting
GE Aviation
General Dynamics C4S
Georgetown (x2)
Georgia Tech – computational finance
Harvard (x7, 1 in Applied Physics)
Horizon Science Academy (secondary school teaching)
IBM Burlington
Iowa Democratic Party
Japan – JET program for teaching English
John Carroll Univ. (Masters Education)
Johns Hopkins (x2, 1 in astrophysics)
Keithley Instruments/Tektronix Applications Engineer
Linguistics Ph.D.
Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (employment)
JP Morgan (strategic risk analytics)
Live Valuation LLC
Marconi Medical Systems.
Marquette University School of Law (patent law)
Medical Scribe in Washington DC, then medical school
MIT (x2, 1 in Elec.Engr. + 1 in Nuclear Engr.)
MIT Lincoln Laboratory
Microsoft in Redmond (x2)
NASA – Glenn Research Center (x2, one heading to medical school after a year or two)
NASA – Mission Planner for the International Space Station, Johnson Space Center, Houston TX
Neural Inspire (startup company in K-12 education by a graduating senior)
North Carolina State (x1, Nuclear Engineering)
Northwestern (x3, Applied Mathematics)

Ohio Lumex (in Twinsburg, OH)
Ohio State (x8, 1 in medical school, 1 in chemical physics, 1 in optometry, 1 in astronomy)
Open Systems International
Peace Corps (sub-Saharan Africa, Madagascar)
Penn State
Pixel Physics
Purdue (x3, 1 in Materials Engr.)
Quality Electrodynamics (x2)
RHI Refractories – R&D center in Austria
RPI (Applied Math)
Rice (x4, 1 in electrical & computer engr.)
Sogetti USA (IT consultant)
Stanford (x8, 2 in applied physics, 1 in Materials Engr, 1 after TimeOut in New Zealand.)
SunCentric – freelance software engineering
Switzerland – Master’s program
Tech Consultant
Temple Univ.
TTI Floor Care (Solon, OH maker of Hoover, Oreck &Dirt Devil vacuum cleaners)
Univ. Akron
Univ. Arizona (x2, 1 in optics)
UC Berkeley (x7 – 1 in Nuclear Engr., 1 in Materials Science and Eng., 1 in bioengineering, 1 in EE (NSF fellow), 1 in biophysics)
UC Irvine (x5)
UC Davis (x2)
UC Riverside
UC Santa Barbara (x3, 1 in Biophysics)
UC San Diego
Univ. of Amsterdam for Astronomy Ph.D.
Univ. Chicago (x2, 1 in Chemical Physics)
Univ. Colorado Boulder (x5, 1 in Astrophysical & Planetary Sciences)
Univ. Florida – mathematics
Univ. Hawaii Astronomy Ph.D. program (x2)
Univ. Illinois (x6, 1 in nuclear engr. & 1 in Aerospace Engr.)
Univ. Maryland (x5, 1 for Ph.D. in computer science, 1 in astronomy)
University of Massachusetts, Amherst for an MD/PhD
Univ. Michigan (x5, 1 in Applied Physics, 2 in Nuclear Physics Ph.D. program, 1 in CLimate & Space Sciences)
Univ. Minnesota  (x2)
University of Munich Germany for M-Environmental Sciences
University of Nebraska Lincoln (architectural/acoustic engineering) 
University of Pennsylvania (x3, 1 in Nursing, 1 in math)
University of Pittsburgh (astrophysics)
University of Rochester (x2)
University of South Florida (MS in Environmental Engr.)
Univ. Texas, A&M (math Ph.D.)
Univ. Texas, Austin (x3,1 for law school)
University of Toronto (astrophysics)
Univ. Utah
University of Victoria near Vancouver
Univ. Virginia (x3, 1 in pharmacology)
Univ. Washington (MATH)
Univ. Washington, Seattle (x5, after a year off for hiking in Appalachians, 1 in Earth & Space sciences, 1 in Astronomy)
University of Waterloo
Univ. Wisconsin (x3, 1 in nuclear engineering)
US Army – linguist in Arabic
US Navy – (x5, Officer’s Candidate School x2, nuclear engineer x3)
Vanderbilt – materials science and engineering
Visimax Thin Film Optical Coatings
Washington Univ. St. Louis (x3, 1 in biomedical engineering)
Woods Hole Institute

Since 1999, about 252 CWRU students have responded to our destination survey for graduating physics majors.  The number (and, in parenthesis, approximate %) headed to various types of positions is given below.

Graduate School in Physics or Astronomy                                    115  (45.6%)
Graduate School in Engineering  32  (14.2%)
Graduate School in Math    9   (3.6%)
Graduate School, other than physics, math, astronomy or engineering  12   (4.8%)
Professional School (medical, law, management, pharmacy, etc.)  16   (6.4%)
Education  10   (4.0%)
Industry/Corporate  40  (15.9%)
Government (including government research labs & military)  10   (4.0%)
Non-Profit    8   (3.2%)

The American Institute of Physics publishes national statistics about physics majors.  See Physics Bachelors: One Year After Degree. 
The year after receiving their degree, physics bachelors from the class of 2015 followed one of three main initial career paths:
    41 % were employed (26% private sector, 4% high school teaching, 4% college/university positions, 3% military, 2% government, 2% other
    32 % pursued graduate studies in physics (26%) or astronomy (6%), and
    22 % pursued graduate studies in other fields (10% engineering, 5% other science & math, 3% medicine & law, 2% other.
      5% unemployed and/or seeking employment

Page last modified: June 25, 2018