Our website mainly covers physics-related opportunities – both graduate school and jobs – our area of expertise.
If you’re looking for information on PhD programs in the humanities, professional schools, or non-technical career fields, we encourage you to search for other WashU websites that might help!
First off: What is graduate school and why should YOU think about going to it?
Want to be like Marie Curie, Albert Einstein, or Neil deGrasse Tyson? After you finish your bachelor’s, apply directly to a Ph.D. program!
Going through a Ph.D. degree program is the primary way to learn how to discover new laws of physics and build new and interesting contraptions using physics. For 5-6 years, you engage in independent research projects in a lab (experiment) or with pen/paper (theory) under the guidance of a university professor. You can think of graduate school more like an apprenticeship than actual school. By the end, you should have the skills and know-how to start pursuing your own questions about the universe. Best of all: you get paid to get a Ph.D.
The two main jobs that allow you to lead your own independent projects are being a professor at a university or being a research scientist in a national lab. 99.99% of the time, you need a Ph.D. to lead your own research team.
If you want to go into a different line of work (or even just work as a lower-level staff scientist at a national lab), there’s plenty you can do with just a bachelor’s degree. Please see our guides below!
On our website:
- How to prepare for graduate school in physics and related fields (a year-by-year checklist for freshmen through seniors!)
- Advice about finding opportunities and applying for them
- Employment and other ideas for people with a physics degree
Did you know, physics majors usually rank as the highest or second-highest scorers on the MCAT and LSAT?