WCIDWMM - Physics

What Can I Do With a Major in Physics

Physics is the study of matter and energy at all scales, from the sub-nuclear to the dimensions of the universe. It is the fundamental science – all other sciences and technologies rely on the principles of physics. Physics involves observing and understanding natural phenomena. It is evident in the world around us in everything from the seasons, the motion of objects, the flight of birds, the night sky and the weather, to lasers, electronics and the technology we rely on today.

The U of L offers a comprehensive Physics major in the Department of Physics & Astronomy, culminating in the completion of a Bachelor of Science degree. The foundation of the program is built in the first two years by a study of mechanics, waves, electricity and magnetism, optics, thermal physics, and modern physics. In the third and fourth years, students deepen their understanding of the fundamentals and study more advanced and specialized areas. Faculty members also ensure that students are provided with a wide view of physics, exposing them to all areas of the subject and describing a wide variety of applications.

Students interested in Physics can complete:

  • Bachelor of Science
  • Bachelor of Arts and Science
  • Bachelor of Science/Bachelor of Education
  • Bachelor of Science/Bachelor of Management

 

For more information contact the Faculty of Arts and Science:

https://www.uleth.ca/artsci/physics-astronomy

Skills

  • Ability to Work Independently
  • Able to Concentrate
  • Analytical
  • Aptitude for Science
  • Communication
  • Computer Knowledge
  • Decisive
  • Determined
  • Enjoy Working with Data
  • Imaginative & Curious
  • Logical
  • Methodical 

     

  • Objective
  • Passion for Learning
  • Patient & Persistent
  • Problem-Solving Skills
  • Self-Motivated & Responsible
  • Teamwork
  • Writing

     

Work Environment 

Graduates have found careers in a variety of organizations and business sectors, including working within universities/research institutions, observatories, planetariums, science museums, non-profit foundations, aerospace organizations, scientific supply companies, provincial and national government organizations, consulting firms, weather bureaus, aeronautics and space administrations and laboratories. Graduates have also pursued careers related to biotechnology (e.g. pharmaceutical companies and hospitals) and industry (e.g. petroleum companies and atomic/nuclear labs). A major in Physics also provides an excellent foundation for pursuing education (high school or university), engineering, medicine or dentistry. Graduates from this discipline have also gone on to work in law, journalism and management. 

 

Key Areas of Specialization:


Acoustics, Astrophysics, Atomic & Molecular Physics, Biophysics, Condensed Matter Physics, Cosmology, Geophysics, High-Energy Physics, Medical Physics, Nanoscience, Nuclear & Particle Physics, Soft Matter Physics

Career Possibilities 

These jobs are normally intended for new graduates and require 0 to 2 years of experience. It is important to note that many entry level positions require some related experience or demonstrated ability to perform job-related tasks. Even those positions that do not require experience will still prefer an experienced candidate, if one is available.

  • Controller Integration Engineer
  • Electrical Engineer
  • Hydrometric Technician/Technologist
  • Junior Civil/Structural Engineer
  • Junior Electrical Designer/Drafter
  • Junior Electrical Engineer
  • Junior Hydrologist
  • Junior Process Engineer
  • Process Engineer
  • Production Engineering
  • Project Coordinator
  • Software Engineer
  • System Engineer - Printing System
  • Technical Professional

These jobs generally require extensive, relevant work experience and/or further education.

  • Aerospace Engineer
  • Agriculture Engineer
  • Air Traffic Controller
  • Aircraft Maintenance Technician
  • Aircraft Structure Technician
  • Alternative Energy Technologist
  • Archaeometrist
  • Architect
  • Architectural Technologist
  • Astronaut
  • Astronomer
  • Astrophysicist
  • Atmospheric Scientist
  • Audiologist
  • Audiometric Technician
  • Avionics Technician
  • Biophysicist
  • Biomedical Engineer
  • Chemical Engineer
  • Chemical Engineering Technologist
  • Chemist
  • Civil Engineer
  • Civil Engineering Technologist
  • Chemist
  • Clinical Scientist
  • Electric Engineering Technologist
  • Electrical Power Plant Operator
  • Electro Neurophysiology Technologist
  • Engineering Design & Drafting Technologist
  • Engineering Physicist
  • Environmental Engineer
  • Ergonomist
  • Exploration Geophysicist
  • Food Scientist
  • Gemmologist
  • Instrument Technician
  • Instrumentation Engineering Technologist
  • Laser Fusion Scientist
  • Magnetic Resonance Technologist
  • Mechanical Engineer
  • Medical Doctor
  • Medical Physics
  • Meteorologist
  • Molecular Physicist
  • Oceanographer
  • Petroleum Engineer
  • Petroleum Engineering Technician
  • Plastic Processing Technician
  • Remote Sensing Technician
  • Robotics Technician
  • Secondary School Teacher
  • Solar Energy Physicist
  • University Professor

On average, people change their careers three to five times in their lifetime. So, no matter what major you choose, you may still be interested in opportunities totally unrelated to your program of study. We encourage you to be open to all possibilities! Your undergraduate degree can be a springboard for other educational pursuits, and your transferable skills and experience can prepare you to work in a multitude of settings.

  • Agrologist
  • Athletic Therapist
  • Banker
  • Biochemist
  • Biologist
  • Biomedical Engineering Technologist
  • Biotechnologist
  • Cardiology Technologist
  • Career & Technology Teacher
  • Chiropractor
  • Combined Laboratory & X-Ray Technologist
  • Communication Technologist
  • Computer Engineer
  • Computer Network Administrator
  • Computer Programmer
  • Computer System Analyst
  • Database Analyst
  • Dentist
  • Diagnostic Medical Sonographer
  • Dietitian
  • Drafting Technician
  • Electric Motor System Technician
  • Electrical Contractor
  • Field Heat Treatment Technician
  • Field Production Operator
  • Financial Planner
  • Forensic Laboratory Analyst
  • Geographer
  • Geological & Geophysical Technologist
  • Geologist
  • Geomatics Engineer/Technologist
  • Geotechnical Engineer
  • Helicopter Pilot
  • Human Ecologist
  • Industrial Designer
  • Industrial Engineer
  • Information System Consultant
  • Interior Designer
  • Kinesiologist
  • Land Surveyor
  • Landscape Architect
  • Lawyer
  • Mathematician
  • Microbiologist
  • Millwright
  • Mining Engineer
  • Nano Engineer/Technologist
  • Nuclear Medicine Technologist
  • Occupational Health and Safety Advisor/Officer
  • Oceanographer
  • Optometrist
  • Pathologist
  • Pharmacologist
  • Physician
  • Planetarium Guide or Lecturer
  • Public Health Inspector
  • Pyrotechnician
  • Radar Project Manager Radiation Therapist
  • Radiological Technologist
  • Renewable Energy Manager
  • Recording Engineer
  • Satellite Engineer
  • Science Communicator
  • Seismic Worker
  • Science Journalist
  • Structural Engineer
  • TV Science Advisor

Useful Resources

Add Value to Your Degree

The more you do to differentiate yourself, the more likely you are to succeed in building a fulfilling career path for yourself. It takes more than just attending classes to stand out amongst other students and new graduates. Become an explorer! Try new things, challenge yourself, build unique skills, and connect with diverse people.

Use the ideas listed below to help you brainstorm experiences to add value to your degree. For more ideas on experiential opportunities at the University of Lethbridge, view the Student Experience Transcript. 

Making connections with others is one of the best ways to learn about the world of work and gain access to career-building opportunities. Making meaningful connections with people is often called building a network.  Building these connections can give you access to jobs before they are posted, or to jobs that are not publicly posted. Employers like to hire people they have already built relationships with, and are more likely to hire people who have been recommended by trusted colleagues and friends.

Start building your network by attending Career Fairs and other on-campus recruitment events found on the Career Services Events page within the Career Bridge portal. Get introduced to career professionals in a welcoming and approachable way through uLethbridge Connect at Ten Thousand Coffees. Consider joining a professional association to help you find opportunities to meet experienced professionals in your field, find training opportunities, be paired with a mentor, or get involved in committees or other volunteer positions.

Co-operative Education allows you to earn income through real-world work experience that is related to your academic studies. Completing a co-op work term provides you with an opportunity to build your skills in a practical work setting, network with employers, and increase your marketability after graduation.

 

Co-operative education is available to undergraduate and graduate-level students within a variety of programs in the Faculty of Arts & Science, Dhillon School of Business, Faculty of Fine Arts, and Faculty of Health Sciences. Learn more about eligibility requirements and how co-op works here.

The Applied Studies program offers you the opportunity to earn academic credit for learning gained through employment or volunteer experiences. Placements provide skill development and experiential learning related to your studies by integrating principles learned in the classroom with practical situations encountered on the job.

Participating in clubs and running for student government are great ways to build employability skills, learn how to work with others, and demonstrate your leadership abilities.

The University of Lethbridge Students’ Union is committed to building a rewarding and enriching experience for undergraduate students. They have positions for Executive Council members and General Assembly members, as well as an extensive list of ratified clubs, offering opportunities to get involved in areas of interest and in leadership positions.

The Graduate Students’ Association’s mandate is to identify and advocate for graduate student needs. They have GSA Executive positions, GSA Council positions, and a mentorship program for incoming students.  

 

The University of Lethbridge provides many different opportunities to gain research experience in addition to the required courses in your degree program.

An independent study is a chance for you to design your own research project for course credit under the supervision of a professor of your choice. Course work usually requires independent library research and/or field work and/or a major term paper. For more information, meet with an Academic Advisor and the Department or Faculty member under whom you wish to pursue an Independent Study.

You can also opt to complete an Undergraduate Thesis Course. This will allow you to earn an “Honours Thesis” designation on your degree and is a great springboard into graduate studies and professional programs. Fourth-year standing and a cumulative GPA of 3.30 is required to complete an Honours Thesis; it is also helpful to have previous research experience like Independent Studies. For more information, contact the Department or Faculty member under whom you with to pursue your Honours Thesis.

The Office of Research and Innovation Services has a wealth of information on additional research opportunities for students, including Student Funding, Student Research Positions, AGILITY, and events. The School of Graduate Studies has information on Research Opportunities/Graduate Student Positions and GA/Co-op/Internship Opportunities. If you are interested in building your research portfolio, do not miss out on these opportunities!

International experience builds valuable employability skills like adaptability, multi-cultural awareness, and the initiative to take on new challenges. Gain an international perspective by participating in Education Abroad opportunities like semester exchanges, study tours, field studies, work-study tours, internships, and more.  Learn about international careers and resources through MyWorldAbroad (available within the Career Bridge portal). 

 

 

 

Volunteerism is an excellent way to demonstrate your current skills, build new skills, and grow your network. If you are not sure where to get started, connect with UVolunteer, the University of Lethbridge’s partnership with Volunteer Lethbridge. If you already volunteer, UVolunteer can provide you with a framework to organize and document your volunteer work. If you are not sure how or where to get involved, UVolunteer can help you find volunteer opportunities that meet your needs and the needs of your community. Also consider volunteering with a local Board, Commission, or Committee