The Basics

Careers in Physics

How does one become a physicist?

The first requirement to be a physicist is to have an inquisitive mind. Albert Einstein (1879-1955) himself admitted, “I’m like a child. I always ask the simplest questions.” It seems as though the simplest questions always appear to be the most difficult to answer.

These days, becoming a physicist requires quite a bit of schooling along with that inquisitive mind. In high school, a strong academic background including mathematics, English, and science is necessary in order to enter college with a strong knowledge base. Once you are a physics major in college you will take courses such as classical mechanics, electricity and magnetism, optics, thermodynamics, modern physics, and calculus in order to obtain a bachelor’s degree.

To become a research physicist, an advanced degree is required. This means attending graduate school, performing research, writing a thesis, and eventually obtaining a Ph.D. (Doctor of Philosophy).


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