Why should I study physics?

Bachelor in Physics

Table of Contents

Why study physics?

Do you want to explore and understand what holds the world together inside? You can get to the bottom of this question by studying physics. But it is not just the fascination for the subject that makes the Bachelor in Physics so popular. During your studies, you will learn to think analytically, to perform complex calculations and to use IT. Qualities that promise you good career prospects in business.

What study options do I have?

Universities in particular offer physics studies as a strongly theoretical subject. At universities of applied sciences, physics is usually part of more practical courses such as electrical engineering or physical engineering. Physics is also only possible as a partial subject in distance learning or dual studies. Another option is to study at a private university. The table gives you an initial overview of your study options:

university

Universities are the only place where you can do a pure physics degree. At all other universities, the subject of physics is only an auxiliary science of another course of study. At the university, on the other hand, you concentrate fully on physics. Teacher training courses are also possible at universities. In the teacher training course, you will take a further subject in addition to physics, usually mathematics.

Alternatives: University of applied sciences, distance learning, private university

Outside of the university, studying physics is only possible as part of another subject. Physics is part of the curriculum in the Bachelor's degree in electrical engineering, mechanical engineering or chemistry. These courses are offered by universities of applied sciences and distance learning universities. Jacobs University is the only private university to have a bachelor's degree in physics in its program.

Study abroad

The curriculum for your physics degree is very tight, so that there is hardly any time for a semester abroad. Alternatively, you can complete your entire degree abroad. The subject of physics is possible at almost every broad-based university worldwide, usually under the name "Physics". The international Bachelor-Master system ensures that the recognition of at least one physics degree completed in another European country is unproblematic in Germany.

Am I suitable for a bachelor's degree in physics?

The bachelor's degree in physics is demanding. A very good knowledge of mathematics is required to be successful in your studies. A talent for abstract and analytical thinking is also important. The proportion of students who drop out of their bachelor's degree in physics is particularly high at 50%. The reasons for this are mostly the heavy workload and the high level of the course content. In order to successfully master your bachelor's degree in physics, you should have a lot of stamina.

Formal requirements

For a bachelor's degree in physics, you need a school leaving certificate with a university entrance qualification. At universities, the Abitur or the subject-specific higher education entrance qualification is a prerequisite; In addition, the universities also have places available for professionally qualified people without a high school diploma. In this case, you can apply for a bachelor's degree in physics with a master’s degree or corresponding professional training and work experience. Another access restriction can be a numerus clausus (NC). You then need a certain final grade so that the university allows you to do a Bachelor in Physics. However, since there are usually enough places for all applicants, an admission restriction by an NC for the Physics Bachelor is rather rare.

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What can I expect from the physics bachelor's degree?

You can study physics as a 1-subject bachelor or as a 2-subject bachelor in combination with another subject. The 2-subject bachelor's degree in physics is common when studying to become a teacher. If you take a pure physics degree, the content goes deeper and you complete more internships and experiments. The physics course ends with the bachelor thesis. Most of the graduates then take up a master’s degree.

Course content

The contents of the physics bachelor's degree can be divided into the sub-areas theoretical physics, experimental physics and mathematics. These are the course contents in detail:

Theoretical physics:

  • mechanics
  • Electrodynamics
  • Quantum mechanics
  • thermodynamics
  • Statistical Mechanics

Experimental physics:

  • Mechanics, vibrations, waves, acoustics
  • Electricity, magnetism
  • optics
  • Thermodynamics
  • Atomic Physics, Nuclear and Particle Physics

Mathematics:

  • Differential calculus, geometry and equation
  • Vector and matrix calculations

Specialization opportunities

The classical physics course at the university should convey the subject as comprehensively and generalistically as possible. In the later course of your studies, however, you will set a focus with your elective area. You can often choose from these subjects in the elective area:

  • Computer science
  • biology
  • chemistry
  • geophysics
  • meteorology

In some physics bachelor's degree programs, you can specialize right from the start. These courses are eligible:

  • astrophysics
  • biophysics
  • Building physics
  • technical Physics

Which degrees can I get?

During your studies you will work on numerous exercise sheets, write exams and carry out experiments. Their ratings flow into your final grade. In addition, you will write your bachelor thesis in the last semester. In this you will deal with a physical problem independently on around 40 pages. You will present your results in a colloquium. The university will then award you a Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) degree in physics.

In the 2-subject bachelor's degree or in the teacher training course, the degree is usually the Bachelor of Arts (B.A.), less often the Bachelor of Education (B.Ed.). You can often finish your physics studies to become a teacher with the state examination. Engineering courses at universities of applied sciences, some of which deal with physics, often end with a Bachelor of Engineering (B.Eng.).

After the physics bachelor

Physics graduates generally have good career prospects despite their rather theoretical studies. During your studies you have proven that you can solve complex problems. Your knowledge of mathematics and IT are another advantage. Physicists find jobs in laboratories, universities and in the private sector. For a smooth start to your career, you should consider studying for a master’s degree after completing your bachelor’s degree in physics.

Which professional fields are suitable for me after graduation?

You can use your knowledge from your physics studies in a wide variety of professional fields. In addition to the obvious work in laboratories of institutes and universities, other branches of the private sector come into question, for example:

  • Technical industry
  • pharmacy
  • chemistry
  • biology
  • Information technology
  • communication
  • Finance and banking
  • Business consulting

How do you start your career?

If you are aiming for a career in science and research, good grades in your studies are crucial for an easy career start. A doctorate is often a prerequisite for an academic career. In the private sector, starting a career with a bachelor's degree in physics can be difficult. Many companies prefer physicists with a master's degree. You can gain valuable work experience through internships during your bachelor’s degree, which you can then use to score points in the application process as a bachelor’s degree. You will also make your first contacts in business through internships.

What career prospects do I have?

The physicist's talents are in demand in a wide range of industries. However, not all content from the course can be transferred directly to a professional activity. Your career prospects will improve if you specialize in a certain area or if you add a master's degree to your bachelor's degree. If you have studied physics to become a teacher, you are meeting a high demand by choosing this subject, because physics teachers are desperately wanted.

What salary do i earn?

The salary for a bachelor's degree in physics varies greatly depending on the position and industry. The starting salary after the bachelor's degree is around € 3,500 gross per month. If you have also completed a master’s degree, you can expect an initial gross monthly salary of around € 4,500.