Everything you need to know about the Physics major

Everything you need to know about the Physics major

The word “Physics” first appeared in the book “Physics” by Aristotle in ancient Greece, and Aristotle first used this term more than 300 years ago. Physics is a type of natural science that focuses on the study of matter, energy, space, and time, especially their respective properties and the interrelationships between them.

Physics is the knowledge of the laws of nature; more broadly, physics explores and analyzes the phenomena that occur in nature to understand its laws. The earliest modern physics laboratory was located at the Cavendish Laboratory at the University of Cambridge.


Physics Curriculum

The majors of the Department of Physics mainly include condensed matter physics, atomic, molecular and optical physics, high energy/particle physics, and astrophysics. Under each sub-major, according to different institutions, its specific branches are also different. Due to the early origin of physics majors, most colleges offer physics curriculum and it is a very popular subject.

The physics major is a highly specialized major, here are some ways to help you gain better placements for your university applications.


Gaining better placements for your university applications

  • Applicants for physics majors need to have relevant research experience
    Students majoring in sociology should master the basic theory and knowledge of social life and human behaviour, and have a certain foundation in economics and management; be familiar with social statistical analysis methods, and be proficient in using statistical software such as STATA and SPSS.
  • Request for a recommendation letter from a suitable person
    Having a recommendation letter from your teacher, mentor or lecturer is undoubtedly an important part of your resume. Someone who has worked with you, such as a mentor, will be a good and suitable person. Having worked with you, this person will know more about your academic capability and your character, which are all important points to mention in the recommendation letter. Having a recommendation letter can not only help admissions officers validate your skills, but it will also help you stand out from the rest of the applicants vying for the same spot.
  • Applying to your dream school with qualified grades
    Standard test scores such as GPA are not the key to getting accepted into your dream school, but having a good test score is the basic requirement. Selective schools may not outright publish the test score requirements but it is still important to know what the average test scores are that got students admitted. For example, University of Chicago has an average SAT score of 1520 and an average GPA score of 4.48. If you have anything below these, the chances of getting admitted drop significantly.

Selective Schools with ample resources for Physics

  • MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)

    The professors in MIT all possess outstanding resumes, and each has a few scientific achievements. The research work of the Department of Physics at MIT mainly contains these topics: Astrophysics, Atomic Physics, Condensed Matter and Plasma Physics, Experimental Nuclear Physics and Particle Physics, and Theoretical Nuclear and Particle Physics. Among the research directions of Atomic Physics, BEC (Bose-Einstein Condensation) is a major subject. Nearly half of the faculty research directions are related to this.

    In the direction of condensed matter, MIT mainly focuses on nanoscience, among which Dr. Mildred Dresselhaus is a great figure in the field of carbon nanotube research, with numerous honorary titles. Astrophysics is also a key research area at MIT, focusing on compact objects (white dwarf, neutron stars, and black holes) and cosmology.

  • Stanford University

    Stanford University is located near San Francisco, California.

    There are three majors related to physics at Stanford University: Applied Physics, Biophysics and Physics. Applied Physics is a large department with many research directions. Accelerator Physics is a key direction, mainly because Stanford has a powerful linear accelerator. In addition, Stanford also specialized in the fields of Condensed Matter and Materials Physics, Nanoscience and Technology, and Photonics.

  • University of California, Berkeley

    UC Berkeley is not the top few on the overall rankings, but in the field of physics, it is on par with Stanford. In terms of application difficulty, Berkeley has almost the same competitiveness as Stanford.

    The school has made breakthroughs in the three fields of Cosmology, Quantum Physics and Biophysics. The research directions of the Department of Physics include Condensed Matter Physics, Astrophysics, Biophysics, Particle Physics, Plasma and Nonlinear Physics. Condensed matter physics includes research directions such as superconducting quantum interference devices, nanostructures, molecular machinery, and high temperature superconductivity. In addition, Berkeley has the prestigious Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, which holds the status as a major international center for physics research.


Next, you may be interested in one of our physics students who got accepted into Duke University and University of Rochester.

Leave a Reply