An undergraduate student working in a physics lab
Lewis College of Science and Letters

Physics

Learn how to use advanced mathematics and computing in creative and insightful ways, get hands-on experience using scientific apparatus, and complete projects in electronics and computational physics through Illinois Tech’s physics programs.

More in Physics

Illinois Tech’s Department of Physics offers all the advantages of studying in a program at a small, private school, but with a global reach. It provides a rigorous, academically demanding education that is relevant and grounded in real-world experience. Students can take advantage of personal attention from faculty advisers and the opportunity to do important research during their undergraduate years. The faculty works and conducts research all over the world, including at CERN, the world’s largest particle physics laboratory, and at world-class facilities near Chicago such as Argonne National Laboratory and Fermilab.

Career Pathways

Physics at Illinois Tech is not easy. But when you finish the program, you’ll find that many different graduate school and professional options await. Illinois Tech physics graduates learn skills that can be used in many other areas—like finance, law, business, or engineering. These include quantitative skills, analytical thinking skills, and problem-solving skills—skills that are in high demand. These skills help our students gain admission to top graduate schools and get jobs at places like NASA, Google, IBM, Argonne, Fermilab, University of Chicago, Textura, Alcatel-Lucent, and more.  Possible career and educational pathways include:

Most people who go into the STEM workforce after graduating with a bachelor’s degree in physics work in engineering, according to the American Institute of Physics and Society of Physics Students. Common job titles include systems engineer, electrical engineer, design engineer, mechanical engineer, process technician, engineering technician, and many more.

The second most common area of employment for people with a bachelor’s degree in physics is in computer hardware and software, according to the American Institute of Physics and Society of Physics Students. This includes software engineers, programmers, web developers, information technology consultants, systems analysts, technical support staff, and analysts.

According to the American Institute of Physics, about 10 percent of people who earn a bachelor’s degree in physics work for a national laboratory or government facility as a scientist or technician. Sample titles include accelerator systems operator, advanced technology engineer, engineering physicist, laboratory technician, radar developer, and systems engineer.

Other research and technical opportunities for people with a bachelor’s degree include research assistant, research associate, research technician, lab technician, lab assistant, accelerator operator, and physical sciences technician.

According to the American Institute of Physics, of the people who graduated with a bachelor’s degree in physics in 2017 and 2018 who responded to a survey, 48 percent went to graduate school. Of those, 60 percent studied physics or astronomy; 19 percent studied engineering; and 21 percent studied something else: mathematics, medicine, education, physical sciences, computer science, social sciences, law, business, humanities, or another topic.

Featured Faculty

Department of Physics faculty at Illinois Tech are on the forefront of teaching and research in areas of modern physics, including nanoelectrofuel battery technology, neutrino oscillations, superconducting radio frequency cavities, and more. 

Daniel Kaplan
Professor of Physics Director, IIT Center for Accelerator and Particle Physics
Linda Spentzouris
Professor of Physics
Bryce Littlejohn
Assistant Professor of Physics
Sally Laurent-Muehleisen
Senior Lecturer of Physics
Pavel Snopok
Associate Chair Department of Physics Associate Professor of Physics
Jeffrey Terry
Professor of Physics Professor of Materials Science and Engineering
Yagmur Torun
Associate Professor of Physics
John Zasadzinski
Paul and Suzi Schutt Endowed Chair in Science Professor of Physics
Carlo Segre
Duchossois Leadership Professor Professor of Physics Deputy Director, Materials Research Collaborative Access Team (MRCAT) Director, Center for Synchrotron Radiation Research and Instrumentation (CSRRI) Deputy Director, BioCAT Professor of Materials Science and Engineering

News

“The research opportunities at Illinois Tech helped me understand how gratifying conducting original research is. As an undergraduate I already felt part of the scientific community as I was given the opportunity to work in a lab, attend conferences, and communicate with well-established scientists at other institutions. I credit Illinois Tech for inspiring my career path and continued success.”

—Emily Hommerding (PHYS ’13), Software Engineer, Microsoft

Hommerding (PHYS'11)

Contact Physics

Phone

312.567.3579

Fax

312.567.3494

Office Location

Department of Physics
Robert A. Pritzker Science Center
3101 South Dearborn Street, Room 182
Chicago, IL 60616