The major in applied physics is intended primarily for students interested in a broad program of study in physics combined with a significant concentration of courses in a field that has immediate application to industry.
This degree provides a foundation for a wide range of employment opportunities in high-technology industries, including research and development, product design and testing, sales, and quality control. It also is designed to include sufficient exposure to physics to allow students to continue with graduate studies in either physics or astronomy.
Students interested in this major need to meet the requirements for admission to the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.
Most applied physics majors participate in research projects and work directly with faculty members. Students may earn course credit for research. Some funding is available for undergraduate research through individually funded faculty projects, the Iowa Center for Research by Undergraduates, and the department's Van Allen Research Grants.
The University of Iowa provides a variety of scholarships to eligible undergraduate students through the Iowa Scholarship Portal. Scholarships are available to first-year, transfer, and currently enrolled students. For additional details on scholarships for your program of study, check directly with your department or college.
Students choose one of these concentrations: computer science, optics, solid-state electronics, or medical physics. Successful completion of a related one-semester internship or practicum experience in a research laboratory is required. Typically, this is done during the summer (full time) or during one or more semesters. The student usually works in industry or in a research laboratory on campus.
In addition to required courses, students complete a common set of courses that includes calculus, linear algebra, physics, and an experiential learning course. The department encourages students to take additional course work, and advisers can suggest electives that will enrich programs and help students prepare for graduate work.
All students who wish to earn a bachelor's degree in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences must complete the GE CLAS Core requirements.
To learn about required course work and graduating with honors, review Applied Physics in the General Catalog.