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Career Opportunities in Physics

A Ph.D. in Physics from the University at Michigan opens avenues to many great careers. Some of the professions that our recent graduates have chosen are:

  • Faculty member at a research University in Physics or a related field.
  • Research Scientist in a Government Laboratory, in Private Industry, or in Academia.
  • Faculty member at colleges primarily focused on teaching.
  • Research in a medical field.
  • Research or consulting in Finance or Business.

As graduate students consider their career goals the physics program remains an active partner. Since these decisions are highly individual it is appropriate that our approach has many aspects:

Life After Graduate School (LAGS) Seminars

LAGS seminars are typically held on Fridays, 12-1pm in 335 West Hall. Please find upcoming events listed here. If you are interested in speaking at a LAGS seminar, please contact us at 

Resources from some of our recent LAGS seminars:

"From Physics to Finance: What Does a Quant Say?" by Professor Katherine Freese

“From Physics to Finance” by Dr. Joel Erickson

“Fuel Cycles and Fissile Material Life After Physics” by Mark Goodman

"Mr. Nam goes to Washington" by Edward Nam

“Using Your Physics Degree at Internet & Tech Companies: Data Science and Predictive Modeling” by Dr. Glenn Strycker

Further Reading:

"Deep Dive: What Physics Can Teach You About Marketing" by Jon Miller


UM Physics Career Lookout Newsletter:

Career Lookout 3-5-14

Career Lookout 3-28-14

The above links are some of the recent editions of our Career Lookout Newsletter. The newsletters collect recent job postings and the emails will sometimes include events around the University such as career workshops, panel discussions, and job fairs. If you would like to receive these updates via email, please sign up for the email group in MCommunity.


The UM Physics Career Working Group

This group is organized by upper level graduate students and primarily targeting

such students as well. It provides a forum for sharing of ideas and for learning about job search experiences from other students. In particular the working group organizes peer critique of CV's and performs mock interviews.

If you would like to join this group please contact one of the current coordinators

Michelle Adan or Matt Bales.


Further Resources

Center for Research on Teaching and Learning

UM Career Center

American Physical Society Careers Page

UM Engineering Career Resource Center

Physics Today Career Page

The American Association of Physicists in Medicine Career Page

U.S. Department of Energy Workforce Development and Resources Section