Myths and Facts about UT Physics

 Myth: I’m planning for medical school and physics is not the right option for me.

✔ Fact: Students going to medical school can major in Physics, be pre-med, and do a good job at both. In fact, a Physics major enhances a medical education. Physics offers a solid foundation for some of the most important advances in medicine. Diagnostic imaging, nuclear medicine, and proton beam therapy, used at MD Anderson, have a firm foundation in physics.

 Myth: Getting a degree in Physics will take too long.

✔ Fact: A BA in Physics requires only 22 credit hours beyond the introductory courses and six hours of math courses at a higher level than calculus. A BS requires 31 credit hours beyond the introductory courses and 15 hours of math courses at a level higher than calculus. Compare that to 40 hours for a BS in Chemistry and 60 hours for a BS in Biochemistry.

 Myth: Physics is just too hard.

✔ Fact: Some majors require you to memorize a lot of material. Our major teaches you to think. It’s that skill of problem-solving that’s more useful than anything else physics has to offer, regardless of the field you choose to enter. And we’re here to help you develop that skill.

 Myth: I would be reluctant to consider a degree in Physics, since an Engineering degree is more practical.

✔ Fact: With a degree in Physics, you can go into medicine, nuclear engineering, teaching, government policy, semiconductor research, space and atmospheric research, acoustics, petroleum exploration, business, and—of course—physics. It is easier for a physicist to be hired as an engineer than it is for an engineer to be hired as a physicist.

 Myth: I’m just not ready to commit to the program because I’m not sure that I would like it.

✔ Fact: That’s why up to $500 in scholarships are available to students who register as Physics majors and take the introductory PHY 301–316 sequence as well as PHY 110C “Science of the Times” and make at least a “B.” This allows students to test-drive the program and see if they like it.

 Myth: There’s a catch. I have to commit for a longer time, right?

✔ Fact: No catch. No commitment. No kidding. After this point, if you are registered as a Physics major, you are further eligible for scholarships for continued progress towards your Physics degree. Nearly 25% of upper-division Physics majors receive financial aid from the department. Oh, and did we mention that you get a free T-shirt?


For more information: Call (512) 471-8856, or drop in at RLM 5.216, or email