Online Physics Degree

By Erika Lasrado

Updated March 15, 2024

Erika Lasrado

Erika has broad experience in counseling, psychology, and human resources. Although she has done a master’s in psychology, she is currently pursuing a master’s in educational psychology to change careers. Erika is a foodie and reader and loves to research and write about various topics when time permits.


Master of Psychology, Master of Educational Psychology

Areas of Expertise & Credentials

None to disclose in particular; the basics are covered in the short bio.

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The study of motion, matter, energy, and force is known as Physics. It is a branch of science that explores the makeup of the universe, including thermodynamics, electromagnetism, mechanics, optics, nuclear physics, acoustics, radiation, and more. Individuals who want to study and experience instrumentation, measurement processes, and experimental techniques while developing analytical, computational, and mathematical skills are best suited to pursue a physics bachelor’s degree. The online bachelor’s degree in physics provides a solid foundation for students in physics and prepares them to enter graduate school or take up careers in various areas such as health physics, patent and intellectual law, entrepreneurship, medicine, business, and research. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statics predicts a growth of 8% in the overall employment of physicists between 2020 and 2030. This guide will examine the various factors of an online physics degree program, including the curriculum, specialization options, careers, accreditation, and more.


Best Online Physics
Degree Programs

Before applying to colleges, students must select institutions ranked in terms of quality and reputation. Prospective students must consider various factors such as location, faculty, fees, support services, and so on, before applying for a physics degree online.  After comparing many colleges and programs nationwide against these and other factors, Find Best Degrees (FBD) teams came up with the following ranking of the best college for physics: *

Western Governors University (WGU) is a private, non-profit online institution. Instead of the conventional, cohort-based class format seen in most institutions, the university uses an online competency-based learning model. The university was established in 1997 by 19 U.S. governors after the idea to extend educational opportunities online was developed during a 1995 meeting of the Western Governors Association.
Univ Address Tuition Grad Rate
Western Governors University 4001 South 700 East Suite 700, Salt Lake City, Utah 84107 $7,452 64%

Universities and programs are ranked by various factors, such as affordability, curriculum and coursework, reputation and availability, program length, statistics, the potential of employment, and return on investment for the students. For a more in-depth analysis, please read about our rankings methodology page

What to Expect from the Online
Physics Degree Programs

The undergraduate physics program provides students with an understanding of how physics is interrelated with computational sciences, biology, engineering, and chemistry. Students are also prepared for research study in areas such as condensed matter physics and high energy physics and immediate entry into positions in medical, industrial, and other research laboratories. With the help of the faculty, students learn to blend theory and experimentation. During the program, students sometimes get an opportunity to work directly with the staff and faculty of physics. They can work as teaching assistants in labs and work side-by-side with faculty on research projects. Students learn to communicate professionally as well as reason ethically and quantitatively. They will also investigate such phenomena as the quantum mechanical paradoxes, superconductivities, and the big bang. Depending on the program, an online bachelor in physics degree typically requires students to complete 120 credits to satisfy the program’s requirements.

The bachelor of physics degree is available in both offline and online formats. Students pursuing the program in the offline format will have to spend most of their time on campus with a strict timeline. It is suitable for individuals who want to be full-time students. On the other hand, the online degree is flexible and is great for people who are full-time working professionals.

The undergraduate degree in physics will develop students’ basic competence in using qualitative and quantitative analysis to investigate physics problems and equip competence in applying the scientific method. They will gain a strong understanding of how experimental methods and mathematical analysis can be used as investigative tools and how the laws of physics shape our understanding of the world. Every program has a set curriculum with its core courses which the students must take up to meet the requirement of the program’s coursework. Online bachelor’s degree in physics consists of 120-130 credit hours of coursework requirement. Students must choose elective courses that align with their personal and professional interests. Here are a few courses for the bachelor’s degree in physics:

Modern Physics

This course gives a historical view of the protons, electrons, and structure of matter. It also covers the Rutherford Bohr atom and elements of quantum mechanics and their applications to nuclear, atomic, and solid-state physics.

Principles of Physics

This calculus-based course includes the study of sound, waves, optics and lights, circuits, electricity and magnetism, and modern physics.

Differential Equations

Differential equations focus on the linear equations of higher order, first-order equations, solutions in series, numerical methods, and applications to electric circuits, mechanics, and biology

Electricity and Magnetism

This course focuses on potential theory, magnetic fields, dielectric magnetic media, electrostatics, Faraday and Ampere’s Laws, and Maxwell’s equations.

Quantum Mechanics

Quantum mechanics focuses on the general theory of mechanics, which includes its abstract formulation using the Dirac notion.

Other courses in an online physics bachelor’s degree include but are not limited to:

  • Nuclear and Elementary Particle Physics
  • Plasma Physics
  • Modern Optics
  • Ordinary Differential Equations
  • Quantum Mechanics
  • General Physics
  • Physics of Solids
  • Introduction to Computational Physics
  • Methods of Applied Analysis
  • Introduction to Chemical Principles
  • Introduction to Quantum Mechanics
  • Calculus
  • Nonlinear Optics
  • Electricity and Magnetism
  • Classical Mechanics
  • Physics of Fluids
  • Thermal Physics
  • Atomic and Molecular Structure

Degree Types offered in Online
Physics Degree Programs

The bachelor’s degree in physics program is of two types – the Bachelor of Arts in Physics and the Bachelor of Science in Physics. Students can choose the program based on their professional and personal interests and future career goals. Here is the physics BA vs. BS explained in brief:

Bachelor of Arts in Physics Online

Students intending to seek a foundation in physics as a liberal arts degree but who do not typically intend to become physicists can opt for the BA physics or bachelor of arts in physics. This program provides students to gain significant educational breadth in other disciplines along with physics. Individuals who want to continue their education in dental, business, medical, or law school can opt for this program. Graduates will demonstrate foundational knowledge of the fundamental principles and concepts of the main areas of physics. In addition, they will also be able to carry out basic laboratory work in physics.

Bachelor of Science in Physics Online

The BS physics or Bachelor of Science in Physics is best suited for students intending to pursue a career in physics or closely related fields. The online BS physics degree (also known as the online BSc physics degree) is also well suited for those who wish to study further and are interested in applying to graduate schools. Students will be able to carry out and design an effective research program. They will also be able to communicate scientific work both in writing and orally.

Areas of Specialization in Online
Physics Degree Programs

Specialization involves focusing on a specific area within a subject. It helps the individual become an expert in that particular area. While studying for their bachelor’s degree, students interested in a specific area within physics can choose to specialize in that area. Specialization gives students an opportunity to increase their skills as well as broaden their career prospects. Here are a few specializations for bachelors in physics:

Area of SpecializationDescriptionCareer Options
Bachelor of Science in AstrophysicsThe B.S in Astrophysics provides students with a comprehensive curriculum with concepts relating to astronomy. Students intending to pursue graduate studies in astrophysics can consider pursuing this degree.Graduates can pursue a career as astrophysicists, space, spatial services, etc.
Bachelor of Science in Computational PhysicsThis program combines the relationship between high-performance computing and physics. Students learn applied physics in areas such as artificial intelligence, data processing, machine learning, etc.Graduates can pursue a career in physics with a strong focus on computation. They can also work in firms that develop computer games and scientific software.
Bachelor of Science in Physics with Specialization in Material ScienceThe B.S in applied Physics degree is designed to provide students with a broad background in physics while relating this background to applications used in technology-based industries, including optical science, computer-based laboratory instrumentation, microelectronics, and astronomy.After graduating, individuals can work in a wide range of sectors such as education, finance, scientific research, product design, manufacturing, software development, and engineering.
Bachelors in BiophysicsThis program is formulated for students who want to study physics but are also interested in medicine and biology. Students learn about mathematics and physics through computational and quantitative methods. They are given the knowledge and abilities necessary to address a variety of biological issues, from the molecular level to complex ecosystems, thanks to the program’s interdisciplinary nature.This program prepares students for careers in biotechnology, biomedical research, science education, private business consulting, science education, governmental regulatory agencies, and so on.
Bachelors in Engineering PhysicsThis program places emphasis on the fundamentals of mathematics and physics in both theoretical and experimental fields, which are the foundation of modern engineering and research. It focuses on the basic physics underlying most engineering developments and mathematical tools crucial to all scientists and engineers.Graduates can pursue careers in advanced technology, engineering, and applied science.
Bachelors in Engineering PhysicsThis program places emphasis on the fundamentals of mathematics and physics in both theoretical and experimental fields, which are the foundation of modern engineering and research. It focuses on the basic physics underlying most engineering developments and mathematical tools crucial to all scientists and engineers.Graduates can pursue careers in advanced technology, engineering, and applied science.
Nuclear Physics Degree OnlineThis concentration studies the components, structure, and behavior of the atom’s nucleus. Nuclear physics has several real-world uses, including developing nuclear energy, radiometric dating, smoke detectors, and nuclear medicine.Graduates can work in settings such as nuclear power plants, the energy sector, manufacturing, etc.
Online Degree in Quantum PhysicsIn a nutshell, quantum physics is the branch of physics that explains how everything functions. It investigates the characteristics of the matter’s constituent particles and the intensity of their interactions. At its most fundamental level, it is the study of matter and energy and illuminating processes like how electrons flow through a microchip or how the sun remains a constant ball of fire.Graduates can work in research, education, medicine, and engineering, among other fields.
Physics and Astronomy Degree OnlineAstronomy is a unique branch of physics. Students of this specialization learn to observe and gather the information used to explain the interactions between stars and planets and other cosmological phenomena. Problems with navigation and satellite communications in space travel may require the assistance of astronomers and other types of physicists.Apart from becoming astronomers, jobs are available in sectors such as space, satellite, and research.
Radiation Health Physics Online DegreeThis area of study prepares students for a career in radiation protection/health physics. Basics of radiation protection/health physics, shielding/activation, personnel dosimetry, radiation’s biological effects, measurement, and instrumentation, are just a few of the topics covered in the program.Graduates can take up careers as radiation experts, work in radiology departments at hospitals and diagnostic labs, etc.
Medical Physics Online DegreeMedical physics combines the principles of physics, engineering, biology, and medicine to improve human disease diagnosis and treatment while ensuring the safety of the general public, patients, and the people who are providing care for them. This specialization gives students a thorough exposure to medical imaging, radiation safety, and the science and art of radiation oncology.Graduates can become scientists, nuclear medicine technologists, or medical technologists.
Online Degree in GeophysicsTo learn more about the characteristics of the earth, geophysics students will learn to use physical theories and measurements. Seismology, geothermometry, hydrology, gravity, and geodesy (the earth’s gravitational field) are all subfields of geophysics. Careers in geophysics are available in road and bridge building, earthquake research, urban planning, and archaeology.
Atomic, Molecular, and Optical PhysicsIn this specialization, students investigate atomic-scale interactions between matter and light. Because of their interrelationships, shared methodologies, and related energy scales, atomic, molecular, and optical physics are frequently grouped together. Atomic physics is more focused on understanding the atom than nuclear physics is on understanding the forces. Multi-atomic structures and their internal and external interactions with matter and light are the main topics of molecular physics. To understand the basic characteristics of light, optical physics is used.Graduates can pursue careers in advanced technology, manufacturing industries, product development, and more.

Why should I get an Online
Physics Degree?

Physics, which could be regarded as the most fundamental of all the sciences, is really the study of how the world functions. Physics seeks to create theories that condense the natural laws and explain why things behave the way they do. Many people use physics as a stepping stone into other fields of study or careers because the fundamentals of physics can be applied to most other sciences.

Job descriptions in the physics field are challenging to quantify. The workday of a physicist might include creating materials for computer chips or dismantling atomic particles. Astronauts and ocean explorers have all been physicists. They have created medical diagnostic tools, improved, and created more effective fuels for homes and cars, and calculated the movements of the Arctic glaciers. Students interested in comprehending natural laws and the interaction between energy and matter would find the online physics degree exciting and engaging.

Physics graduates can be well-suited to various jobs requiring step-by-step problem-solving using math skills, observational and communication skills, mathematical reasoning, and organizing and interpreting scientific data. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for physicists was $151,580 in May 2021, making it a very lucrative field of study.

Upon graduating, individuals with a bachelor’s degree in physics online would have gained a host of skills, including the ability to:

  • carry out experiments, analyze data and take measurements to refute or support a scientific hypothesis;
  • solve and formulate quantitative problems using analytical and computational methods;
  • convert an English-language description of a physical situation into a mathematical formulation, and then perform a quantitative analysis;
  • articulate the understanding of fundamental physics concepts, including the central tenets of modern physics and classical mechanics;
  • demonstrate competent knowledge of the principles, specific concepts, and problems of each basic subfield as well as a few areas of application in physics;
  • apply the right mathematical methods and ideas to come up with precise answers to physics problems;
  • collect data using a variety of laboratory instruments, and analyze and interpret that data;
  • demonstrate an understanding of how numerical techniques can be used to model physical systems when analytical methods are either inappropriate or only partially useful;
  • draw on a wide range of printed, electronic, and information technology resources to conduct research on physical systems and present findings in the context of current knowledge of physical phenomena;
  • communicate physics-related topics using both written and oral communication skills;
  • demonstrate mastery of general principles of physics and the core concepts; and
  • plan and execute experimental investigations, analyze data with the proper handling of errors and uncertainties, and draw conclusions from the data and analysis.

Free Courses Online Physics
Degree Students

There are several free courses on some topics in physics. Students should note that free courses are not accredited and do not lead to a bachelor’s degree or, in some instances, even a certificate. However, they do help in gaining some additional knowledge on a specific topic. Here are some sites offering free physics courses:

CourseProvided byDescription
Various Topics Related to PhysicsEdXEdX offers some free courses in physics like plasma physics, quantum mechanics, AP Physics 1, and so on.
Various Topics Related to PhysicsCourseraSome free courses in physics offered by Coursera are – Introduction to mechanics, introduction to physics, understanding modern physics, exploring quantum physics, etc.
Various Topics Related to PhysicsMIT OpenCourseWareUndergraduate courses are offered by MIT OpenCourseWare on various topics in physics. Courses include Classical Mechanics, Electricity and Magnetism, Vibration and waves, Relativity, and so on.

How to get into the Online Physics
Degree Programs?

After deciding on pursuing a bachelors in physics degree, prospective students need to begin their application process. For entry into the physics program, students should meet program-specific requirements for admission. Here are some of the common admission requirements for a bachelors in physics:

  • Admission or Application Form with its prescribed fee.
  • Official Academic Transcripts.
  • A High School Diploma or General Education Development (GED) Certificate.
  • Grade Point Average (GPA) of 2.8 or more.
  • American College Testing (ACT) / Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT) Test Scores
  • Personal Statement or Statement of Purpose (varies by school)
  • Proof of English Proficiency (if the native tongue is or education was not in English)

Some universities have their own bachelors in physics prerequisites, which the candidate needs to fulfill before getting admission into the program.

How Long does it take to complete Online
Physics Degree Programs

So, how long is a bachelor’s degree in physics? Usually, 120 credits are required for the student to earn a bachelor’s physics degree. This would take about 4 years on a regular full-time schedule. Asynchronous and synchronous classes will influence the duration of the program, as will other factors like core courses, electives, and capstone. Students who study their program through the online mode can earn their degree part-time instead of a regular school. Online students will have an opportunity to interact with simulated experiments online and work with electronic kits at home. The average time to obtain a physics bachelors degree is as follows:

  • Time to complete a full-time bachelors in physics program – 4 years
  • Time to complete a part-time bachelors in physics program – between 4 to 6 years.
  • Typical number of credits: 120 (on an average; varies by program)
  • Maximum credits accepted as transfers: 90 (typical; varies by school)

Accelerated Online Physics
Degree Programs

Some schools offer accelerated tracks, which allow students to graduate in less time. Transfer credits are recognized by some programs for general education requirements if the candidate transfers from another school, such as a community college. This can help the student complete their program faster. Typically, most accelerated physics degree online programs combine a bachelors and a master’s degree, which can be completed in 4+1 years instead of the usual 4+2. Here are some schools offering the accelerated physics bachelor’s degree online:

University of Colorado Boulder

The department of physics at the University of Colorado-Boulder offers an accelerated degree program for physics majors. This program is known as Bachelor’s-Accelerated Masters (BAM), where they can finish their terminal master’s degree. Typically, students need to complete 75 hours of coursework for them to be eligible for the BAM program.

University of North Dakota

The University of North Dakota offers an accelerated degree in physics. Students can finish both their BS and MS in physics in 5 years. They will need 125 to 145 credit hours to complete their program.

Temple University

Temple University offers a Bachelors of Arts in Physics and Master of Science in Physics program. Students can complete their master’s degree in one year and apply for their master’s degree during the senior year of their undergraduate program.

Accreditations for Online Physics
Degree Programs

When choosing a university to pursue a degree, students need to know and understand college accreditation. By understanding accreditation, they will be able to make an informed decision on which program or college is best suited for them and whether it will be of value to potential employers. Institutions that are accredited design and implement their education and move in the direction of continuous improvement. Here are some of the authorized accrediting agencies in the United States:

  • New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC)
  • Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)
  • Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
  • Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)
  • Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC)

Other than national or regional accreditation, some schools would have accreditation from organizations such as the Commission on Accreditation of Medical Physics Education Programs (CAMPEP), the Accreditation Board for Engineering Technology (ABET), etc.

Read more about accreditation and its importance in the Guide to College Accreditation.

How to Pay for Online Physics
Degree Programs?

How much does a physics degree cost? The tuition fee for an online bachelors in physics program varies by in-state and out-of-state status, as well as by institution. Online programs are less expensive where students do not have to pay for transportation, meals, and housing. But they still must pay for expenses such as distance learning fees, course materials, and tuition fees. Various funding possibilities are available for those who want to reduce their financial burden. Here are some options for students pursuing their bachelor in physics degree:


The scholarship is a popular source of funding for most students. Non-profit organizations, groups, individuals, and educational institutions award scholarships to students who have an excellent academic record. Apart from academics, they can be awarded based on other factors such as community service, cultural heritage, and rehabilitation service.


Grants are like free scholarships, which do not have to be repaid. The main criterion for awarding a grant is the applicant’s financial need, although academic achievement is often taken into consideration as well. Students can use grants not only to cover tuition costs but also to meet expenses such as transportation, books, and library fees.

Student Loans

Another common option to fund one’s education is a student loan. Federal agencies, banks, and private financial institutions often give out student loans. Students should keep in mind that due to payable interest along with the principal amount, student loans can increase the cost of education. To learn how to apply for loan forgiveness to stop repaying student loans, read about Donors for Student Loans and Grants for Student Loans.


All current and prospective college students can fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid or FAFSA to determine their eligibility for federal financial aid. More information is available in the FAFSA Student Aid handbook.

Read more about college funding in the How to Pay for College guide.

Scholarships for Online Physics
Degree Students

Students seeking external sources of money to cover some of their educational costs should consider applying for scholarships. Various universities, associations, and external organizations offer scholarships to students based on their eligibility. Here are a few scholarships awarded to students pursuing a bachelor’s degree in physics:

Scholarship Description Amount/AwardApplication Deadline
Society of Physics Students (SPS) ScholarshipsThe Society of Physics Students (SPS) offers several scholarships to undergraduate students in physics, such as the SPS Leadership Scholarships, Herbert Levey Memorial Scholarship, Peggy-Dixon Two-Year Scholarship, and more.$2,000 to 2,500March 15, annually
Gladys Carol ScholarshipsUndergraduate level students enrolled in a full-time STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) program at an accredited, non-profit public or private four-year college or university can apply for the Gladys Carol Scholarships.Up to $5,000 across 2 yearsOpens January 1, 2024 | Deadline: TBA
Rubber Division American Chemical Society (ACS) ScholarshipsThe Rubber Division of the American Chemical Society offers two undergraduate scholarships, a student award in honor of a close friend of the organization, and a prize for a professional currently employed in the sector, to students striving to maintain excellence in STEM.$5,000 x 2 Nos.TBA

FAQs Related to the Online Physics
Degree Programs

Where can I do a physics degree?

Students should pursue their online bachelor’s degree in physics from an accredited institution. In addition to this, there are other essential aspects that students should keep in mind while choosing an institution, such as (a) Faculty experience – research and experience of the faculty members of the department, (b) Course curriculum – the choice of courses and electives available in the program and (c) Experiential learning – the opportunity to work on internships and live projects at reputed firms and get hands-on training from professionals and experts in the field.

How hard is a degree in physics?

How long is a physics bachelor’s degree?

How much does a physics degree cost?

What can you do with a bachelor’s in physics?

Is a physics bachelor’s degree online?

How to get a bachelors in physics? Do colleges require students to have a physics background?

Do colleges require students to have a physics background?

Should I study engineering or physics? Can you become an engineer with a physics degree?

Career Opportunities and Salaries after
Online Physics Degrees

Students interested in research or wanting to study further and enhance their career options can enter graduate school. For those who wish to enter the workforce immediately after their bachelor’s, the career options for a bachelor’s in physics degree are vast. Graduates can work in medical, industrial, and other research laboratories. They can work as accelerator operators, applications engineers, design engineers, laser engineers, high school physics teachers, and so on. An added advantage of pursuing a bachelor’s degree in physics is that graduates can also choose a career that is not traditionally associated with physics.

Some of the jobs and job titles for bachelor’s degree in physics graduates include:

  • Optical Engineer
  • Laser Engineer
  • High School Physics Teacher
  • Research Associate
  • Software Developer
  • IT Consultant
  • Data Analyst
  • Systems Analyst
  • Accelerator Operator
  • Design Engineer
  • Applications Engineer
  • Lab Technician
  • Technical Specialist

Physics-related jobs are in growing demand and offer various opportunities. Typically, astronomers and physicists who work in research and academia require a Ph.D. But a bachelor’s degree is sufficient for physicists starting at most positions. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor of Statistics (BLS), the median annual wage for physicists (across careers) was $151,580 in May 2021. Here are a few careers in the physics field, their median and annual salary, estimated job growth, and skills required:

OccupationJob DescriptionSkills RequiredMedian Annual SalaryJob Growth (up to 2030)
Physicists & AsatronomaersThe interactions between matter and energy are studied by physicists and astronomers. The origin of the cosmos and the nature of time are topics of study for astronomers and theoretical physicists. They create scientific theories and models to explain aspects of the natural world, such as the formation of subatomic particles or the force of gravity.Math skills, critical-thinking skills, analytical skills, communication skills, self-discipline, problem-solving skills, interpersonal skills


8% (as fast as average)
Chemists and Materials ScientistsChemists and materials scientists investigate the interactions between different substances at the atomic and molecular levels. They put their expertise to use by creating new, better products and evaluating the caliber of manufactured goods.Analytical skills, time-management skills, problem-solving skills, organizational skills, communication skills, math skills, interpersonal skills, perseverance$79,7606% (as fast as average)
Biochemists and BiophysicistsThe chemical and physical underpinnings of living things and biological processes, such as cell growth, development, heredity, and disease, are studied by biochemists and biophysicists. They use x-rays and computer modeling software to determine the three-dimensional structures of proteins and other molecules. They plan and carry out complicated projects in basic and applied research.Analytical skills, problem-solving skills, interpersonal skills, critical-thinking skills, time-management skills, communication skills, math skills, perseverance$102,2705% (slower than average)
GeoscientistsGeoscientists investigate the Earth’s physical characteristics, such as its composition, structure, and processes, to understand its past, present, and future. They organize and execute field studies, visit locations to gather samples and conduct surveys, and employ a wide range of instruments to ascertain the chemical and physical composition of rock samples.Critical-thinking skills, problem-solving skills, communication skills, outdoor skills, physical stamina$83,6807% (as fast as average)
Natural Sciences ManagersNatural sciences managers work closely with biologists, physicists, and chemists. In addition to coordinating tasks like testing, quality assurance, and production, they also oversee activities related to research and development. They oversee scientific research projects and give scientists, technicians, and support staff technical assistance.Leadership skills, problem-solving skills, communication skills, time-management skills, interpersonal skills, critical-thinking skills$137,9006% (as fast as average)

Certifications and Licensing for Online
Physics Degree Students

An excellent approach to increase one’s job prospects and income potential, as well as increase knowledge in the field, is to get certified. Certifications help individuals gain expertise in a particular field and sharpen their skills. There are various certifications offered in the physics field which hold great value and can expand one’s career prospects. Here are some certifications for physics professionals:

American Board of Radiology (ABR) Initial Certification

The American Board of Radiology (ABR) covers the Initial Certification, recognition of successful candidates, and maintenance of certification in medical physics. In medical physics, the initial certification is offered for three specialties: Nuclear medical physics, therapeutic medical physics, and diagnostic medical physics. Each candidate who meets the training requirements specified by the board and computer-based exam will be issued a certificate. Successful candidates of the American Board of Radiology are awarded a continuous ABR certificate in medical physics.

American Board of Science in Nuclear Medicine (ABSNM) Certifications

The American Board of Science in Nuclear Medicine (ABSNM) issues certificates to candidates who pass the examination and meet the board’s requirements. This certification indicates that the individual has demonstrated and gained knowledge in one or more of the following specialties in nuclear medicine science: (1) Radiation Protection, (2) Radiopharmaceutical Science, (3) Nuclear Medicine Physics and Instrumentation, and (4) Molecular Imaging.

American Board of Health Physics (ABHP) Certification

The American Board of Health Physics (ABHP), which is recognized by the Council of Engineering and Scientific Specialty Boards, awards professional certification in the subject of health physics. Individuals who become Certified in Health Physics will also qualify for membership in the American Academy of Health Physics.

Additional Resources for Online
Physics Degree Students

It is good to stay informed on the latest updates and changes that take place in the field of physics by laying hands on some additional resources. Connecting with peers, attending seminars and webinars, and browsing journals and publications are ways to increase knowledge and stay ahead of the competition. Another way to stay relevant in the field is by participating in a professional organization. Here are some associations and sites that offer several valuable resources for online bachelor in physics graduates and professionals:

American Association of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM)

The American Association of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM) supports the Medical Physics community with a focus on improving the efficacy and safety of medical imaging and radiation oncology procedures through research. This association aims to advance medicine through excellence in education, science, and the professional practice of medical physics. The AAPM sponsors three scientific meetings and publishes two scholarly journals a year.

International Medical Physics Certification Board (IMPCB)

Eleven Charter member organizations in physics formed the International Medical Physics Certification Board in 2010. They aim to establish requirements, infrastructure, assessments, and examination procedures for the accreditation of medical physics certification programs and the certification of medical physicists. The organization also supports and guides medical physics organizations in establishing national medical physics certification boards.

International Organization for Medical Physics (IOMP)

The International Organization for Medical Physics (IOMP) represents 87 adhering national member organizations and over 27,000 medical physicists. The IOMP aims to advance medical physics practice worldwide by fostering the professional and educational development of medical physicists, disseminating technical and scientific information, and promoting the highest quality of medical services for patients.

Commission on Accreditation of Medical Physics Education Programs (CAMPEP)

The objective of the Commission on Accreditation of Medical Physics Education Programs (CAMPEP) is to promote the education of medical physicists of consistent quality by accrediting and evaluating residency, graduate, and professional Doctorate in Medical Physics (DMP) and Continuing Education and Certificate Programs that meet the high standards established by CAMPEP along with its sponsoring organizations.

Author Bio:

Erika Lasrado

Erika has broad experience in counseling, psychology, and human resources. Although she has done a master’s in psychology, she is currently pursuing a master’s in educational psychology to change careers. Erika is a foodie and reader and loves to research and write about various topics when time permits.


Master of Psychology, Master of Educational Psychology

Areas of Expertise & Credentials

None to disclose in particular; the basics are covered in the short bio.


The average tuition (based on degree type for in-state students), average graduation rates, and rankings are based on data from various sources, including the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), and are variable over time. All rankings and statistics are subject to change. The rankings are solely the opinion of Find Best Degrees (FBD) and are based on our proprietary methodology. They do not represent the views of the institutions or organizations mentioned, nor do they represent any official government census or survey. Furthermore, any views or opinions expressed on this page are of FBD’s researchers and teams. Unless otherwise specified, they do not represent the thoughts and opinions of the individuals, institutions, or organizations mentioned. This page’s content is provided solely for informational purposes, with data drawn from various sources, including IPEDS. FBD and its employees make no guarantees regarding the accuracy or completeness of any information found on this page or by following any link. FBD will not be held liable for any errors or omissions in this material nor any losses, injuries, or damages resulting from the exposure or use of this information. Although the information on this page is/was correct at the time of publication, readers should exercise caution because some or all of the provided information may have changed over time, potentially resulting in inaccuracies. For more information, please read our Terms of Service. Trademarks and logos are the property of their registered owners.