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A bachelor's in applied physics degree student with a laser.

Bachelor's Degree in Applied Physics

With a formal agreement between UC and the University of Kentucky, as an applied physics degree major, you would attend UC for three years of courses in physics, mathematics, chemistry, computer programming, and general education before transferring to the University of Kentucky to complete an approved set of engineering courses and general education courses. Completing your course work in applied physics and mathematics usually requires two or three semesters at UC, after which you’ll have earned a bachelor’s in applied physics. Coupled with the 32 hours of approved course work at University of Kentucky, that’s two degrees in about five years.


Applied physics is the application of physics to solve real-world problems, specifically as they pertain to science and engineering. It can be thought of as a bridge between the theoretical world of physics and the concrete world of engineering, focusing on the practical application of physics principles to practical devices and systems. Due to its close relation to engineering, applied physics undergraduate programs are often also known as an engineering physics degree or engineering physics major. While the specifics may vary from program to program, the overlap in concepts covered is substantial enough to be considered interchangeable in every practical sense.


At a very basic level, physics is a broader category of study than applied physics. Physics is a natural science that encompasses an array of physics branches, including astrophysics, nuclear physics, and applied physics. Applied physics, therefore, is a more specific form of physics which focuses on real-world applications of physics theories to develop and improve technology. It is therefore closely related to engineering.


An applied physics degree is an excellent choice for many reasons. There will always be a need for engineers, so the job outlook is excellent. The variety of career types one could pursue with a degree in applied physics makes it an attractive option, including the aerospace industry, energy infrastructure, education, and more. It is also a great launching point for those interested in pursuing a graduate or doctoral degree.


As a degree holder in applied physics, you can pursue an engineering education and an engineering career, but those aren’t your only options. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the possibilities are nearly endless, and the pay range is vast. At the lower end of the pay scale, environmental engineers and surveyors make a median salary between $48,390 and $61,600. At the other end of the spectrum, petroleum engineers have a median salary of $130,850. Some other attractive engineering career options include:


Costs for programs of study at University of the Cumberlands are competitive and affordable. Click here to view tuition rates and fees. 


Click here to view University of the Cumberlands' accreditation information. 

Pursue any number of rewarding careers with an applied physics degree from University of the Cumberlands. To learn more about our applied physics program or any of our undergraduate degree programs, contact us today! Let’s talk about our test-optional college admissions process, scholarship opportunities, and more!

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A University of the Cumberlands degree prepares you for the rigors of the professional world.  Click the button to learn more about the exciting career opportunities you can pursue with this program.