Example of Best Practice 2A

Rutgers University
Provided by Professor Mohan Kalelkar (kalelkar@physics.rutgers.edu)
, 12/05

The Department of Physics and Astronomy at Rutgers University, New Brunswick Campus, offers three physics major tracks to enable students to tailor their education to their career aspirations. These multiple tracks resulted in an increase in the average number of annual physics major graduates from 15 to 35. There was no decrease in the number following the option leading to graduate school.

The Professional Option (B.S.) is for students who intend to go on to graduate school. It requires a thorough, rigorous set of courses to prepare students for the challenge of graduate coursework.

The Applied Option (B.S.) is for students who wish to work in industry, but without graduate study. There are fewer physics course requirements than for the Professional Option, but some courses in related technical fields like Chemistry and Computer Science are required. Graduates of this Option have obtained jobs at scientific instrumentation companies, semiconductor companies, chemical companies, computer companies, engineering companies, etc. Some students in our Rutgers School of Engineering choose to do a second major in Physics, and usually elect the Applied Option.

The General Option (B.A.) is for students who have an interest in physics but do not aspire to a technical career. The required physics courses are not as mathematically challenging as for the Professional and Applied Options, and students are permitted greater freedom in selecting which courses to take. This option is especially well-suited to students who desire to do a double major. Graduates of the General Option have obtained jobs as high school teachers, at financial services companies, actuarial companies, etc. Many graduates have gone on to professional schools like medical school, business school, and law school.