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2021 Highest Paid Physics Graduates

8,457 Bachelor's Degrees
$39,724 Avg Salary
$22,379 Avg Student Debt

Finding the Best Physics School for You

Highest Paid Physics GraduatesPhysics is the #58 most popular major in the country with 8,457 bachelor's degrees awarded in 2018-2019. Since picking the right college can be one of the most important decisions of your life, we've developed the Highest Paid Physics Graduates ranking, along with many other major-related rankings, to help you make that decision.

This year's Highest Paid Physics Graduates ranking looked at 29 colleges that offer a bachelor's in physics.

The numbers used in this ranking are early career salaries, which we define to be 10 years after a student started college. This is the salary typically earned 4-6 years after graduation, but may be different depending on how long a person takes to complete their degree.

How Much Do Physics Majors Make After Graduation?

After graduation, physics majors from schools in the United States earn an average salary of $39,724 per year. That's about the same as the average college graduate from any field makes.

Average Salary for Physics Graduates from Schools Nationwide  39,724
0K
79,400
National Average Salary for All College Grads (Regardless of Major)  39,802
0K
79,400

College Combat

In addition to College Factual's rankings, you may want to take a look at College Combat, our unique tool that lets you pit your favorite schools head-to-head and compare how they rate on factors that most interest you. Test it out when you get a chance! You may also want to bookmark the link and share it with others who are trying to make the college decision.

2021 Highest Paid Physics Grads in United States

Below you'll see a list of the colleges and universities that produce the highest paid physics majors.

Top 25 Best Schools for Highly Paid Physics Graduates

#1

Harvard University

Cambridge, MA

The #1 spot in this year's ranking belongs to Harvard University. Located in the midsize city of Cambridge, Harvard is a private not-for-profit college with a very large student population.

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The #1 spot in this year's ranking belongs to Massachusetts Institute of Technology. MIT is a fairly large private not-for-profit school located in the city of Cambridge. Students who receive their bachelor's in physics from the school go on to jobs that make an average salary of $73,900.

Physics majors at MIT take out an average of $14,381 in student loans while working on their bachelor's degree. The average monthly payment of a loan this size is about $142, assuming that the borrower is on a 10-year repayment plan.

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The #2 spot in this year's ranking belongs to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. RPI is a moderately-sized private not-for-profit school located in the small city of Troy. Physics majors who obtain their bachelor's from the school make an average salary of $65,300.

After completing their bachelor's degree, physics graduates from RPI carry an average student debtload of $22,652. This translates to an average monthly loan payment of $280, based on a 10-year repayment plan.

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United States Naval Academy landed the #2 spot in our 2021 rankings for highest paid physics school. Located in the large suburb of Annapolis, Annapolis is a public college with a small student population.

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#3

Princeton University

Princeton, NJ

Princeton University landed the #3 spot in our 2021 rankings for highest paid physics school. Princeton is a medium-sized private not-for-profit school located in the small city of Princeton.

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#3

University of Arizona

Tucson, AZ

University of Arizona landed the #3 spot in our 2021 rankings for highest paid physics school. Arizona is a fairly large public school located in the city of Tucson. Students who receive their bachelor's in physics from the school go on to jobs that make an average salary of $63,100.

After completing their bachelor's degree, physics graduates from Arizona carry an average student debtload of $22,661. Assuming that a graduate chooses a 10-year repayment plan, the average monthly loan payment is $208.

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Ohio State University - Main Campus earned the #4 spot in our 2021 rankings. Located in the large city of Columbus, Ohio State is a public school with a very large student population. Physics majors who obtain their bachelor's from the school make an average salary of $51,800.

The average amount in student loans that physics majors at Ohio State take out while working on their bachelor's is $21,358. This translates to an average monthly loan payment of $270, based on a 10-year repayment plan.

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#4

Yale University

New Haven, CT

Yale University earned the #4 spot in our 2021 rankings. Located in the midsize city of New Haven, Yale is a private not-for-profit school with a fairly large student population.

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#5

Cornell University

Ithaca, NY

The #5 spot in this year's ranking belongs to Cornell University. Located in the city of Ithaca, Cornell is a private not-for-profit school with a fairly large student population.

The average amount in student loans that physics majors at Cornell take out while working on their bachelor's is $11,936. Assuming that a graduate chooses a 10-year repayment plan, the average monthly loan payment is $137.

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#5

Michigan State University

East Lansing, MI

Our rankings recognize Michigan State University as the #5 school in this year's rankings. Michigan State is a very large public school located in the small city of East Lansing. The average salary for a student who gets a bachelor's degree in physics from the school is $47,000.

The average amount in student loans that physics majors at Michigan State take out while working on their bachelor's is $23,691. Assuming that a graduate chooses a 10-year repayment plan, the average monthly loan payment is $213.

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The #6 spot in this year's ranking belongs to University of California - Berkeley. Located in the city of Berkeley, UC Berkeley is a public college with a very large student population. Upon graduating with a bachelor's degree, physics majors make an average salary of $45,800.

The average amount in student loans that physics majors at UC Berkeley take out while working on their bachelor's is $15,052. For students who choose a 10-year repayment plan, the average monthly student loan payment is $153.

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St Lawrence University earned the #6 spot in our 2021 rankings. Located in the town of Canton, St. Lawrence is a private not-for-profit school with a small student population.

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Our rankings recognize University of Washington - Bothell Campus as the #7 school in this year's rankings. University of Washington - Bothell Campus is a moderately-sized public school located in the suburb of Bothell. Upon graduating with a bachelor's degree, physics majors make an average salary of $43,100.

On average, physics graduates from University of Washington - Bothell Campus take out $17,663 in student loans while working on their bachelor's degree. This translates to an average monthly loan payment of $192, based on a 10-year repayment plan.

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#7

University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA

The #7 spot in this year's ranking belongs to University of Pennsylvania. Located in the large city of Philadelphia, UPenn is a private not-for-profit school with a fairly large student population.

The average amount in student loans that physics majors at UPenn take out while working on their bachelor's is $18,936.

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University of Washington - Seattle Campus earned the #8 spot in our 2021 rankings. UW Seattle is a fairly large public school located in the large city of Seattle. Upon graduating with a bachelor's degree, physics majors make an average salary of $43,100.

Physics majors at UW Seattle take out an average of $17,663 in student loans while working on their bachelor's degree. This translates to an average monthly loan payment of $192, based on a 10-year repayment plan.

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#9

Boston University

Boston, MA

Our rankings recognize Boston University as the #9 school in this year's rankings. Located in the large city of Boston, Boston U is a private not-for-profit college with a very large student population.

On average, physics graduates from Boston U take out $23,570 in student loans while working on their bachelor's degree.

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#9

Stony Brook University

Stony Brook, NY

The #9 spot in this year's ranking belongs to Stony Brook University. Located in the suburb of Stony Brook, SUNY Stony Brook is a public school with a fairly large student population. Students who receive their bachelor's in physics from the school go on to jobs that make an average salary of $42,200.

On average, physics graduates from SUNY Stony Brook take out $22,439 in student loans while working on their bachelor's degree. When it comes time to repay the loan, graduates who are on a 10-year repayment plan pay an average monthly payment of $245.

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#10

Rowan University

Glassboro, NJ

Our rankings recognize Rowan University as the #10 school in this year's rankings. Rowan is a large public school located in the large suburb of Glassboro. Upon graduating with a bachelor's degree, physics majors make an average salary of $40,700.

While working on their bachelor's, physics majors at Rowan accumulate an average of around $19,674 in student debt. When it comes time to repay the loan, graduates who are on a 10-year repayment plan pay an average monthly payment of $202.

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#10

Georgetown University

Washington, DC

Georgetown University landed the #10 spot in our 2021 rankings for highest paid physics school. Located in the city of Washington, Georgetown is a private not-for-profit school with a large student population.

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California State University - San Marcos earned the #11 spot in our 2021 rankings. Located in the suburb of San Marcos, Cal State San Marcos is a public college with a fairly large student population. The average salary for a student who gets a bachelor's degree in physics from the school is $39,600.

While working on their bachelor's, physics majors at Cal State San Marcos accumulate an average of around $23,169 in student debt.

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#11

Harvey Mudd College

Claremont, CA

Harvey Mudd College landed the #11 spot in our 2021 rankings for highest paid physics school. Harvey Mudd College is a small private not-for-profit school located in the large suburb of Claremont.

After completing their bachelor's degree, physics graduates from Harvey Mudd College carry an average student debtload of $18,615. The average monthly payment of a loan this size is about $210, assuming that the borrower is on a 10-year repayment plan.

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#12

Kenyon College

Gambier, OH

Kenyon College comes in at #12 in this year's ranking. Kenyon is a small private not-for-profit school located in the distant town of Gambier.

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Our rankings recognize The University of Texas at Austin as the #12 school in this year's rankings. Located in the city of Austin, UT Austin is a public school with a fairly large student population. Students who receive their bachelor's in physics from the school go on to jobs that make an average salary of $39,300.

The average amount in student loans that physics majors at UT Austin take out while working on their bachelor's is $23,471. This translates to an average monthly loan payment of $236, based on a 10-year repayment plan.

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#13

Brown University

Providence, RI

Brown University earned the #13 spot in our 2021 rankings. Brown is a large private not-for-profit school located in the medium-sized city of Providence.

After completing their bachelor's degree, physics graduates from Brown carry an average student debtload of $14,091.

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The #13 spot in this year's ranking belongs to University of Minnesota - Twin Cities. UMN Twin Cities is a very large public school located in the large city of Minneapolis. Physics majors who obtain their bachelor's from the school make an average salary of $38,600.

The average amount in student loans that physics majors at UMN Twin Cities take out while working on their bachelor's is $20,029. For students who choose a 10-year repayment plan, the average monthly student loan payment is $221.

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Rest of the Top 50 Schools for Highest Paid Physics Graduates

#26

Carnegie Mellon University

Pittsburgh, PA
#27

Duke University

Durham, NC
#28

Santa Clara University

Santa Clara, CA
#29

Wake Forest University

Winston-Salem, NC
#30

College of William and Mary

Williamsburg, VA
#31

Boston College

Chestnut Hill, MA
#32

Hartwick College

Oneonta, NY
#33

Tufts University

Medford, MA
#35

University of Notre Dame

Notre Dame, IN
#36

Lehigh University

Bethlehem, PA
#42

Whitman College

Walla Walla, WA
#43

Bucknell University

Lewisburg, PA
#44

Villanova University

Villanova, PA
#45

University of Virginia - Main Campus

Charlottesville, VA
#46

Bates College

Lewiston, ME
#48

Vanderbilt University

Nashville, TN
#49

University of San Francisco

San Francisco, CA

Remaining Award Winners

This list shows the remainder of the schools awarded a Highest Paid Physics Graduates badge. Showing in this list means the college was ranked in the top 15% of the 29 different United States physics schools we analyzed.

Rank College Location
53 Worcester Polytechnic Institute Worcester, MA
54 Fordham University Bronx, NY
55 Pepperdine University Malibu, CA
56 University of Delaware Newark, DE
58 University of Oklahoma Norman Campus Norman, OK
59 Denison University Granville, OH
60 Vassar College Poughkeepsie, NY
61 Hofstra University Hempstead, NY
62 Syracuse University Syracuse, NY
63 University of California - Irvine Irvine, CA
64 DePauw University Greencastle, IN
65 Wesleyan University Middletown, CT
66 Saint Mary’s College of California Moraga, CA
67 Lafayette College Easton, PA
68 University of Colorado Boulder Boulder, CO
69 Adelphi University Garden City, NY
70 Georgia Institute of Technology - Main Campus Atlanta, GA
71 San Francisco State University San Francisco, CA
72 Middlebury College Middlebury, VT
73 George Mason University Fairfax, VA
74 Northwestern University Evanston, IL
75 College of Saint Benedict Saint Joseph, MN
76 University of Mary Washington Fredericksburg, VA
77 Union College New York Schenectady, NY
78 Hobart and William Smith Colleges Geneva, NY
79 Lamar University Beaumont, TX
80 Brandeis University Waltham, MA

Additional Noteworthy Schools

Here are some additional great schools for Physics students seeking high pay that almost earned our Highest Paid Physics Graduates award.

Rank College Location
82 Manhattan College Riverdale, NY
83 Rice University Houston, TX
84 The College of Wooster Wooster, OH
86 Binghamton University Vestal, NY
90 Iona College New Rochelle, NY
91 Catholic University of America Washington, DC
92 American University Washington, DC
93 Lenoir - Rhyne University Hickory, NC
94 Trinity University San Antonio, TX
95 St John’s University - New York Queens, NY
96 Carleton College Northfield, MN
97 Skidmore College Saratoga Springs, NY
98 Howard University Washington, DC
99 Fairfield University Fairfield, CT
100 Gettysburg College Gettysburg, PA
101 University of Denver Denver, CO
102 Colby College Waterville, ME
103 Franklin and Marshall College Lancaster, PA
105 California State University - East Bay Hayward, CA
107 Stonehill College Easton, MA
23 George Washington University Washington, DC
24 University of Southern California Los Angeles, CA
25 College of the Holy Cross Worcester, MA

Physics by Region

View the Highest Paid Physics Graduates for a specific region near you.

Region
Southeast
New England
Rocky Mountains
The Plains States
Middle Atlantic
Far Western US
Southwest
Great Lakes

Physics is one of 7 different types of Physical Sciences programs to choose from.

Majors Similar to Physics

Related Major Annual Graduates
Chemistry 15,395
Geological & Earth Sciences 6,574
Astronomy & Astrophysics 740
Atmospheric Sciences & Meteorology 652
Other Physical Science 297

View All Physics Related Majors >

Notes and References

  • The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), a branch of the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) serves as the core of the rest of our data about colleges.
  • Some other college data, including much of the graduate earnings data, comes from the U.S. Department of Education’s (College Scorecard).
  • Credit for the banner image above goes to A. T. Service.

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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