University List

Get List of Top & Best Physics Schools Worldwide

Shobha Kadur

Best & Top Physics Schools

If you’ve heard of C.V.Raman, Homi Bhabha and Vikram Sarabhai and know more about them than the average person does, you obviously have a keen interest in Physics. Since Physics is considered the most basic of all sciences, it’s principles can be widely applied.

You can become a physicist in any of the different fields of physics:

  • Atomic, molecular, and optical physics
  • Geophysics
  • Cryogenics
  • Fluid mechanics
  • Biophysics
  • Nuclear physics

And to become accomplished in Physicist you should consider studying Physics at any of the best schools listed below:

1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA

From its inception in 1865, the Department of Physics at MIT has ensured that education is a good balance of the theoretical and practical.Undergraduate degree program applicants should have completed a year of physics, chemistry and biology in high school as well as Math through calculus. Additionally, two years of a foreign language and history or social sciences and four years of English are essential.The acceptance rate at MIT is tough at 6.6%.

In the undergraduate degree program, students begin with a solid foundation of understanding in fundamental physics for graduate study in physics and other affiliated fields.Students can even opt for professional work in astrophysics, biophysics, engineering and applied physics, geophysics, management, law, or medicine.They can choose to pursue their degree with the focused option if they are intent on a career in physics.The flexible option is for students who are aiming for an unconventional career in physics.Both options lead to the Bachelor of Science in Physics. Students are encouraged to participate in research to enhance their understanding of the subject.

MIT offers need-based financial aid to all applicants without discrimination. Students can also opt for short-term work to meet the expenses they are expected to pay for. Loans that are taken can be repaid on long-term credit. 

Notable alumni are Eric Cornel, Robert Laughlin and Henry Kendall.

2. Stanford University, USA

Stanford opened in 1891 with the Department of Physics being one of the first five programs offered. Admission requirements for the undergraduate course include SAT (1465 on a scale of 1600), ACT 33 out of 36 and GPA of 3.95 on a scale of 4. This means only the best students can hope to get accepted, especially when you consider their acceptance rate is exacting at 4.8%.

The university offers varied introductory programs to students from different fields but who share a keen interest in physics to enable them to understand their core interest/skill in physics. The options are:

  • The Teen series is for the humanities or social science student
  • The "20" series is an algebra-based sequence for life science and pre-medical students
  • The "40" series is a calculus-based sequence for most physical science and engineering students
  • The “60” series is for students with significant preparation in physics and calculus

Stanford has limited scholarships for international students. It has limited financial aid for international students and it is offered only if the student requests for it at the time of admissions.  

Notable alumni are Herbert Hoover, Doris Fisher and Mitt Romney.

3. University of California, Berkeley, USA

You must apply to the Office of Undergraduate Admissions as the Physics Department does not admit students directly. As an undergraduate in Physics at Berkley, you will learn the basics of physics through introductory course work and thereafter pursue research with the best global research groups. In recent years, over half of the students who come here to study physics pursue higher studies in physics and affiliated subjects. Others work in high tech industries or as management consultants, and some join a medical school. The University strives to inculcate in their majors, strong mathematical and analytical skills, good laboratory skills, and a well-grounded understanding of the fundamental laws that govern the universe.

The University has an acceptance rate of 14.9% but getting accepted is still not easy.

International students applying at Berkeley must show proof of funding for the first year with further access to funding the whole program. However, there is ample need-based financial aid available for US citizens.

Notable alumni are Steven Chu, Saul Perlmutter and John C. Mather.

4. Harvard University, USA

The best thing about studying Physics at Harvard is you have the freedom to go to graduate school in physics or a closely related field. So even while pursuing a concentration in physics, you can pursue Physics-Mathematics, Physics-Astronomy and Physics-History of Science plus the special Chemistry and Physics concentration. The staff is passionate about physics and teaching and constantly devises new course material. Undergraduates also get opportunity research through an independent research course.

The acceptance rate is tough at 9.6% and. 

Need-based financial aid ensures that the best students study at Harvard even if they are unable to pay.

Notable alumni are Nicholaas Bloenmbergen, Carlo Rubbia and Roy J. Glauber.

5. University of Cambridge, UK

The undergraduate Physics program includes Physical and Biological Sciences but is separate from Medicine, Engineering, and Mathematics. You can choose a three or four-year course for a first degree with a specialization in physics. The three-year course is devised for those who love physics but aren’t intent on becoming physicists and the four-year course is for students who want to get into academic or industrial research. 

You cannot apply directly to the Department of Physics – you have to apply either to a college or an open application via the Cambridge Admissions Office. Staff from the department will be part of the screening team. Besides going through the routine admission requirements you will also need to complete a Supplementary Application Questionnaire, submit a Cambridge Online Preliminary Application and a Written Assessment and attend an Interview.

While there is a wide range of funding options at the University, you must be eligible to apply.

Notable alumni are Stephen Hawking, Alan Turing and Oliver Cromwell



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