Career Preparation

Career preparation

Our department offers graduate students extensive training and opportunity to prepare for professional life. Career paths include faculty positions in research and teaching universities, postdoctoral research positions, and employment in high-tech corporate environments, government labs, private industry, and other careers requiring a high degree of technical expertise.

A broad range of research, teaching, and outreach involvement allows our students to build foundational skills in a variety of contexts: technical problem solving, advanced mathematics, scientific programming, simulation and modeling, innovation in design and development, scientific writing and oral presentation, as well as project and team management.


Physics graduate students have the opportunity to perform leading research while earning their advanced degrees. They are able to select from a variety of programs and interdisciplinary degrees and become integral participants in one of our labs. They work with faculty whose research takes place on the Indiana University Bloomington campus and at centers and labs throughout the world.

Good communication between the research advisor and the student is key to the student’s success. The Guidelines for Advisor-Graduate Student Interactions in the College of Arts and Sciences provide principles for establishing an effective and productive advisor-student relationship that relies on trust, courtesy, clear communications and shared expectations. Also see the College of Arts and Sciences page on academic and career support.


We encourage all of our graduate students to explore the sources of funding available to them. Associate instructorships and teaching fellowships are available as sources of funding. Besides the necessary advantages of earning an income, teaching physics helps deepen your understanding of it.


Graduate students regularly give research presentations in both formal and informal settings. Each research group has a weekly seminar series, giving students the chance to participate in technical presentations as both speaker and participating colleague. Other activities include a five-minute thesis competition and journal clubs.


Meeting each semester with an academic advisor helps you plan your course of study, prepare to meet various deadlines, and receive support each step of the way. Our advisors give expert advice on the department’s curriculum and assist with other career development issues.