A physics bachelor’s is a very versatile degree that attracts students with a wide variety of interests. Using data from the Association of American Medical Colleges and the Law School Admissions Council, we have learned that, as a group, physics majors who apply to medical and law schools achieve high scores on admissions tests. In a new report, the AIP Statistical Research Center (SRC) presents the latest MCAT and LSAT scores for bachelor’s recipients in physics and many larger fields of study.
SRC staff encourage readers to be cautious when looking at results like this, both because of the low number of applicants represented in the analysis and because the results could be misinterpreted or misused. It’s not clear whether physics study helps improve test scores such as these or whether physics attracts very smart students who are likely to score high on these kinds of tests.
It is very important for students to pursue fields that they are interested in and not simply fields that they believe could lead to a higher test score on a particular entrance exam. In the words of one recent physics bachelor’s recipient, “Follow your interests. ...Take the courses you’re interested in, not the ones you think will get you into grad school. Chances are, you’ll do much better in the classes where you want to learn the material.” Students who find physics to be a good fit will soon discover that a physics degree serves as an excellent entry point for a wide variety of professional paths.
The SRC surveys physics bachelor’s recipients in the year following their degrees, and the results of this survey series help us develop a detailed picture of the initial career paths pursued by physics bachelor’s. For more information, readers are encouraged to visit our website.