Career Overview

Physics students at the School of Mines gain fundamental training in the basic laws of physics and develop skills that will allow them to explore physical phenomena and solve related problems. Students receive a background in Physics applications valuable for employment in industry or graduate study in physics or other fields such as geophysics, meteorology, metallurgy, and many branches of engineering.   A significant research laboratory, the Sanford Underground Research Facility, a short distance from the School of Mines provides physics majors with unique research opportunities.

Companies hiring recent grads: Our graduates' creative problem-solving skills and out-of-the-box thinking earn them brilliant careers with companies such as Raytheon, a defense contractor, Soudan Underground Lab operated by the Department of Energy, and Knolls Atomic Power Lab operated by Bechtel, to name a few. Others pursue prestigious graduate programs in physics, materials science, and other branches of science and engineering.

Average starting salary: **Pursuing graduate degrees or no salary offers reported (2012-13)

Placement rate: 98% of 2012-13 SDSM&T graduates are working in their career field or pursuing advanced degrees.

What our alumni say . . .


"I work with the very experiments that got me interested in physics as a kid – exploring dark matter . . . and the fundamental nature of the fabric of the universe."

Mark Hanhardt
Research Physicist
The Soudan Underground Laboratory, Ely, MN
MS Physics, SDSM&T, 2010