In addition to meeting application requirements, you’ll have to consider how much it will cost to study at your dream school. Colleges and universities offer scholarships and financial aid, as do corporations, associations, and the government. You might be surprised by the options you discover. To help you get a sense of your baseline education costs, here are the typical tuition rates for a physics degree:

average yearly tuition as per the most recent US census data
$ 10,628 per year
Average in-state tuition in 2017

27% above average compared to other degrees

$ 27,190 per year
Average out-of-state tuition in 2017

35% above average compared to other degrees

$ 45,136 per year
Average private tuition in 2017

40% above average compared to other degrees

What do physics graduates earn?

Physics students make an average of $85,266 per year after graduation. This is 28% above average compared to other undergraduate degrees.

21% of physics graduates are underpaid (those who make less than $40,000 per year.) This rate is high compared to other degrees across the country.

$ 85,266 per year
Average graduate salary in 2017

Top 82% of degrees

% of people underpaid in 2019

3% above average compared to other degrees

Tuition costs for popular physics schools in the US

There are 1528 schools in the US that offer a physics degree. The physics schools in the nation with the highest enrollment are University of California-Los Angeles, University of California-San Diego and University of California-Irvine. Here's a breakdown of tuition costs for the schools that award the most degrees in physics per year:

School NameIn-State Tuition
University of California-Los Angeles$13,261
University of California-San Diego$14,018
University of California-Irvine$13,738
University of California-Berkeley$14,170
University of California-Santa Barbara$14,451
University of California-Davis$14,419
New York University$50,464
California State University-Long Beach$6,730
San Diego State University$7,460
Boston University$52,082

Top US schools for a physics degree

The following chart lists the most prestigious schools offering physics degrees, along with their average acceptance rate and tuition costs:

School NameAcceptance RateIn-State Tuition
Stanford University5%$49,617
Harvard University5%$48,949
Princeton University6%$47,140
Columbia University in the City of New York7%$57,208
Yale University7%$51,400
Massachusetts Institute of Technology7%$49,892
California Institute of Technology8%$49,908
Pomona College8%$51,075
United States Naval Academy8%$null
Brown University8%$53,419

Cheapest US schools for a physics degree

Of the schools in the US that offer a physics degree, the following have the lowest tuition costs:

School NameTuition
American River College$1,104
Cosumnes River College$1,104
San Joaquin Delta College$1,104
Folsom Lake College$1,104
Antelope Valley College$1,124
Fullerton College$1,138
Las Positas College$1,138
Cypress College$1,140
Solano Community College$1,140
Compton College$1,142


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