Physical Sciences

Whether using quantum physics to study black holes, applying principles of material chemistry to polymers and solar cells, or tackling complex algorithms, students in the physical sciences investigate the physical world and innovate upon new fields to impact science and society. UChicago offers a world-class curriculum and comprehensive career support to prepare students for these rewarding careers including sound engineer, particle physicist, food chemist, data scientist, and more. Students of all years and majors are welcome!

Careers in Physical Sciences sends an industry-specific list of events, internships, and full-time opportunities. To get updates about upcoming programs and application deadlines sign up for the program listhost.

Explore the many exciting career paths within the physical sciences and start your career journey today!

Physical Sciences

Personalized Advising

Tara Ford, Senior Program Director of Careers in Physical Sciences, has specialized in supporting STEM students in their career journey since 2013. Prior to her work at UChicago, she was a data and evaluation specialist focused on pediatric populations, and has experience in ecology and wet lab environments, with an academic background in biology and chemistry, and a graduate degree in Medical Ethics from Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine.  Tara serves as the lead advisor for students interested in pursuing roles in both industry and academia within the physical sciences – you can schedule an appointment with Tara on Handshake, or connect directly at

Get Experience

The Jeff Metcalf Internship Program provides over 4,500 paid substantive internships to students each year across a variety of career fields. Students studying the physical and mathematical sciences can intern and work with leading industry experts at the forefront of inquiry and innovation at national labs and government agencies, hard science organizations, research groups, and technical firms.

University of Chicago students have had opportunities to work with a number of organizations in these exciting fields such as:

3M, Arzeda, Ball Aerospace, Cargill, Climate Impacts Research Center, Emergent Space Technologies, ESRI, Gilead, Google, IBM, Microsoft Research, NASA, Pixar, Smithsonian Environmental Research Center, and SpaceX.

Students interested in pursuing graduate studies and academia receive support for pursuing research projects through Metcalf research internships. Additionally, the University of Chicago is closely affiliated with Argonne National Laboratory and Fermilab National Accelerator Laboratory which offers research opportunities and an annual summer internship program.

Career Treks

Career "treks" are experiences that give students the opportunity to meet multiple employers in their field of interest from a specific city or region. Past treks have showcased career paths in Denver, Houston, Seattle, San Francisco, as well as international locations such as Lyon, France and Hong Kong. Trek participants visited organizations including Ball Aerospace, Google, John Deere, and Strava as well as graduate programs. Treks take place during winter, spring, and summer breaks.

Visit the upcoming treks page to stay up to date on future treks!

Support the Rising Generation of Scientists and Mathematicians

The support and mentorship of alumni and experienced professionals is critical to fostering scientific development and career readiness. If you are an employer or researcher in the lab, field, or industry setting, please consider getting involved in our career treks, participating in our signature events, hosting an intern or facilitating a research project, or donating to the program. If you are interested in any of these options or have ideas of your own, please contact Tara Ford at

Advance Clean Energy Efforts

The Clean Energy Track is an interactive program designed to foster exploration into clean energy career pathways. This program immerses students in the theory and practice of innovative advancements in physical sciences and engineering disciplines, and the policy and economic components of this industry.

From electric vehicles to battery research to renewable energy, join the Clean Energy Track and take an active role in revolutionizing science and society in these emerging fields. Upcoming programs will be shared on the STEM listhost.  

Quantum Innovation

Careers in Physical Sciences hosts several signature quantum programs to bring together quantum scientists and engineers and hear from groundbreaking employers in the quantum industry throughout the year including at the annual Chicago Quantum Recruiting Forum. Learn more and register for quantum programs here!

Quantum Business, Innovation, and Technology (QUBIT)

two-year preprofessional program dedicated to supporting undergraduates pursuing careers in the emerging quantum economy. Learn more.