Physical Science Degrees and Careers

Student writes the name of bones on chalkboard


If you are interested in a physical science degree, you can begin (or restart) your learning with a few years at Chemeketa. The Associate of Arts Oregon Transfer degree and the Oregon Transfer Module are inexpensive and effective beginnings to a bachelor's degree and beyond.

If you pursue a degree in physical science, you should not fear for your financial future–


Physics is defined as the scientific study of matter and energy. In practice, physics is the study of the fundamental behavior of nature. This can range from the very small (quarks, electrons, etc.) to the very large (the entire universe). Given this very broad scope of inquiry, physicists typically work in sub-fields such as the following:

  • Astrophysics, the study of the entire universe including its origin and evolution
  • Atomic, molecular, and optical physics, the study of matter and light at the microscopic level
  • Condensed matter physics, the study of macroscopic physical properties of matter
  • Particle physics, the study of the fundamental constituents of matter and energy

Physicists develop many useful devices such as computers, lasers, cell phones, MRI machines, and electron microscopes. Physicists also research interesting, but currently impractical, ideas such as the age of the universe and the details of gravity.


Chemists study the composition and properties of matter by examining the reactions that it undergoes.

There are many avenues that open for someone with a degree in chemistry. Many students obtain further schooling, enrolling in medical or graduate school, eventually acquiring positions in academia as professors and researchers. Additionally, students can go on to the industrial sector, and become chemists in a variety of settings such as food, cosmetic, and pharmaceutical labs, performing reactions that produce many of the useful things we take for granted, as well as carrying out tests to ensure that everything that we use on a regular basis is safe for us.


Geologists study the solid and liquid matter that constitutes the Earth as well as the processes and history that have shaped it.

Geologists, compared to scientists engaged in other fields, are generally more exposed to the outdoors rather than staying in laboratories. Professional geologists work for a wide range of government agencies, private firms, and non-profit and academic institutions.

If you are interested in pursuing a degree or career in physical science, please contact a member of our faculty.