About one third of SMCM Physics graduates attend physics graduate school, about one third go to graduate programs in other fields, and one third enter employment directly. Physics graduate programs in which our alumni have recently enrolled include Cornell, Yale, Duke, Rice, University of Maryland, University of Maryland–Baltimore County, University of Connecticut, University of Virginia, William & Mary, Ohio State University, Old Dominion, and George Washington. Alumni have also attended graduate programs in engineering, oceanography, chemistry, applied math, teaching, and neuroscience, as well as medical school and law school. Graduates work in research, teaching, engineering, energy, defense, finance, government, law, and many more areas.
Employers, graduate schools, and our own alumni report that our students’ experience performing in depth research for their St. Mary’s Projects is something that sets our graduates apart from grads from most other colleges. The skills and experiences acquired continue to be useful after graduation.
In 2014, the Physics Department conducted a survey of regional employers. Of the more than 150 who responded that they hired for scientific/engineering position, almost all were looking for more than just technical skills for these positions. When hiring, more than 90% also sought candidates with skills in teamwork, written communication, oral communication, critical thinking, and information literacy — skills developed by the liberal arts education in physics at St. Mary’s.