Indiana University

News Release

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Last modified: Tuesday, October 25, 2005

IU's new Applied Physics Program prepares students for careers in high tech industries

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BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Recently four students in the new Applied Physics Program at Indiana University Bloomington received co-op intern offers from Crane Naval Surface Warfare Center. The students were among the first to enroll in the program, which is designed for undergraduate physics majors who want to work in industrial or government laboratories after graduation.

The new bachelor of science track in applied physics blends the abstract and practical. Students will combine a solid background in physics with an extensive introduction to the applied aspects of physics. Hands-on internships will prepare the students for careers in high technology industries.

"We initiated the Applied Physics Program in response to needs of students who want to move on to jobs in industry or labs after getting an undergraduate degree rather than go on to graduate studies -- the more traditional path," said physicist Alex Dzierba, the IU Physics Department's chair of undergraduate recruiting.

"After looking at other programs and consulting with a former IU undergraduate physics major, Ray Lepore, who is now dean at Edison College in Ohio, we designed a curriculum that looks similar to our standard physics track but differs in a number of important ways," Dzierba explained.

After Lepore graduated from IU, he went to work for a company that made electronics for nuclear and high energy physics research. Later he joined Edison College, where he runs an undergraduate program that prepares students for jobs in high tech industry and relies heavily on partnering with industry.

Students in the new program are required to spend at least one and preferably two summers as paid interns. IU physicists have had discussions with Cook Inc. and Crane Naval Surface Warfare Center locally, and they now have a signed memorandum of understanding with Crane. Students also will be able to take advantage of programs at national laboratories such as Oak Ridge (Tennessee), Fermilab (Illinois), Los Alamos (New Mexico) and Jefferson Lab (Virginia), all of which have summer programs for undergraduates.

More details about the program can be found at

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