A versatile education
Physicists at EPFL are university-level scientists capable of answering the questions of modern science as well as providing solutions to socio-economic and environmental problems. Consequently, their scientific training integrates the management, conception and realization of projects. This type of training requires good mathematical skills, a pronounced taste for scientific rigor, and a penchant for conceptualization and abstraction.
The education requires the knowledge of the constitutive laws of physical systems and allows them to be discovered through ex-cathedra courses and practical laboratory work.
In addition, the understanding of physical theories requires a solid mathematical background. Consequently, the scientific program of the first years of training is mainly based on courses in mathematics and general physics and practical physics work.
Since the physicist seeks to apply scientific discoveries in modern society, it is important that a part of his training is reserved for the Social and Human Sciences (SHS).
After one year of preparatory training, the “Bachelor” cycle (2nd and 3rd year) is devoted on the one hand to major courses in modern physics, such as quantum physics, electrodynamics, solid state physics, statistical physics, biophysics, …, and on the other hand to practical work on current topics in the physics laboratories of the EPFL.
The “Master” cycle allows the students to take part in specialized courses. It ends with a four or six -month master thesis carried out in a research laboratory.
As the subject is in principle original research, it is often promoted by a publication in an internationally renowned scientific journal.
What are the professional perpectives?
The range of professional perspectives is very broad since the physicist owns a broad scientific education.
Professional perspectives range from fundamental research domains, such as astrophysics and particle physics, to applied research in the fields of advanced technologies, such as thermonuclear fusion, biophysics, nanotechnology, superconductivity, photonics, quantum information, experiments with particle accelerators. This training also offers opportunities in the management and administration of companies and public organizations, or in teaching.