Physics is the study of nature’s most basic interactions between matter and energy. An Associate in Science (AS) degree in Physics will prepare students for transfer to a university to major in physics or in a closely related career for which physics is an integral part. With continued education, students can pursue a wide range of career paths in teaching, medicine, science writing, science policy, government, and management in technical fields. Potential job titles could include physics teacher, physicist, materials scientist, engineer, or researcher.

Graduates of these programs will successfully complete the following learning outcomes:

  • Collect, analyze, and communicate information about basic mechanical systems
  • Engage in scientific inquiry
  • Apply physics principles to solve problems
  • Collect, analyze, and communicate information about basic electric systems
  • Collect, analyze, and communicate information about basic magnetic systems


Click on a program to get more information.

AS in Physics

To get started on your personalized Academic Plan, visit the Academic Planning page or schedule an appointment to meet with an advisor.

Career Overview & Job Outlook

Successful completion of this program may lead to a variety of employment opportunities, most of which require continued higher education at the university level. Below are examples of related occupations and annual mean wages in Arizona according to a May 2020 State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates Report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Mechanical Engineering Technologists and Technicians
Apply theory and principles of mechanical engineering to modify, develop, test, or adjust machinery and equipment under direction of engineering staff or physical scientists.
Industrial Engineering Technologists and Technicians
Apply engineering theory and principles to problems of industrial layout or manufacturing production, usually under the direction of engineering staff. May perform time and motion studies on worker operations in a variety of industries for purposes such as establishing standard production rates or improving efficiency.
Aerospace Engineering and Operations Technologists and Technicians
Operate, install, adjust, and maintain integrated computer/communications systems, consoles, simulators, and other data acquisition, test, and measurement instruments and equipment, which are used to launch, track, position, and evaluate air and space vehicles. May record and interpret test data.
Materials Scientists
Research and study the structures and chemical properties of various natural and synthetic or composite materials, including metals, alloys, rubber, ceramics, semiconductors, polymers, and glass. Determine ways to strengthen or combine materials or develop new materials with new or specific properties for use in a variety of products and applications. Includes glass scientists, ceramic scientists, metallurgical scientists, and polymer scientists.
Atmospheric and Space Scientists
Investigate atmospheric phenomena and interpret meteorological data, gathered by surface and air stations, satellites, and radar to prepare reports and forecasts for public and other uses. Includes weather analysts and forecasters whose functions require the detailed knowledge of meteorology.
Electrical Engineers
Research, design, develop, test, or supervise the manufacturing and installation of electrical equipment, components, or systems for commercial, industrial, military, or scientific use.
Industrial Engineers
Design, develop, test, and evaluate integrated systems for managing industrial production processes, including human work factors, quality control, inventory control, logistics and material flow, cost analysis, and production coordination.
Mechanical Engineers
Perform engineering duties in planning and designing tools, engines, machines, and other mechanically functioning equipment. Oversee installation, operation, maintenance, and repair of equipment such as centralized heat, gas, water, and steam systems.
Biochemists and Biophysicists
Study the chemical composition or physical principles of living cells and organisms, their electrical and mechanical energy, and related phenomena. May conduct research to further understanding of the complex chemical combinations and reactions involved in metabolism, reproduction, growth, and heredity. May determine the effects of foods, drugs, serums, hormones, and other substances on tissues and vital processes of living organisms.
Observe, research, and interpret astronomical phenomena to increase basic knowledge or apply such information to practical problems.
Aerospace Engineers
Perform engineering duties in designing, constructing, and testing aircraft, missiles, and spacecraft. May conduct basic and applied research to evaluate adaptability of materials and equipment to aircraft design and manufacture. May recommend improvements in testing equipment and techniques.

Contact Information

Robert Killin
Division Chair, Science
(928) 317-7685
Office: AS 117
Dahwei Chang
Professor of Physics
(928) 317-6446
Office: AS 123