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Physics in Illinois

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There are schools offering physics courses in Illinois!

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Schools Offering Physics Programs in Illinois

Each year, roughly 0.1% of Illinois students graduate with degrees in physics. In other words, every year an estimated 436 physicists graduate from Illinois' 33 physics schools.

Top Schools

The top-ranked school in Illinois with a physics program is Northwestern University, which is located in Evanston. In 2010, it was ranked 7th nationwide. 18 students graduated with a degree in physics from Northwestern University in 2010. Northwestern University charged in-state students $40,223 in tuition fees per year.

Wheaton College, which was ranked 21st nationwide in 2010, is the second-ranked school in Illinois that has a physics program. It is located in Wheaton. In 2010, 4 students graduated from Wheaton College physics program. The tuition rate at Wheaton College was $27,580 per year.

The third-ranked school in Illinois that has a physics program is Loyola University Chicago. Loyola University Chicago, which was ranked 28th in the country in 2010, is located in Chicago. 13 students graduated with degree in physics from Loyola University Chicago in 2010. Loyola University Chicago charged in-state students $32,114 in tuition fees per year.


If you are hoping to attend one of Illinois' physics schools, you can expect to pay an average tuition of $21,644 per year, though tuition can range from $42,041 per year to $7,492 per year. In 2010, the following Illinois physics schools had the highest tuition rates:

  1. University of Chicago - located in Chicago, students are charged $42,041 per year
  2. Northwestern University - located in Evanston, students are charged $40,223 per year
  3. Lake Forest College - located in Lake Forest, students are charged $35,525 per year

The physics schools in Illinois that charged the lowest tuition rates were:

  1. Northeastern Illinois University - located in Chicago, students are charged $7,492 per year
  2. Southern Illinois University Edwardsville - located in Edwardsville, students are charged $8,401 per year
  3. Chicago State University - located in Chicago, students are charged $8,752 per year

A physics degree from an Illinois school... what next?

The highest percentage of physics graduates in Illinois pursue careers as a physicist. Illinois had 2,930 physicists in 2010. The Illinois counties with the largest populations of physicists are:

  1. Cook County - 2,580 physicists

Projected Growth

The government projects that by 2018, the number of physicists in the state of Illinois will grow to 3,320. This would require a 8% growth in the profession.


On average, a physicist earns a salary of $130,880 per year in Illinois state. The following counties in Illinois have the highest average salaries for physicists:

  1. Cook County - $132,230 per year

More Information

Take a look at the graphs and charts below for additional Illinois statistics regarding a career in physics and to compare salaries with a variety of related fields such as chemical engineering or chemistry.

Here are the different levels of study available for you to explore.

  • Bachelor's Degree in Physics in Illinois
  • Master's Degree in Physics in Illinois
  • Doctoral Degree in Physics in Illinois

Want to study at your own time and pace?

Consider Online Schools as a great alternative flexible option to earn a degree!

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Curious what studying Physics gets you?

Check out the different options and how they're looking in Illinois

Rank Profession Employment Number Avg Salary Job Growth (past 5 yrs)
Physicists 2,930 $130,880 120.3%

Got your degree? Time to find a job!

Below are physics related jobs in Illinois