The number of high school students taking physics classes is increasing sharply, and the number of college students receiving bachelor’s degrees in the subject is also on the rise, according to a study by the American Institute of Physics.
The number of bachelor’s-degree recipients in physics has increased by 31 percent since 2000, the College Park, Md.-based organization says. Those degree-holders are eight times more likely to go on to earn any type of Ph.d. than recipients of bachelor’s degrees in fields other than physics, researchers for the study found. Data also showed that more than 30 percent of high school seniors in 2005 had taken physics classes—a bigger proportion than ever before. That percentage has been rising steadily since the mid-1980s.