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Career Outcomes

Your Success Story Is Waiting. More than 75 percent of our majors continue their studies at prestigious graduate schools including Yale, Harvard, Columbia, MIT, Stanford, and Oxford, working on Ph.D. degrees in physics, math, data science, and material science. Others go to medical school or law school. Still, others work in various research-related jobs ranging from health care to banking.  Companies that have hired our graduates include Nissan, the New York Yankees, and Google.


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Alumni Stories

Qiaohong (Joanna) Wang ‘22

B.A. in Mathematics and Physics

Current Placement: Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering, University of Chicago

“My undergraduate experience in the physics department was inspiring, fulfilling, and heartening. The coursework in the physics department, along with supportive faculty members, has repeatedly kindled my interest in different sub-fields of physics. The accessibility to professors made it possible for me to explore a variety of topics in-depth through research projects. Working with professors on cutting-edge research not only helped me grow transferrable skills for post-graduate work, but also constantly inspired me to become a better researcher in physics. The close-knit community within the department also supported me and encouraged me to push my abilities further. I’m grateful for the friendships with my peers and the mentorships from my professors I had at Vanderbilt. I could not be where I am today without their help, support, and guidance.”

Timothy Zaklama, ‘20

B.A. in Mathematics and Physics
Physics Doctoral Candidate at MIT

Current Job: Quantitative Trader at IMC Trading from August 2020-present

“Studying in the physics department at Vanderbilt was an absolute pleasure. Not only did the classes adequately prepare me for graduate material and graduate-level research, but the professors genuinely and passionately invested in my learning, development, and career goals. No professors are more emblematic of this description for me than Professor Gurrola and Professor Varga. They provided me generous instruction, materials, opportunities, and continuous support that proved invaluable to me during my undergraduate career and propelled me to success in the professional world.”

Collin Erickson ‘14

B.A. in Physics and Mathematics
Ph.D. Northwestern University, Industrial Engineering and Management Sciences ‘19

Current job: Quantitative analyst, New York Yankees

“Studying math and physics at Vanderbilt prepared me for graduate school and my career after graduation. I was able to complete a Ph.D. and get my dream job because of the foundation provided by my experience and coursework at Vandy. I will forever be thankful for my time at the university and for the professors that encouraged me and provided me opportunities in their classes and laboratories.”


Jyotirmoy Mandal ‘14

B.A. in Physics, Mathematics, Materials Science & Engineering
Ph.D. Columbia University, Solid State Track, Applied Physics

Currrent position:  Assistant professor,

Dr. Mandal’s research involves understanding and controlling nano-to-macro scale radiative heat flows in both natural environments and artificial surfaces, with characterizing and mitigating ambient heat in a warming world as a guiding theme. On the scientific front, his work lies at the intersection of optics and materials science, and involves the creation of photonic and plasmonic metamaterials and designs with novel optical properties. On the Civil and Environmental Engineering front, he designs scalable materials that radiatively thermoregulate and make human environments more sustainable and climate resilient. Dr. Mandal’s other research interests include optical component design for infrared heat detection and characterization, water harvesting using passive cooling technologies, modelling large-scale impact of radiative cooling designs for geoengineering, and optical/radiative phenomena in the natural world.

John Jumper ’07

B.A. in Mathematics and Physics

Current job: Senior research scientist, DeepMind Technologies

John Jumper and his colleagues at DeepMind in London 2021 released AlphaFold, which uses artificial intelligence to predict protein structures with stunning accuracy. The scientific journal Natureincluded Jumper as one of the ten “people who mattered” in science in their annual listing of Nature’s 10 in 2021.

John received the Wiley Prizein Biomedical Sciences and the Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences for developing AlphaFold. Read more about Jumper’s work.


Joanne Smith-Farrell 1991

Undergraduate in Physics
Ph.D. The Catholic University of America, Physics

Current position:  The CEO of Be Biopharma in Cambridge, MA.

Dr. Joanne Smith-Farrell is a mission-driven executive whose career has been devoted to leading teams conquering cancer and life-limiting disease.

Joanne joined Be Bio as chief executive officer in February of 2021, where she leads a committed team of scientists, drug developers, business builders and cell therapy operational specialists, united in one common mission – to fully unleash the power of engineered B cell medicines to provide previously impossible solutions across a wide range of therapeutic areas to patients with many of today’s least tractable diseases.