Undergraduate Program

Curriculum

The Physics Major is a firm basis for a career in medicine, law, business, sales, engineering, teaching, computing, biophysics, environmental science, or physics.

Freshmen who declare physics as a major are strongly advised to take PHY 101 their first semester (unless they have AP credit for calculus). Also contact the math department to take a placement exam (math placement test) so that you can sign up for MAT151, MAT190, or MAT191. It is also recommended to take CSC130, CHE 111 and 114 during your first two years.

Sample Schedule of Physics and Math Lecture courses for 4-year BS degree in Physics

Class Fall Spring
Freshman PHY101
MAT191
PHY291
MAT292 (or 191, then 292 in Summer)
Sophomore PHY292
MAT293 and MAT390
PHY321 and PHY323
MAT394 (and 390 if not completed yet)
Junior PHY325
PHY327 or 412
PHY42x or 330 or 543
Senior PHY42x
PHY327 or 412
PHY401
PHY42x or 330 or 543

Note: PHY42x includes 421,423,425,426. PHY330 and 543 may replace PHY42x.
See below for detailed requirements, including required laboratory courses.

Courses required for the Bachelor of Arts Physics Major:

  1. PHY 291, 292 (or 211, 212), 321, 323, 325, 401, two from {327, 412, 413}, and three from {294, 321L, 323L, 325L, 395}.
  2. Required courses in related subjects: CHE 111, 112, 114, 115; CSC 130; MAT 191, 292, 293, 390, 394
  3. Electives sufficient to complete the 122 semester hours required for the degree
Class Number Class Name Hours
Phy 291 (or 211)
Phy 291L
Introductory Physics & Lab 4
Phy 292 (or 212)
Phy 292L
Introductory Physics & Lab 4
Phy 321 Modern Physics 3
Phy 323 Mechanics 3
Phy 325 Electricity/Magnetism 3
Phy 327 or 412 or 413 Thermal or Electronics for Scientists or Computer Interfacing 6
Phy 294 or 321L or 323L or 325L or 395 1 Credit Labs 3
Phy 401 Senior Seminar 1
TOTAL HOURS 27

Bachelor of Science Degree

Minimum 37 semester hours in physics above the 100 level. Students must have at least a 2.0 grade point average for the required physics and mathematics courses. Requirements are the same as for the BA degree with the additional requirements: 1 additional course from {294, 321L, 323L, 325L, 395} and 3 courses from the following:

Class Number Class Name Hours
Phy 330 Astrophysics 3
Phy 421 Modern Physics with Quantum Mechanics 3
Phy 423 Analytical Mechanics 3
Phy 426 Electricity/Magnetism II 3
Phy 543 Biophysics 3

Minoring in Physics

A minimum of 15 semester hours in physics courses is to be planned in consultation with a physics faculty member. The usual physics minor program will consist of PHY 291, 292, and at least 7 semester hours of additional courses (excluding PHY 203, 209, 235, 205, 333, and 334). Other, quite different programs may be fitted to the individual student’s interests and objectives.

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