Curriculum | Physics & Astronomy


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 MAT 151, MAT 190, or MAT 191. It is also recommended to take CSC 130, 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 PHY 101
MAT 191
PHY 291
MAT 292 (or 191, then 292 in Summer)
Sophomore PHY 292
MAT 293 and MAT 390
CSC 120
PHY 321 and PHY 351
MAT 394 (and 390 if not completed yet)
Junior PHY 311, PHY 323, and PHY 325 PHY 327 and PHY 421
Senior PHY 411, PHY 451, and PHY 453 PHY 401
PHY electives

Bachelor of Arts Physics Major (BA)

Take all the physics courses through the 300-level. No 400-level courses are required. PHY 101 is optional. 26 required credits of PHY

Bachelor of Science Physics Major (BS)

Take 12 credits of 400-level courses in addition to the lower level courses. PHY 101 is optional. 38 required credits of PHY.

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.