Dec 03, 2022  
2018-19 Undergraduate Bulletin 
2018-19 Undergraduate Bulletin Archived

Physics, B.S.

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Programs for physics majors vary with the student’s goals and interests. The recommended curriculum for the student preparing for graduate study in physics or employment as a professional physicist is detailed below. Students interested in both physics and engineering may wish to consider the Physics/Engineering Dual Degree, B.S.  or engineering physics programs described on the department’s  page. The minimum course requirements for a major in physics consist of 37 hours of physics, astronomy and engineering, of which 26 hours must be advanced. This must include PHY 241 , PHY 242 , PHY 321  (or EGR 321 ), PHY 333 , PHY 347 , PHY 430 , PHY 431 , PHY 440 , PHY 441  and PHY 470  plus three hours from PHY 250  (or EGR 250 ), PHY 215  (or EGR 215 ), PHY 343  (or EGR 343 ), AST 305  or AST 335 , or special problems (PHY 475  or PHY 476 ). CHE 133  and CHE 134  also are required.

Recommended Curriculum for Majors in Physics

During the summer prior to beginning the program outlined below, students unprepared for MTH 233  are encouraged to enroll for preparatory mathematics courses equivalent to MTH 133 , MTH 138  and MTH 139 . Students who cannot obtain the preparatory mathematics before beginning this program may, in consultation with the physics faculty, work out an alternate plan, that leads to the B.S. with a major in physics.

Students majoring in physics regularly minor in mathematics. Many elect to pursue a double major in physics and mathematics. The following recommended curriculum includes courses meeting the requirements for a major in physics and a minor in mathematics. To obtain a double major in physics and mathematics, students should take additional mathematics courses in place of electives to meet the requirements listed in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics 

Curriculum (120 hours)

Freshman Year (29 hours)

Sophomore Year (32 hours)

Junior Year (31-33 hours)


16 hours


15-16 hours

Senior Year (25-28 hours)


15 hours

14-15 hours


For the electives listed, three to four hours must be department electives from PHY 215 PHY 250 PHY 343 , PHY 475 , PHY 476 , AST 305  or AST 335 .

*Not open to students with junior and senior physics major or minor standing without approval of the chair of the department.

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