Sep 30, 2022  
2021-22 Undergraduate Bulletin 
2021-22 Undergraduate Bulletin Archived

Physics, BS

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 Concentration  or engineering physics programs described on the department’s  page.

Recommended Curriculum for Majors in Physics

During the summer prior to beginning the program outlined below, students unprepared for MATH 2313  are encouraged to enroll for preparatory mathematics courses equivalent to MATH 1316 MATH 1314  and MATH 1318 . Students who cannot obtain the preparatory mathematics before beginning this program may, in consultation with physics faculty members, work out an alternate plan that leads to the BS with a major in physics.

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

University Core Curriculum Requirements

A. Communication

B. Mathematics

Three hours from:

C. Life and Physical Science

D. Language, Philosophy and Culture

E. Creative Arts

F. American History

G. Government/Political Science

H. Social and Behavioral Science

I. Component Area Option

Foundation of Knowledge

Preparatory Coursework

The following course is required prior to enrollment in a major course:

Physics Major

The Physics, Major  will consist of a 20-21 hour core and may be taken with or with out one of the following concentrations:

  • Applied Physics
  • Physics/Engineering Dual Degree


A minor of 18 to 24 semester hours in a single discipline is required. At least six hours in the minor must be in advanced-level courses at SFA. Physics majors may choose the mathematics minor.

General Electives

The student may be required to complete additional elective hours to complete the degree.

Total hours: 120

Grade Requirements

  • A grade of at least C in each first-year English course (ENGL 1301 , ENGL 1302 )
  • A C average in work completed in the major field
  • A C average in work completed in the minor field

The required averages are based on those SFA courses taken in each category that are included in the student’s official degree plan (CAPP). Transfer and advanced placement coursework are not included in GPA calculations.

In-Residence Requirement

Undergraduate Degree Programs

Undergraduate degrees require at least 25% semester credit hours completed in-residence.

Undergraduate degrees with 120 hours total degree program hours require a minimum of 30 advanced (upper level) in-residence semester credit hours. The in-residence hour requirement will be fulfilled as part of the individual discipline major, which includes as least 12 advanced in-residence semester credit hours. Minor requirements also may contribute to the total in-residence hours as at least six advanced in-residence semester credit hours are required. The balance of in-resident hours will be fulfilled through additional advanced semester credit hours and may include further major and minor coursework.

Undergraduate degrees with more than 120 total degree program hour requirements will ensure semester credit hours for the specific discipline include at least 25% of total semester credit hours in-residence.

View the In-Residence Requirement, Policy 6.15.

Texas Success Initiative Program

All students must satisfy provisions of the Texas Success Initiative program. See the TSI information  bulletin page.

Degree Map

The following is the recommended sequence of course completion for this degree.

Freshman Year

Sophomore Year

Junior Year

Senior Year


For the electives listed, three to four hours must be department electives from PHYS 2305 PHYS 2105 PHYS 2401 PHYS 2001 PHYS 3343 PHYS 3043 PHYS 4175 PHYS 4176 ASTR 3305 ASTR 3005  or ASTR 3335 .