Jun 03, 2023  
2020-21 Undergraduate Bulletin 
2020-21 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 PHYS 2325 , PHYS 2326 , PHYS 3421  (or ENGR 3421 ), PHYS 3333 , PHYS 3347 , PHYS 4330 , PHYS 4331 , PHYS 4340 , PHYS 4441  and PHYS 4170  plus three hours from PHYS 2401  (or ENGR 2401 ), PHYS 2305  (or ENGR 2305 ), PHYS 3343  (or ENGR 3343 ), ASTR 3305  or ASTR 3335 , or special problems (PHYS 4175  or PHYS 4176 ). CHEM 1311  and CHEM 1312  also are required.

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 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 

1. University Core Curriculum Requirements

A. Communication

B. Mathematics

Three hours from:

C. Life and Physical Sciences

D. Language, Philosophy and Culture

E. Creative Arts

F. American History

G. Government/Political Science

H. Social and Behavioral Sciences

I. Component Area Option

Curriculum (120 hours)

Freshman Year (29 hours)

Sophomore Year (32 hours)

14 hours


16 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 PHYS 2305 PHYS 2401 PHYS 3343 , PHYS 4175 , PHYS 4176 , ASTR 3305  or ASTR 3335 .

*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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