Mar 05, 2024  
2023-24 Undergraduate Bulletin 
2023-24 Undergraduate Bulletin

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 engineering physics programs described on the department’s  webpage. The program in physics requires students to concentrate in either general or applied physics. An optional JacksTeach concentration can be pursued to becomes certified to teach Physical Science in the secondary education setting.

Recommended Curriculum for Majors in Physics

The recommended degree mapping is shown below for a student entering precalculus.  

Students majoring in physics regularly minor in mathematics or astronomy. 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, as advised by a mathematics advisor, in place of electives to meet the additional major requiremetns.  NOTE:  An additional major will not result in an additional degree.  

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

Physics Major

Practicum/Special Problems

Complete one hour from each of the following:

Required Concentration

Students must select one of the following concentrations.

Physical Science Secondary Certification Concentration

Students can select this optional concentration, in lieu of a minor, to become certified to as secondary education teacher.


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.

Preparatory Coursework

The following courses may be required prior to enrollment in Calculus or major coursework.  The courses listed below may be in excess of the hours required for the degree.  This may affect eligibility for the Texas Tuition Rebate Opportunity.

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 HOP policy 02-214.

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