Physics Major
Department of Physics
Division of Natural Sciences and Mathematics
The Physics Department prepares its majors for any career where problem-solving skills are required. Popular post-graduation options include graduate study in physics or engineering, industrial research, secondary school teaching, and professional careers in engineering, medicine, information technology, cybersecurity, data analytics, and business/finance.
Physics Major Requirements
Code | Title | Credits |
---|---|---|
Required Introductory Courses | 16 | |
General Physics I with Lab | ||
General Physics II with Lab | ||
Modern Physics with Lab | ||
Scientific Modeling & Data Analysis | ||
Select 3 Theory Courses From Below ^{1} | 12 | |
Classical Mechanics | ||
Quantum Mechanics | ||
Thermodynamics & Statistical Mechanics | ||
Electricity and Magnetism | ||
Experimental Physics Courses | 8 | |
Electronics with Lab | ||
or PHY 354 | Optics with Lab | |
Advanced Physics Laboratory | ||
Mathematics Courses ^{2} | 16 | |
Differential Calculus | ||
Stretch Differential Calculus I and Stretch Differential Calculus II | ||
Integral Calculus | ||
Multivariable Calculus | ||
Differential Equations | ||
One additional physics course at the 300+ level is required. ^{3} | 4 | |
300-level PHY | ||
Departmental Seminar Courses ^{4} | 5 | |
Sophomore Physics Seminar | ||
Junior Physics Seminar I | ||
Junior Physics Seminar II | ||
Senior Physics Seminar I | ||
Senior Physics Seminar II | ||
Senior Capstone | 2-4 | |
Senior Capstone Experience | ||
Total Credits | 63-65 |
- ^{ 1 }
Students planning to attend graduate school in physics or engineering should plan to take all four upper-level theory courses.
- ^{ 2 }
Students planning to attend graduate school in physics or engineering are also recommended to take MAT 280 Linear Algebra and MAT 340 Numerical Analysis.
- ^{ 3 }
Another upper-level science/math course approved by the physics department may occasionally be substituted for this requirement.
- ^{ 4 }
Each seminar course is one credit hour. The seminar meets one afternoon each week. Students begin the seminar sequence during the spring semester of the sophomore year.
Students planning to major in physics should ideally take PHY 111 General Physics I with Lab, PHY 112 General Physics II with Lab, MAT 111 Differential Calculus and MAT 112 Integral Calculus in their freshman year. However, it is possible to complete the major if students start major coursework during their sophomore year. A score of four or better on an Advanced Placement examination may, with the approval of the appropriate academic department, earn course credit toward graduation and make the student eligible to take upper-level courses in the department. Physics majors intending to become certified high school teachers should inform the Education Department as early in their college careers as possible to assure proper scheduling.
Alternate Requirements for the Bachelor of Science in Physics for Dual Degree Engineering Students (3:2 or 3:3 plans only)
Code | Title | Credits |
---|---|---|
All of the following introductory courses are required: ^{5} | 16 | |
General Physics I with Lab | ||
General Physics II with Lab | ||
Modern Physics with Lab | ||
Scientific Modeling & Data Analysis | ||
Two upper-level theory courses are required, selected from the following: | 8 | |
Classical Mechanics | ||
Quantum Mechanics | ||
Thermodynamics & Statistical Mechanics | ||
Electricity and Magnetism | ||
One course in Electronics | 4 | |
Electronics with Lab | ||
All of the following courses in mathematics are required | 16 | |
Differential Calculus | ||
Integral Calculus | ||
Multivariable Calculus | ||
Differential Equations | ||
Three semesters of the departmental seminar course are required. Each seminar course is one credit hour. The seminar meets one afternoon each week. | 3 | |
Sophomore Physics Seminar | ||
Junior Physics Seminar I | ||
Junior Physics Seminar II | ||
Total Credits | 47 |
- ^{ 5 }
Additional courses required by the Engineering partner institution as outlined on the Pre-Engineering section of the catalog
First Year | |||
---|---|---|---|
Fall | Credits | Spring | Credits |
FYS 101 | 4 | MAT 112 | 4 |
MAT 111 | 4 | PHY 112 | 4 |
PHY 111 | 4 | General Ed Course | 4 |
General Ed Course | 4 | General Ed Course | 4 |
16 | 16 | ||
Second Year | |||
Fall | Credits | Spring | Credits |
PHY 211 | 4 | MAT 310 | 4 |
MAT 210 | 4 | PHY 252 | 4 |
General Ed Course | 4 | PHY 292 | 1 |
General Ed Course | 4 | General Ed Course | 4 |
General Ed Course | 4 | ||
16 | 17 | ||
Third Year | |||
Fall | Credits | Spring | Credits |
PHY 321, 322, 323, or 324 | 4 | PHY 321, 322, 323, or 324 | 4 |
PHY 391 | 1 | PHY 392 | 1 |
General Ed Course | 4 | PHY 352 or 354 | 4 |
General Ed Course | 4 | General Ed Course | 4 |
Elective Course | 4 | Elective Course | 4 |
17 | 17 | ||
Fourth Year | |||
Fall | Credits | Spring | Credits |
PHY 321, 322, 323, or 324 | 4 | PHY 3XX | 4 |
PHY 451 | 4 | PHY 492 | 1 |
PHY 491 | 1 | Elective Course | 4 |
Elective Course | 3 | PHY SCE | 4 |
Elective Course | 4 | ||
16 | 13 | ||
Total Credits 128 |