Effective Date: Fall 2015

May be elected as a departmental major.

The undergraduate curriculum in Physics is designed to provide a thorough introduction to our current understanding of the physical world. It prepares students for quantitative analysis of the world. The Physics BS degree provides strong preparation for graduate study in Physics and related fields. It also prepares students for direct entry into the job market in a wide variety of technical, analytic, and education settings.

Prerequisites to the Major

  • PHYSICS 135/136 and 235/236 or PHYSICS 140/141 and 240/241 (or PHYSICS 160/161 and 260/261)
  • PHYSICS 340 and PHYSICS 351.

Student interested in concentrating in physics should have an understanding of mathematics through differential equations.

Requirements for the Major

At least 29 credits in PHYSICS numbered 390/391 and above. The Physics Department requires no less than 15 credits toward the major program be completed in residence.

The major must include:

  1. Core. PHYSICS 390/391, 401, 405, 406, and 453.
    PHYSICS 390, 401, 405, 406, and 453 must be completed with a minimum grade of a C- in each course and a cumulative average of C or higher.
    PHYSICS 390/391 can be elected concurrently with PHYICS 401 or 405; PHYSICS 401 and 405 should precede PHYSICS 453; PHYSICS 453 is a prerequisite to most courses numbered above.
  2. Advanced Laboratory. Any two of PHYSICS 441, 442 or 450.
  3. Electives. Two courses from among PHYSICS 402, 411, 413, 417, 430, 433, 435,  438, 452, 457, 460,  463, and 470.

PHYSICS 419, 420, 481, and 489 may not be used to satisfy the B.S. degree requirements.

Honors Plan

Students who have a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.4 are encouraged to elect an Honors major in Physics. In addition to the regular departmental requirements for major, candidates for an Honors major must elect six credits of PHYSICS from courses numbered 401 and above which are not otherwise required and must also complete a senior Honors thesis based on research (PHYSICS 498/499) done under the supervision of a faculty member.


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