Majoring and Minoring

Programs and Requirements

The major requires 38 credits in physics and 20 credits in mathematics, as follows:

  • Physics 151 (Motion) and 152 (Waves and Matter) with laboratories
  • Physics 251 (Electromagnetism) and 252 (Thermodynamics and Statistical Mechanics)
  • Physics 201 (Experimental Methods in the Physical Sciences)
  • Physics 300 (Advanced Laboratory and Colloquium)
  • Physics 321 (Quantum Mechanics)
  • Physics 331 (Advanced Electricity and Magnetism)
  • Physics 451 (Theoretical Dynamics)
  • Mathematics 131 (Calculus I)
  • Mathematics 132 (Calculus II)
  • Mathematics 233 (Calculus III)
  • Mathematics 235 (Differential Equations)
  • Mathematics 305 (Partial Differential Equations)
  • One course from the following: Physics 390 (Biomedical Imaging), Physics 400 (Advanced Laboratory and Colloquium), Physics 490 (Undergraduate Research and Colloquium), Physics 491 (Honors Research)

The Department of Physics offers a complete program for students planning careers in physics or engineering, including a thorough preparation for graduate school or for professional engineering school.

The program is also well suited for those who plan careers in science education or in the health sciences. Special courses for students not planning a science career introduce them to the basic concepts underlying modern scientific thought.

The physics curriculum is highly sequential; all students contemplating the major should seek the advice of a physics faculty member as soon as possible. Transfer students and those who declare the major after the first year should consult the department chair for guidance. Upon consultation with faculty, the complete course program for a physics major can be adapted to match the goals of each student.

For more information see the College of Arts and Sciences Course Catalog: Physics.

In-a-nutshell summary of curriculum, requirements, and typical student schedule.