Physics Major — B.A.

The B.A. major in physics permits students either to concentrate heavily on physics in preparation for industrial careers or to combine physics with other professional interests or graduate degree aspirations such as secondary education, premedical training or biology, astronomy, electronics, chemistry, environmental science, or computer science.

Summary

Physics B.A. Major Requirements56-58
Integrative Core Curriculum Requirements 129-41
Electives21-35
Total Credits120
1

 See Integrative Core Curriculum requirements, with information about the H&S CLA requirement.

Degree Requirements 

CORE PHYSICS COURSES
PHYS 11700Principles of Physics I: Mechanics4
PHYS 11800Principles of Physics II: Electricity and Magnetism4
PHYS 12000Introductory Applied Physics Laboratory3
PHYS 21700Principles of Physics III: Waves, Optics and Thermodynamics4
PHYS 21800Principles of Physics IV: Modern Physics4
PHYS 22500DC and AC Circuits3
PHYSICS CAPSTONE
To fulfill the capstone requirement, students must select one of two options:3-5
Option I:
Senior Projects
Option II:
A minimum of 135 hours of research devoted to Senior Thesis project
Senior Thesis Proposal
Senior Thesis I
Senior Thesis II
PHYS 499xx
Advanced Physics Research
ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS OUTSIDE THE DEPARTMENT
MATH 11100Calculus I4
MATH 11200Calculus II4
MATH 21100Calculus III4
COMP 17100Principles of Computing Science I4
CONCENTRATION REQUIREMENT
The concentration must be planned with the adviser and approved by the department before the end of the student's fourth semester. The concentration design must meet the following criteria: 15
1) Nine credits at level 3 or 4, at least 6 of them in physics (excluding PHYS 30100) 1
2) Three credits of physics laboratory at level 3 or 4
3) Three additional credits
Total Credits56-58
1

Credits used to satisfy this requirement may not be used to satisfy concentration requirement 2 or 3.

Sample Concentrations

Students have many options for developing concentrations; the tables below show typical combinations of courses in particular focus areas that students may want to consider, in consultation with their advisers.

3-2 Engineering

Physics
Mathematical Methods of Physics
Electromagnetism
Analytical Mechanics
Thermodynamics
Advanced Physics Laboratory
Engineering
Select one course at the engineering school

Premedical

Physics
Electromagnetism
Thermodynamics
Advanced Physics Laboratory
Chemistry and Biology
Principles of Biology I, Cell and Molecular
Principles of Biology II, Ecology and Evolution
Principles of Chemistry
Experimental Chemistry I
Organic Chemistry I
Organic Chemistry II

 Astronomy

Physics
Electromagnetism
Analytical Mechanics
Advanced Physics Laboratory
Quantum Mechanics
Astronomy
Astrophysics

Electronics

Physics
Electromagnetism
Thermodynamics
Analog Electronics
Computer Science
Principles of Computer Science II
Introduction to Computer Organization and Systems
Introduction to Data Structures

Biophysics

Physics
Electromagnetism
Thermodynamics
Advanced Physics Laboratory
Biology
Neurobiology
Cell Biology
Chemistry
Quantitative Chemistry

Materials Science

Physics
Electromagnetism
Thermodynamics
Advanced Physics Laboratory
Quantum Mechanics
Chemistry
Quantitative Chemistry
Physical Chemistry: Quantum Chemistry and Spectroscopy

Environmental Science

Physics
Mathematical Methods of Physics
Electromagnetism
Thermodynamics
Advanced Physics Laboratory
Environmental Studies and Sciences
Human-Environment Geography
Environmental Methods: Sampling, Surveying, Statistics and Analysis

Computational Physics

Physics
Electromagnetism
Analytical Mechanics
Advanced Physics Laboratory
Computer Science
Introduction to Data Structures
Algorithms and Data Structures
Math
Linear Algebra