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Physics

B.S. in Physics

The department offers two options both leading to a B.S in Physics. All physics majors also earn a minor in Mathematics. Scroll down to learn more and see the programs of study.

Option I

This option is designed for those who intend to pursue graduate study in physics, or a closely related discipline. To this end, students in Option I take a four-hour version of the advanced lab course, an advanced level mathematics course in complex variables, and a computational physics course.

  • Program of Study for Option I

    First Year Fall Spring
    ENGL 1010-1020 Writing I, II 3 3
    PHYS 1020 or MSCI 10201 First-year Connections 1  
    PHYS 1137 Frontiers of Physics 1  
    MATH 1910-1920 Calculus I-II 4 4
    CHEM 1110-1120 General Chemistry I-II 4 4
    PHYS 2110 Calculus-based Physics I   4
    Humanities/Fine Arts   3  
    Total:  16 15
    Second Year Fall Spring
    ENGL 2130/2235/2330 Literature 3  
    MATH 2110 Calculus III 4  
    MATH 2120 Differential Equations   3
    PHYS 2120 Calculus-based Physics II 4  
    PHYS 2420 Modern Physics   3
    PHYS 2920 Mathematical Physics   3
    CSC 1300 Intro to Problem Solving & Computer Programming 4  
    CSC 1310 Data Structures & Algorithms   4
    PC 2500 Communicating in the Professions   3
     Total:  15 16
    Third Year Fall Spring
    PHYS 3610 Classical Mechanics 3  
    PHYS 4610-4620 Classical Elec. and Magnetism 3 3
    PHYS 3120 Statistical Thermal Physics   3
    PHYS 3810 Quantum Mechanics I   3
    MATH 3470 Intro. Prob. and Statistics 3  
    MATH 4510 Adv. Math for Engineers 3  
    MATH 3810 Complex Variables   3
    Humanities/Fine Arts   3  
    Social/Behavioral Sciences     3
     Total:  15 15
    Fourth Year Fall Spring
    PHYS 4710 Advanced Experimental Physics 4  
    PHYS 3820 Quantum Mechanics II 3  
    PHYS 4130 Computational Phys.   3
    PHYS 4730 Research Planning 1  
    PHYS 4740 Research   2
    HIST 2010-2020 American History I-II 3 3
    Social/Behavioral Sciences   3  
    Elective     7
     Total:  14 15

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Option II

This option is designed for those who intend to move straight to employment after graduation, or to pursue graduate studies in another technical discipline. To this end, students in Option II take a two-hour version of the advanced lab course, do not take the courses in complex variables and computational physics, and instead take an agreed upon coordinated set of courses in other technical disciplines. 

  • Program of Study for Option II

     First Year Fall Spring
    ENGL 1010-1020 Writing I, II 3 3
    PHYS 1020 or MSCI 10201 First-year Connections 1  
    PHYS 1137 Frontiers of Physics 1  
    MATH 1910-1920 Calculus I-II 4 4
    CHEM 1110-1120 General Chemistry I-II 4 4
    PHYS 2110 Calculus-based Physics I   4
    Humanities/Fine Arts   3  
     Total:  16 15
    Second Year Fall Spring
    ENGL 2130/2235/2330 Literature 3  
    MATH 2110 Calculus III 4  
    MATH 2120 Differential Equations   3
    PHYS 2120 Calculus-based Physics II 4  
    PHYS 2420 Modern Physics   3
    PHYS 2920 Mathematical Physics   3
    CSC 1300 Intro to Problem Solving & Computer Programming 4  
    Science/Engineering1     4
    PC 2500 Communicating in the Professions   3
    Total:  15 16
    Third Year Fall Spring
    PHYS 3610 Classical Mechanics 3  
    PHYS 4610-4620 Classical Elec. and Magnetism 3 3
    PHYS 3120 Statistical Thermal Physics   3
    PHYS 3810 Quantum Mechanics I   3
    MATH 3470 Intro. Prob. and Statistics 3  
    MATH 4510 Adv. Math for Engineers 3  
    Science/Engineering1     3
    Humanities/Fine Arts   3  
    Social/Behavioral Sciences     3
    Total:  15 15
    Fourth Year Fall Spring
    PHYS 4711 Advanced Experimental Physics 2  
    PHYS 3820 Quantum Mechanics II 3  
    Science/Engineering1   4 3
    PHYS 4730 Research Planning 1  
    PHYS 4740 Research   2
    HIST 2010-2020 American History I-II 3 3
    Social/Behavioral Sciences     3
    Elective   2 3
    Total:  15 14

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Option II Examples

Here are some suggested four-year plans for the Option II program, with emphases in some secondary disciplines (other disciplines are possible). 

  • Option II with emphasis in Astronomy

    First Year Fall Spring
    ENGL 1010-1020 Writing I, II 3 3
    PHYS 1020 or MSCI 10201 First-year Connections 1  
    PHYS 1137 Frontiers of Physics 1  
    MATH 1910-1920 Calculus I-II 4 4
    CHEM 1110-1120 General Chemistry I-II 4 4
    PHYS 2110 Calculus-based Physics I   4
    Humanities/Fine Arts   3  
    Total:  16 15
    Second Year Fall Spring
    ENGL 2130/2235/2330 Literature 3  
    MATH 2110 Calculus III 4  
    MATH 2120 Differential Equations   3
    PHYS 2120 Calculus-based Physics II 4  
    PHYS 2420 Modern Physics   3
    PHYS 2920 Mathematical Physics   3
    CSC 1300 Intro to Problem Solving & Computer Programming 4  
    ASTR 1020 Intro to Modern Astronomy   4
    PC 2500 Communicating in the Professions   3
    Total:  15 16
    Third Year Fall Spring
    PHYS 3610 Classical Mechanics 3  
    PHYS 4610-4620 Classical Elec. and Magnetism 3 3
    PHYS 3120 Statistical Thermal Physics   3
    PHYS 3810 Quantum Mechanics I   3
    MATH 3470 Intro. Prob. and Statistics 3  
    MATH 4510 Adv. Math for Engineers 3  
    ASTR 1010 Intro to Modern Astronomy 4  
    GEOL 3310 Planetary Geoscience   3
    Humanities/Fine Arts     3
    Total:  16 15
    Fourth Year Fall Spring
    PHYS 4711 Advanced Experimental Physics 2  
    PHYS 3820 Quantum Mechanics II 3  
    PHYS 4730 Research Planning 1  
    PHYS 4740 Research   2
    ASTR 3100 Observational Astronomy 4  
    HIST 2010-2020 American History I-II 3 3
    Social/Behavioral Sciences     6
    Elective     3
     Total:  13 15

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  • Option II with emphasis in Computer Science

    First Year Fall Spring
    ENGL 1010-1020 Writing I, II 3 3
    PHYS 1020 or MSCI 10201 First-year Connections 1  
    PHYS 1137 Frontiers of Physics 1  
    MATH 1910-1920 Calculus I-II 4 4
    CHEM 1110-1120 General Chemistry I-II 4 4
    PHYS 2110 Calculus-based Physics I   4
    Humanities/Fine Arts   3  
    Total:  16 15
    Second Year Fall Spring
    ENGL 2130/2235/2330 Literature 3  
    MATH 2110 Calculus III 4  
    MATH 2120 Differential Equations   3
    PHYS 2120 Calculus-based Physics II 4  
    PHYS 2420 Modern Physics   3
    PHYS 2920 Mathematical Physics   3
    CSC 1300 Intro to Problem Solving & Computer Programming 4  
    CSC 1310 Data Structures & Algorithms   4
    PC 2500 Communicating in the Professions   3
    Total:  15 16
    Third Year Fall Spring
    PHYS 3610 Classical Mechanics 3  
    PHYS 4610-4620 Classical Elec. and Magnetism 3 3
    PHYS 3120 Statistical Thermal Physics   3
    PHYS 3810 Quantum Mechanics I   3
    MATH 3470 Intro. Prob. and Statistics 3  
    MATH 4510 Adv. Math for Engineers 3  
    CSC 24002 Design of Algorithms Fundamentals of Data Science 3  
    CSC 32202     3
    Humanities/Fine Arts     3
    Total:  15 15
    Fourth Year Fall Spring
    PHYS 4711 Advanced Experimental Physics 2  
    PHYS 3820 Quantum Mechanics II 3  
    PHYS 4730 Research Planning 1  
    PHYS 4740 Research   2
    PHYS 41302 Computational Physics   3
    CSC 42202 Data Mining and Machine Learning 3  
    HIST 2010-2020 American History I-II 3 3
    Social/Behavioral Sciences   3 3
    Elective     3
    Total:  15 14

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  • Option II with emphasis in Chemistry

    First Year Fall Spring
    ENGL 1010-1020 Writing I, II 3 3
    PHYS 1020 or MSCI 10201 First-year Connections 1  
    PHYS 1137 Frontiers of Physics 1  
    MATH 1910-1920 Calculus I-II 4 4
    CHEM 1110-1120 General Chemistry I-II 4 4
    PHYS 2110 Calculus-based Physics I   4
    Humanities/Fine Arts   3  
    Total:  16 15
    Second Year Fall Spring
    ENGL 2130/2235/2330 Literature 3  
    MATH 2110 Calculus III 4  
    MATH 2120 Differential Equations   3
    PHYS 2120 Calculus-based Physics II 4  
    PHYS 2420 Modern Physics   3
    PHYS 2920 Mathematical Physics   3
    CSC 1300 Intro to Problem Solving & Computer Programming 4  
    Humanities/Fine Arts     3
    PC 2500 Communicating in the Professions   3
    Total:  15 15
    Third Year Fall Spring
    PHYS 3610 Classical Mechanics 3  
    PHYS 4610-4620 Classical Elec. and Magnetism 3 3
    PHYS 3120 Statistical Thermal Physics   3
    PHYS 3810 Quantum Mechanics I   3
    MATH 3470 Intro. Prob. and Statistics 3  
    MATH 4510 Adv. Math for Engineers 3  
    CHEM 3510-202 Physical Chemistry 4 4
    Social/Behavioral Sciences     3
    Total:  16 16
    Fourth Year Fall Spring
    PHYS 4711 Advanced Experimental Physics    
    PHYS 3820 Quantum Mechanics II    
    PHYS 4730 Research Planning    
    PHYS 4740 Research   2
    CHEM 34102 Quantitative Analysis    
    CHEM 4310 or CHEM Nuclear & Radiochemistry   3
    Elective2      
    HIST 2010-2020 American History I-II   3
    Social/Behavioral Sciences     3
    Elective     4
    Total:  13 15

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  • Option II with emphasis in Geology

    First Year Fall Spring
    ENGL 1010-1020 Writing I, II 3 3
    PHYS 1020 or MSCI 10201 First-year Connections 1  
    PHYS 1137 Frontiers of Physics 1  
    MATH 1910-1920 Calculus I-II 4 4
    CHEM 1110-1120 General Chemistry I-II 4 4
    PHYS 2110 Calculus-based Physics I   4
    Humanities/Fine Arts   3  
    Total:  16 15
    Second Year Fall Spring
    ENGL 2130/2235/2330 Literature 3  
    MATH 2110 Calculus III 4  
    MATH 2120 Differential Equations   3
    PHYS 2120 Calculus-based Physics II 4  
    PHYS 2420 Modern Physics   3
    PHYS 2920 Mathematical Physics   3
    CSC 1300 Intro to Problem Solving & Computer Programming 4  
    GEOL 1040 The Dynamic Earth   4
    PC 2500 Communicating in the Professions   3
    Total:  15 16
    Third Year Fall Spring
    PHYS 3610 Classical Mechanics 3  
    PHYS 4610-4620 Classical Elec. and Magnetism 3 3
    PHYS 3120 Statistical Thermal Physics   3
    PHYS 3810 Quantum Mechanics I   3
    MATH 3470 Intro. Prob. and Statistics 3  
    MATH 4510 Adv. Math for Engineers 3  
    GEOL 32302 Structural Geology and Tectonics 4  
    Humanities/Fine Arts     3
    Social/Behavioral Sciences     3
    Total:  16 15
    Fourth Year Fall Spring
    PHYS 4711 Advanced Experimental Physics 2  
    PHYS 3820 Quantum Mechanics II 3  
    PHYS 4730 Research Planning 1  
    PHYS 4740 Research   2
    GEOL Elective     3
    GEOL 41102 Sedimentation and Stratigraphy 4  
    HIST 2010-2020 American History I-II 3 3
    Social/Behavioral Sciences     3
    Elective     4
    Total:  13 15

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  • Option II with emphasis in Biology

    First Year Fall Spring
    ENGL 1010-1020 Writing I, II 3 3
    PHYS 1020 or MSCI 10201 First-year Connections 1  
    PHYS 1137 Frontiers of Physics 1  
    MATH 1910-1920 Calculus I-II 4 4
    CHEM 1110-1120 General Chemistry I-II 4 4
    PHYS 2110 Calculus-based Physics I   4
    Humanities/Fine Arts   3  
    Total:  16 15
    Second Year Fall Spring
    ENGL 2130/2235/2330 Literature 3  
    MATH 2110 Calculus III 4  
    MATH 2120 Differential Equations   3
    PHYS 2120 Calculus-based Physics II 4  
    PHYS 2420 Modern Physics   3
    PHYS 2920 Mathematical Physics   3
    CSC 1300 Intro to Problem Solving & Computer Programming 4  
    Humanities/Fine Arts     3
    PC 2500 Communicating in the Professions   3
    Total:  15 15
    Third Year Fall Spring
    PHYS 3610 Classical Mechanics 3  
    PHYS 4610-4620 Classical Elec. and Magnetism 3 3
    PHYS 3120 Statistical Thermal Physics   3
    PHYS 3810 Quantum Mechanics I   3
    MATH 3470 Intro. Prob. and Statistics 3  
    MATH 4510 Adv. Math for Engineers 3  
    BIOL 1105 Foundations of Biology 4  
    BIOL 1114 General Zoology   4
    Social/Behavioral Sciences     3
    Total:  16 16
    Fourth Year Fall Spring
    PHYS 4711 Advanced Experimental Physics 2  
    PHYS 3820 Quantum Mechanics II 3  
    PHYS 4730 Research Planning 1  
    PHYS 4740 Research   2
    BIOL 31402 Cellular Biology General Microbiology 4  
    BIOL 32002     4
    HIST 2010-2020 American History I-II 3 3
    Social/Behavioral Sciences     3
    Elective     3
    Total:  13 15

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  • Option II with emphasis in Pre-Med

    First Year Fall Spring
    ENGL 1010-1020 Writing I, II 3 3
    PHYS 1020 or MSCI 10201 First-year Connections 1  
    PHYS 1137 Frontiers of Physics 1  
    MATH 1910-1920 Calculus I-II 4 4
    CHEM 1110-1120 General Chemistry I-II 4 4
    PHYS 2110 Calculus-based Physics I   4
    BIOL 1105 Foundations of Biology 4  
    SOC 1010 Intro to Sociology   3
    Total:  17 18
    Second Year Fall Spring
    ENGL 2130/2235/2330 Literature 3  
    MATH 2110 Calculus III 4  
    MATH 2120 Differential Equations   3
    PHYS 2120 Calculus-based Physics II 4  
    PHYS 2420 Modern Physics   3
    PHYS 2920 Mathematical Physics   3
    CSC 1300 Intro to Problem Solving & Computer Programming   4
    CHEM 3010 Organic Chemistry I 4  
    CHEM 3020 Organic Chemistry II   4
    Total:  15 17
    Third Year Fall Spring
    PHYS 3610 Classical Mechanics 3  
    PHYS 4610-4620 Classical Elec. and Magnetism 3 3
    PHYS 3810 Quantum Mechanics I   3
    PHYS 3120 Statistical Thermal Physics   3
    MATH 3470 Intro. Prob. and Statistics 3  
    MATH 4510 Adv. Math for Engineers 3  
    BIOL 1114 General Zoology   4
    CHEM 4610 General Biochemistry 3  
    CHEM 4620 General Biochemistry   3
    PSY 2010 General Psychology   3
    Total:  15 19
    Fourth Year Fall Spring
    PHYS 4711 Advanced Experimental Physics 2  
    PHYS 3820 Quantum Mechanics II 3  
    PHYS 4730 Research Planning 1  
    PHYS 4740 Research   2
    Humanities/Fine Arts     6
    HIST 2010-2020 American History I-II 3 3
    PC 2500 Communicating in the Professions 3  
    Total:  12 11

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