Physics - BA

The Bachelor of Arts curriculum provides the student with a firm foundation in physics and with the flexibility to choose from a large number of elective courses, thus permitting the student to explore other interests. Except for those students pursuing teacher certification, some of these elective courses are chosen to satisfy the requirements of a minor field of study. The student can, therefore, customize his or her program of study in preparation for a career in any science-related or science-required field, from intellectual property law and science reporting to physics teaching. Although not required for the BA program, students have the opportunity to become directly involved in any of the active research programs in the Department of Physics and Astronomy.

First Year
FallSemester Credit Hours
ENGL 104Composition and Rhetoric 3
HIST 105History of the United States 13
MATH 171Analytic Geometry and Calculus 24
PHYS 101Freshman Physics Orientation 21
PHYS 218Mechanics 24
 Term Semester Credit Hours15
CHEM 107
CHEM 117
General Chemistry for Engineering Students
and General Chemistry for Engineering Students Laboratory 2
HIST 106History of the United States 13
MATH 172Calculus 24
PHYS 102Freshman Physics Orientation II 21
PHYS 208Electricity and Optics 24
 Term Semester Credit Hours16
Second Year
MATH 221Several Variable Calculus 24
MATH 308Differential Equations 23
PHYS 221Optics and Thermal Physics 23
POLS 206American National Government 3
 Term Semester Credit Hours13
PHYS 225Electronic Circuits and Applications 4
PHYS 309Modern Physics 23
PHYS 331Theoretical Methods for Physicists I 23
Elective 36
 Term Semester Credit Hours16
Third Year
PHYS 302Advanced Mechanics I 3
PHYS 304Advanced Electricity and Magnetism I 3
PHYS 332Theoretical Methods for Physicists II 3
POLS 207State and Local Government 3
Language, philosophy and culture elective 3
 Term Semester Credit Hours15
PHYS 327Experimental Physics I 2
PHYS 328Experimental Physics II 1
PHYS 412Quantum Mechanics I 3
Communication elective 43
Social and behavioral science elective 3
Electives 33
 Term Semester Credit Hours15
Fourth Year
PHYS 444Art of Communication in Physics I: Communicating Science to Scientists 52
PHYS 445Art of Communication in Physics II: Communicating Science to Non-Scientists 51
Electives 312
 Term Semester Credit Hours15
PHYS 401Computational Physics 63
Creative arts elective 3
Electives 39
 Term Semester Credit Hours15
 Total Semester Credit Hours: 120

Any course in this category from the approved University Core Curriculum list of courses.


A physics major must complete the foundation courses (PHYS 101, PHYS 102, PHYS 208, PHYS 218, PHYS 221, PHYS 309, PHYS 331, CHEM 107/CHEM 117, MATH 171, MATH 172, MATH 221, MATH 308) with a grade of C or better and have a 2.0 cumulative GPR before taking non-foundation upper-level physics courses.


A minor field must be selected in conference with the student’s advisor. In addition, 6 hours of courses must be in the area of international and cultural diversity. These may be in addition to University Core Curriculum courses, or if a course in this category satisfies an area of the Core, it can be used to meet both requirements.


Any approved Communication course with an ENGL prefix.


Approved W course designation.


To register for PHYS 401 a student must be able to program in a high level language, such as FORTRAN, Java or C. This prerequisite can be satisfied by taking CSCE 206 or the equivalent.