Physics - BS

The Bachelor of Science curriculum is more rigorous in its physics and mathematics course requirements and is designed primarily for students who wish to pursue an advanced degree in physics or employment as a professional physicist in an industrial setting. Because physics forms the basis of many other sciences such as chemistry, material science, oceanography, nano-engineering and geophysics, the BS program is an excellent preparation for advanced degrees in these fields. In addition, physicists are increasingly applying their talents to molecular biology, biochemistry and medicine. An important part of the BS program is student participation in experimental or theoretical research with physics and astronomy faculty.

First Year
FallSemester Credit Hours
ENGL 104Composition and Rhetoric 3
American history elective 3
MATH 171Analytic Geometry and Calculus 14
PHYS 101Freshman Physics Orientation 11
PHYS 218Mechanics 14
 Term Semester Credit Hours15
CHEM 107
CHEM 117
General Chemistry for Engineering Students
and General Chemistry for Engineering Students Laboratory 1
American history elective 3
MATH 172Calculus 14
PHYS 102Freshman Physics Orientation II 11
PHYS 208Electricity and Optics 14
 Term Semester Credit Hours16
Second Year
MATH 221Several Variable Calculus 14
MATH 308Differential Equations 13
PHYS 221Optics and Thermal Physics 13
POLS 206American National Government 3
Language, philosophy and culture elective 3
 Term Semester Credit Hours16
PHYS 225Electronic Circuits and Applications 4
PHYS 309Modern Physics 13
PHYS 331Theoretical Methods for Physicists I 13
POLS 207State and Local Government 3
Communication elective 23
 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
Social and behavioral science elective 3
Creative arts elective 3
 Term Semester Credit Hours15
PHYS 303Advanced Mechanics II 3
PHYS 305Advanced Electricity and Magnetism II 3
PHYS 327Experimental Physics I 2
PHYS 328Experimental Physics II 1
PHYS 412Quantum Mechanics I 3
Electives 33
 Term Semester Credit Hours15
Fourth Year
PHYS 408Thermodynamics and Statistical Mechanics 4
PHYS 414Quantum Mechanics II 3
PHYS 426Physics Laboratory 2
PHYS 444Art of Communication in Physics I: Communicating Science to Scientists 32
PHYS 445Art of Communication in Physics II: Communicating Science to Non-Scientists 31
PHYS 491Research 42
 Term Semester Credit Hours14
PHYS 401Computational Physics 53
PHYS 425Physics Laboratory 2
PHYS 491Research 2
Science or technical elective 63
Electives 73
 Term Semester Credit Hours13
 Total Semester Credit Hours: 120

A physics major must complete the foundation courses (PHYS 101, PHYS 102, PHYS 208, PHYS 218, PHYS 221, PHYS 309CHEM 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.


Any approved Communication course with an ENGL prefix.


Approved W course designation.


Maximum combination of 18 hours of 481, 482, 485 and/or 491.


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. 


ASTR 314 or any 400-level physics, science or technical elective, except the writing intensive courses, PHYS 444 and PHYS 445.


Electives should be chosen in consultation with the student’s advisor. If the student has not fulfilled the six hour international and cultural diversity Graduation requirement with courses used to meet areas of the Core, they must fulfill this requirement with six of their elective hours.