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College of Arts & Sciences

Physics Major (B.S.)

Physics bachelor’s degree is preparation for graduate school or career in industry or government

Undergraduate student Jared Ray works in the accelerator lab.

  • Opportunities for undergraduate research
  • Facilities including laser labs, Edwards Accelerator Lab and more
  • Preparation for careers in industry, government or teaching
  • Preparation for advanced graduate-level training in physics

Admissions Information

Degree Requirements

Sample Curriculum

Program Overview

The B.S. degree in physics provides a comprehensive introduction to both classical and modern physics. Students graduating with this degree will have a good understanding of Newtonian mechanics, electromagnetic phenomena, thermodynamics, special relativity and quantum mechanics. Students will also gain practical skills from laboratory and computer programming courses.

Careers and Graduate School

With the B.S. degree, students can get jobs in industry, government or teaching. In addition, the degree prepares students for advanced training in physics at the graduate level.

Admissions Information

Freshman/First-Year Admission: No requirements beyond University admission requirements. However, it is recommended that students entering the program have at least a Math Placement Level II, or an ACT Math score of 24, or a SAT Math score of 560.

Change of Program Policy: No selective or limited admission requirements. However, it is recommended that students changing into the program have at least a Math Placement Level II, or an ACT Math score of 24, or a SAT Math score of 560.

External Transfer Admission: No requirements beyond University admission requirements. However, it is recommended that students transferring into the program have at least a Math Placement Level II, or an ACT Math score of 24, or a SAT Math score of 560.

Degree Requirements

Major Code:BS3331

University-Wide Graduation Requirements

To complete this program, students must meet all University-wide graduation requirements.

College-Level Requirements for the College of Arts and Sciences

View the College-Level Requirements for the College of Arts and Sciences.

Physics Hours Requirement

Complete a total of 36 semester credit hours of PHYS coursework, including all the requirements below.

General Physics Sequence

General Physics I

Complete one of the following courses:

  • PHYS 2051 - General Physics Credit Hours: 5.0
  • PHYS 2051H - General Physics for Physics and Astronomy Majors Credit Hours: 5.0

General Physics II

Complete one of the following courses:

  • PHYS 2052 - General Physics Credit Hours: 5.0
  • PHYS 2052H - General Physics for Physics and Astronomy Majors Credit Hours: 5.0

Complete one of the following courses:

  • PHYS 2052 - General Physics Credit Hours: 5.0
  • PHYS 2052H - General Physics for Physics and Astronomy Majors Credit Hours: 5.0

Other Physics Courses

Complete the following courses:

  • PHYS 2053 - Contemporary Physics: Relativity and Quantum Phenomena Credit Hours: 3.0
  • PHYS 3001 - Mechanics Credit Hours: 4.0

Physics Seminar and Labs

Complete the following courses:

  • PHYS 1901 - Physics Seminar Credit Hours: 1.0
  • PHYS 2701 - Electronics Laboratory Credit Hours: 2.0
  • PHYS 3701 - Intermediate Laboratory - Electrons & Photons Credit Hours: 2.0
  • PHYS 3702 - Intermediate Laboratory - Photons & Nucleons Credit Hours: 2.0

Advanced Physics Requirements

Complete the following courses:

  • PHYS 3011 - Thermal Physics Credit Hours: 3.0
  • PHYS 4021 - Quantum Mechanics 1 Credit Hours: 3.0
  • PHYS 4031 - Electricity and Magnetism 1 Credit Hours: 3.0
  • PHYS 4032 - Electricity and Magnetism 2 Credit Hours: 3.0

Physics Common Mathematics Requirements

Complete the following courses:

  • MATH 2301 - Calculus I Credit Hours: 4.0
  • MATH 2302 - Calculus II Credit Hours: 4.0
  • MATH 3200 - Applied Linear Algebra Credit Hours: 3.0
  • MATH 3300 - Calculus III Credit Hours: 4.0
  • MATH 3400 - Elementary Differential Equations Credit Hours: 3.0
  • MATH 4410 - Fourier Analysis and Partial Differential Equations Credit Hours: 3.0

Numerical Requirement for Physics

Complete the following course:

  • MATH 3600 - Applied Numerical Methods Credit Hours: 3.0

Natural Sciences Elective Courses

Complete at least 6 hours in PHYS, ASTR or MATH at 3000-level or above, in CHEM at 1500-level or above, or in BIOS at 1700-level or above. Courses used in the major may not be reused here.

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