Academics: Majors and Programs

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Physics Major Requirements

The student majoring in physics will complete the core courses and one of the options to complete the major. The options are advanced theory and experiment, suitable for students who will use physics heavily in their careers; chemical physics, suitable for students leaning toward a career in industry, materials science, or professional school; applications in engineering for students in the dual degree program; and teaching.

The core courses are PHY 151, 241, 251, 261, 311, and 411. Required cognates are MATH 231, 232, and 324; CHE 111 and 111L; a CIS elective (programming language). The remaining courses for each option are listed below:

Advanced Theory and Experiment Option

PHY 305, 312, 322, 362, 462, and one physics elective 300 or greater, and one physics elective 400 or greater.

Chemical Physics Option

PHY 322 (or CHE 345), 356, 362, and one physics elective 300 or greater. Other cognates for this option are CHE 112, 112L, 231, 232, 233, 234, one chemistry elective 300 or greater.

Pre-Health Option

PHY 305, 343, 362, 462, two physics electives 300 or higher. Other cognates are CHE 112, 112L, 231, 232, 233, 234; BIO 115 and 120; biology elective.

Dual Degree Engineering Option

PHY 312, 322, 362, one physics elective 300 or greater, and one physics elective 400 or greater (or two physics electives 300 or greater). Other cognates are CHE 112, 112L, and other pre-engineering courses – Introduction to Engineering, Engineering Graphics, Statistics, and Dynamics. The student must also complete an engineering major in the Dual-Degree Engineering program; however, some physics courses may be substituted using the engineering courses. See the Physics Department for a list.

Teaching Option

PHY 305, 312, 322, 362, 356 or 462, and one physics elective 300 or greater. Other cognates are CHE 112, 112L, and the courses required for teacher certification (see the Education Studies Program under Secondary Education Teacher Certification).