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Bachelor of Science Degree Program

The Bachelor of Science program is an excellent preparation for many fields and careers; our program is modeled on the recommendations of the American Physical Society for students intending to pursue graduate work in physics.

The Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree in physics typically requires 39 credit hours of physics coursework, including at least 31 credit hours of upper division courses (numbered 300 or above).  The B. S. degree is awarded by petition to the physics faculty based on your work on a program developed with your advisor.

Below, samples of possible curricula are shown. See the Course Catalog for detailed rules.  We strongly urge you to develop an optimal curriculum in consultation with your advisor. If you are a prospective physics major, please contact the Undergraduate Director in Physics to make an appointment. You can find up to date contact info here.

The B.S. also offers the Biological & Medical Physics Option for a BS in physics is a track intended for students with a strong interest in biophysical or biomedical science.  It meets the requirements for admission into medical school.


Sample Curriculum for B.S. in Physics

The following sample curriculum meets the goals of completing all required courses for the BS, and meeting the required number of credits (including in advanced 300+ level classes).  This is a sample curriculum only!  Other schedules are possible and encouraged!  Meet with your academic advisor to design a curriculum that best suits your interests and needs.

Bachelor of Science Degree Program

 

Fall

Spring

Physics Credits Per Year

Freshman

PHY 215† (3)
Mechanics

PHY 221† (1)
Lab

MAT 295

Calc I

PHY 216† (3)
Electromagnetism

PHY 222† (1)
Lab

PHY 250 (1)
Physics Journal Club

MAT 296
Calc II

 



9 Credits

Sophomore

PHY 307† (3)
Computational Physics

PHY 360† (3)

Vibrations, Waves, and Optics

MAT 397
Calc III

PHY 344† (4)
Laboratory

PHY 361† (3)
Modern Physics

MAT 331
Linear Algebra ¶

 


13 Credits

Junior

PHY 424† (3)
Advanced Electromagnetism

PHY 531† (3)
Statistical Physics

MAT 414

Differential Equations ¶

PHY 567† (4)
Quantum Mechanics

PHY 351 (3)
Laboratory




13 Credits

Senior

PHY 523† (3)
Advanced Mechanics

PHY Elective (3)


6 Credits

Total PHY Credits:    

 19 Credits
 22 Credits

41 Credits

Key: † Required Courses

¶ MAT 485 can substitute for MAT331 and MAT414 if necessary, although this is not typically recommended; please consult with your academic advisor.

Sample Curriculum for B.S. in Physics for Physics Graduate School

If you are planning to go to graduate school, a more rigorous preparation will serve students well.  The sample curriculum below satisfies all requirements for the BS, with added emphasis on more advanced material.  This is a sample curriculum only!  Other schedules are possible and encouraged!  Meet with your academic advisor to design a curriculum that best suits your interests and needs.

Bachelor of Science Degree Program

 

Fall

Spring

Physics Credits Per Year

Freshman

PHY 215† (3)
Mechanics

PHY 221† (1)
Lab

MAT 295

Calc I

PHY 216† (3)
Electromagnetism

PHY 222† (1)
Lab

PHY 250 (1)
Physics Journal Club

MAT 296
Calc II





9 Credits


Sophomore

PHY 360† (3)
Vibrations, Waves, and Optics

PHY 307† (3)
Computational Physics

MAT 397
Calc III

PHY 344† (4)
Laboratory

PHY 361† (3)

Modern Physics

MAT 331
Linear Algebra ¶




13 Credits

 

Junior

PHY 424† (3)
Advanced E&M I

PHY 531† (3)
Statistical Physics

MAT 414

Differential Equations ¶

PHY 425 (3)
Advanced E&M II

PHY 567† (4)

Quantum I

PHY Elective (3)




16 Credits

Senior

PHY 523† (3)
Advanced Mechanics

PHY 568† (4)
Quantum II

PHY 451 (2)
Problem Solving

PHY 351 (3)
Laboratory




12 Credits

 

Total PHY Credits:    

 24 Credits  25 Credits

49 Credits

Key: † Required Courses

¶ MAT 485 can substitute for MAT331 and MAT414 if necessary, although this is not typically recommended; please consult with your academic advisor.