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Physics Minor Program Information

A Minor in physics is an excellent way of satisfying your curiosity about science while you major in another field. It is a particular asset for students competing for admission to professional schools such as law or medicine, or for students contemplating careers that require some technical background, including teaching, technical writing, information science, management in technology-oriented companies, and journalism.

The physics department welcomes students from other colleges and other majors as physics minors. Students in the S. I. Newhouse School of Public Communications are required to designate a minor. In addition to the College of Arts and Sciences, several other Colleges at Syracuse University recognize a minor in physics, including the School of Management and the School of Information Studies. Engineering students can easily complete a physics minor, as many of the courses required by the Engineering School count towards the minor.

The requirements for the minor are PHY 211 and PHY 212 (or PHY215 and 216), PHY 221 and PHY 222, and 12 credits of coursework numbered 300 or above, for a total of 20 required credits. Calculus is a pre- or co-requisite for many of these courses.

Sample Courses by Year

Minor In Physics

Fall

Spring

Physics Credits Per Year

Freshman or Sophomore

PHY 215 (or 211) † (3)
PHY 221 † (1)

MAT 295 ‡

PHY 216 (or 212) † (3)
PHY 222 † (1)

MAT 296 ‡

8 credits

Sophomore or Junior

PHY 361 (3)

PHY 344 (4)
Physics Elective (3)

10 credits

Senior

Physics Elective (3)

3 credits

Totals:    

   

21 Credits

Key: † Required Physics Courses, ‡ Required Courses outside Physics

Sample Curriculum

Courses marked with an asterisk (*) are required courses.

Sample Course Sequence for a Minor in Physics

Time

Prefix

Credits

Full Name

Notes

Freshman or Sophomore Year

Fall

PHY 211*

3

General Physics I

PHY 215 is the honors and majors version of PHY 211. It is taught in a small class format and emphasizes contemporary research topics.

PHY 221*

1

Physics Lab

MAT 295*

4

Calculus I

MAT 295 is preferred for physics minors.

Spring

PHY 212*

3

General Physics II

PHY 216 is the honors and majors version of PHY 212. It is taught in a small class format and emphasizes contemporary research topics.

PHY 222*

1

Physics Lab II

MAT 296*

4

Calculus II

MAT 296 is preferred for physics minors.

Sophomore or Junior Year

Fall

PHY 361

3

Modern Physics

Spring

PHY 344

4

Experimental Physics I

3

Physics Elective (or Spring, Senior Year)

See below.

Senior

Fall

3

Physics Elective

See below.

The physics electives may be any physics course numbered 300 or higher.
Recommended courses include:

  • PHY 307 (3) Science and Computers
  • PHY 312 (3) Relativity and Cosmology: Einstein and Beyond
  • PHY 315 (3) Biological and Medical Physics
  • PHY 317 (3) Stellar and Interstellar Astrophysics
  • PHY 319 (3) Astrobiology
  • PHY 322 (3) Mechanics I
  • PHY 399 (3) Practicum and Seminar in Physics Education
  • PHY 424/ELE 324 (3) Electromagnetics I