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Curriculum for the B.S. in Physics

Students pursuing a B.S. in Physics must complete:

  • 28 University Core credits
  • 13 BSNES Core credits
  • 34 Science, Computer Science, and Math credits
  • 35 Physics Core credits
  • 12(13) Track-Specific credits
  • 6(5) Unrestricted Elective credits

To graduate, a student:

  • needs a minimum of 128 credit hours
  • must have a grade of C or better in all physics courses

Physics Course Descriptions • Download Curriculum • Download Course Sequence


University Core Requirements - 28 credits

Course # Course Name Credits
UCOR 101 Thinking and Writing Across the Curriculum 3
UCOR 102 Imaginative Literature and Critical Writing 3
UCOR 132 Basic Philosophical Questions 3
UCOR 14X Theology 3
COSC 030 Research/Info Skills 1
Course in Ethics 3
Course in Creative Arts 3
Course in Faith and Reason 3
Course in Global Diversity 3
Course in Social Justice 3

BSNES Core Requirements - 13 credits

Course # Course Name Credits
ENGL 302W Science Writing 3
HIST 307 History of Science 3
SPRG 105 Career Development Seminar 1
General Elective Credits 6
Math Credits (10) embedded

This core curriculum will apply to all incoming freshmen beginning with the Fall 2006 semester.


Science, Computer Science, and Math – 34 credits

Course # Course Name Credits
CHEM 121 Chemistry I 4
CHEM 121L General Chemistry I Lab 1
CHEM 122 General Chemistry II 4
CHEM 122L General Chemistry II Lab 1
MATH 115 Calculus I 4
MATH 116 Calculus II 4
MATH 210 Matrix Algebra 3
MATH 215 Calculus III 4
MATH 314 Differential Equations 3
MATH 30x Applied math elective (301 or 308) 3
COSC 160/
COSC 150
Scientific Programming: Java/C++ 3

Physics Core – 37 credits

Course # Course Name Credits
PHYS 211/211L General Analytical Physics I and Lab
4
PHYS 212/212L General Analytical Physics II and Lab
4
PHYS 302 Optics 3
PHYS 312 Optics Lab 1
PHYS 332 Analog Electronics 3
PHYS 364 Modern Physics Lab 1
PHYS 374 Modern Physics 3
PHYS 401 Thermal Physics 3
PHYS 461 Mechanics 4
PHYS 470 Electricity and Magnetism
3
PHYS 473 Electrodynamics 3
PHYS 474 Quantum Mechanics 3
PHYS 499W Senior Research 2

Broad Track - 12 credits

Course # Course Name Credits
PHYS 350 Theoretical Methods in Science 3
PHYS 4xx Advanced Electives 9

Condensed Matter Concentration – 12 credits

Course # Course Name Credits
PHYS 491 Introductory Materials Science I 3
PHYS 492 Introductory Materials Science II 3
PHYS 493 Solid State Physics I 3
PHYS 494 Solid State Physics II 3

Astronomy Concentration – 12 credits

Course # Course Name Credits
X-reg Introduction to Astronomy 3
X-reg Stellar Structure and Stellar Evolution 3
X-reg Galaxies and Cosmology 3
X-reg Astronomical Techniques 3

Education Track – 13 credits

Course # Course Name Credits
PHYS 481 Cosmology 3
PHYS 482W Elementary Particle Physics
3
UCOR 124 Earth Science
3
BIOL11x Biology I with Lab or Biology II with Lab 4

Advanced Electives

Course # Course Name Credits
PHYS 480 Chaos with Lab 4
PHYS 481 Cosmology 3
PHYS 482W Elementary Particle Physics 3
PHYS 485 Relativity 3
Any but no more than two courses from any concentration 3-6
Any approved advanced physics course in PCHE 3

Requirements for the Minor

A student may choose to minor in physics by completing 211, 211L, 212, 212L, and 12 additional credits in physics courses numbered 300 or above, all with a grade of C or better. Individual course prerequisites must be satisfied.