|Physics requirements||Major flowcharts||Map|
|Physics and Astronomy requirements||Major flowcharts||Map|
|Applied Physics requirements||Major flowcharts||Map|
|Physics Teaching requirements||Major flowcharts||Map|
|Teaching Physical Science requirements||Major flowcharts||Map|
See Careers for Physics Majors for the many careers a physics major can lead to.
A special feature of these degrees is the requirement of a culminating experience: a senior thesis for the B.S. Physics and B.S. Physics-Astronomy, a capstone project or senior thesis for the B. S. Applied Physics degree, and of course a student teaching internship for the B. S. Physics Teaching degree. Your advisor, the department Undergraduate Research Coordinator and the Capstone Coordinator (see advising) will help you find faculty mentors who can supervise a research project that fits your interests and needs. The opportunity to actually do physics in your research project, in addition to learning about physics in the classroom, will greatly enhance your understanding of physics and your excitement about your discipline. See research opportunities. You can also do research in other departments or during an internship to fulfill these requirements.
Because physicists can choose among so many different careers, we can’t require all the classes that you might need to take. Based on experiences of what alumni wished they had taken, we suggest you consider the following classes, regardless of which physics major you choose.
Experimental and applied physicists: Stats 201 Statistics for Engineers and Scientists
Theoretical physicists: Consider Math 352, Introduction to Complex Analysis or Phys 601, 602 Mathematical physics
Astronomers: If you're going on to graduate school in astronomy, instead of only the required two courses from Phys 360, 442, 452, 471, consider taking all four. Gain statistics and computer programming skills beyond what you get in this major by taking courses such as Statistics 201, (Statistics for engineers and scientists) and choosing among Physics 430 (Computational physics 3), Computer Science 142 (Intro to programming), or Mechanical Engineering 373 (Intro to scientific computing). If you are interested in planetary or exoplanetary science, consider taking Geology 109 (Geology of the Planets).
This degree provides a solid grounding in physics as needed for contemporary applications of physics or further study of physics or astronomy. This is the degree students should pursue if they desire to continue with graduate study in physics, or if they desire to work in a research environment requiring a broad-based education in physics with significant depth in the principal subfields. This degree is also appropriate for those who want a solid foundation in a research science before pursuing professional study in business, law, medicine, or other areas.
This degree provides a solid grounding in physics
with an emphasis in astronomy. It is a strong physics degree which prepares
students for graduate study in astronomy or astrophysics. It also provides a
good background for graduate study in physics or for professional study in
business, law, medicine, or other areas, while satisfying a strong
undergraduate interest in astronomy.
This degree provides the basics of the discipline of physics while leaving great flexibility in the schedule for particular student interests in applied areas. It includes a student-selected, advisor-approved set of elective courses that may be taken inside or outside the Department of Physics and Astronomy, tailored to individual student interests in applied physics. It is an excellent degree for those who may continue study in law, business or medicine, computer/information technology or in an engineering or another science area after the BS. It is also appropriate for those who wish to work in a science or technical area at the BS level in industry or government. It is also an attractive degree for those undergraduates who have a clear vision of individual educational goals in physics and wish to take advantage of the flexibility in this program. These 12 hours must consist of a coherent set of courses with an identified educational goal. Three hours must be 200-level or above; nine hours must be upper division (300-level or above).
(There is great flexibility for a choice of emphases: technology, business, life sciences, pre-professional, etc. As soon as possible, meet with an advisor to define an emphasis and choose 12 hours of electives in this emphasis).
Phscs 461 and
choices from Ec En 380, 487, Me En 363.
Aerospace Engineering: Ce En 103, 203, Me En 415
Biophysics: biochemistry, PDBio 568
Business: Courses to prepare for MBA school
Computer Science/Computer Engineering: Courses in computer programming, information technology, networks, numerical analysis (math), computer engineering that fit your career goals.
Electrical Engineering (graduate school preparation): EC En 320, 324, 380 and 400 level courses
Law (including patent law), Courses required to prepare for these professional schools.
Materials Science (graduate school preparation): Phscs 451, 452, 581, Chem 105, 106 or Chem 111, 112.
Medicine (including Medical Physics) Courses required to prepare for these professional schools.
Microelectronics/Semiconductor Devices: Chem 105, Ch En 381, Phscs281 or 581, EC En 450 or Phscs 587, Stat 361.
Nuclear Physics (power generation for industry or Navy): Phscs 360, 451, 452, Me En 422.
Optical Communication Engineering: Phscs 471, 571, EC En 380, 555,562.
Optical/Laser Engineering: Phscs 442, 471, and/or 571, EC En 466, 555, and/or 562.
This degree is designed for those who plan to teach physics at the secondary level. It includes courses for teacher certification as well as a substantial array of physics courses designed to provide fundamental understanding of the discipline and perspective on science and its role in the modern world.
Please visit early with our Teaching Majors Advisor to help you make the most of your teaching preparation here.
Teacher certification requirements are different in each state and many
states offer several paths to certification.
www.aip.org/statistics/trends/reports/teacher.htm to find out where to
get the latest information on certification requirements in the states that
(Note: Some teaching students
prefer to put in more effort and get the B.S. Physics degree while
completing the education courses required for certification.
Another option is to get the B.S. Applied Physics degree, and select
the education classes as your emphasis.
This gives you the option to teach, continue to graduate school, or
work in industry. It is not necessary to
get a teaching degree to teach.)
(Note: Some teaching students prefer to put in more effort and get the B.S. Physics degree while completing the education courses required for certification. Another option is to get the B.S. Applied Physics degree, and select the education classes as your emphasis. This gives you the option to teach, continue to graduate school, or work in industry. It is not necessary to get a teaching degree to teach.)