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Physics Education
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Major Requirements

These physics courses are required for physics majors:

  • University Physics I & II (PHY 1003/1004)
  • Four physics core courses: Mechanics, Electromagnetism, Quantum Physics, Thermodynamics and Statistical Physics (PHY 2010, 2021, 2030 & 2040);
  • Experimental Physics (PHY 2028);
  • Two additional elective advanced courses (3000 level) from the department offerings;
  • The Senior Research Project and Seminar (PHY 3090).

These mathematics courses are also required:

  • Calculus I, II, & III (Math 1030, 1032, 2030); and
  • (Ordinary) Differential Equations (Math 2021).

Ideally, physics majors should complete University Physics and Calculus I/II during the first year, leaving sophomore and junior years for the 2000-level courses and the senior year for the advanced 3000-level courses.   However, it is possible to complete the entire major in 3 years with careful planning.

Students are strongly encouraged (though not required) to take a summer research internship, which can be used for course credit as PHY 3080.  Depending on their career goals, students are also advised to take further science electives (such as Chemistry or Biology) or additional advanced mathematics courses (such as Linear Algebra, Complex Variables, or Partial Differential Equations). 

Note: No course with a grade lower than C- will be accepted toward a major or minor in physics.  In addition, students must maintain a C average in all courses required for a major or minor.

Departmental Honors in Physics

Departmental Honors in physics are conferred upon graduating seniors who have maintained a G.P.A. of 3.5 or more in courses required for the major.