Physics and Astronomy

All Majors & Minors

Requirements

  • The courses in physics are designed to give the student an understanding of the logic and structure of physics. Methods of analysis and presentation of concepts and ideas are emphasized. Laboratory work demonstrates the dependence of physical theory on experimentation.

    Requirements for Majors

    Physics Track

    Students must take the following courses: 

    • CS-173; MATH-112; PHYS-121Q, 122Q, 201, 207W, 299, 450W, 499
    • any two of PHYS-328W, 329W, 338W, 339W
    • any three of PHYS-304, 401, 409, 410
    • and at least four credits of additional work at the 300-level or above

    Applied Physics Track

    Option A

    Students must take the following courses: 

    • CS-173; MATH-112; PHYS-121Q, 122Q, 201, 207W, 299, PHYS-328W, 329W, 338W, 339W, 450W, and 499
    • any three of PHYS-304, 306, 401, 405, 409, 410
    • An internship (PHYS-381 or PHYS-382) or at least two credits of research (from PHYS-411, 412, 421, 422, 431, 432, 491

    Option B

    Students participating in one of our pre- engineering partnerships have the option of completing the Applied Physics Track by taking the following courses:

    • CCS-173; MATH-112; PHYS-121Q, 122Q, 201, 207W, 299
    • any two of PHYS-328W, 329W, 338W, 339W
    • PHYS-304, 306, 405, 409, or 410

    and completing one year of course work toward an engineering major at one of our partner schools.

    Note: The Applied Physics Track Option B requires courses beyond those required by the pre-engineering program, and it is entirely optional.

    Astrophysics Track

    Students must take the following courses:

    • CS-173; MATH-112; PHYS-121Q, 122Q, 201, 207W, 299, 450W, 499
    • any two of PHYS-328W, 329W, 338W, 339W
    • any three of PHYS-304, 401, 409, 410
    • PHYS-301, and at least two credits of research (from PHYS-411, 412, 421, 422, 431, 432, 491)

    Physics majors fulfill the W, oral presentation, and capstone requirements by taking PHYS-207W, and at least two of 328W, 329W, 338W, 339W, and 450W

    Students anticipating graduate study in physics or astrophysics should select additional courses from PHYS-305, 306, 316, 401, 405, 409, 410 and from MATH-235, 310, 413. 

    Requirements for Secondary School Teaching Certification

    Students must take the following courses:

    • BIO-101Q or 102Q or ENV-100; MATH-112 and CS-173; PHYS-121Q, 122Q, 201, 207W, 299, 450W, 499
    • any two of PHYS-328W, 329W, 338W, 339W
    • any three of PHYS-304, 401, 409, 410
    • and at least four credits of additional work at the 300-level or above

    Requirements for Minors

    Minor concentration in physics:

    MATH-112; PHYS-121Q, 122Q, 201, 207W, 299, and four credits of additional work at the 300 level or above (excluding PHYS450).

    Pre-engineering:

    Students interested in pursuing pre-engineering should contact the departmental pre-engineering adviser at the earliest opportunity to plan a program of study.