Students who wish to major in Physics are required to complete the following coursework: (Physics Major Checklist ).
- A comprehensive introduction to the calculus: MATH 111, 121, and 211
- An introduction to the core physics concepts of mechanics (PHYS 123 or 116), electromagnetism (PHYS 124 or 117), oscillations and waves (PHYS 125), relativity and quantum mechanics (PHYS 225), and statistical mechanics (PHYS 230 or CHEM 361).
- One advanced course in laboratory or observational techniques (PHYS 226 or ASTR 337)
- A course that examines the intersection of physics with history and society (ASTR/PHYS 255 or CHEM 250; approval from the department is required for a different course prior to enrollment)*
- Two advanced elective courses on physics, the application of physics in other disciplines, or techniques used in physics. These courses must be approved by the chair of the department in consultation with the faculty of the department. One must be a 300-level PHYS course. At most one may be counted towards a second major.
All Physics majors must demonstrate satisfactory performance on an approved standardized test in general physics. All Physics majors must also attend at least nine public physics or astronomy lectures during the senior year. (Department Colloquium Schedule)
Students who place out of a course are excused from that requirement.
NOTE: For courses taken in Spring 2020, Fall 2020, January 2021, or Spring 2021, the department will accept a grade of P for any major requirement. Before electing to convert a grade to P, we strongly encourage you to discuss the decision with your advisor. It may have repercussions when applying for jobs or graduate and professional schools.
* This requirement is waived for members of the class of 2025 and earlier. Students waived from this requirement must take three elective courses.