Requirements for the BS in Physics

General education requirements

Foreign language to second semester level
English Composition [placement by English Department]
General Education study areas other than science (science & math are automatically satisfied)

  • [See the College of Science advising staff (Gould-Simpson 1017) for details]
  • Tier 1: four courses (2 TRAD & 2 INDV)
  • Tier 2: four courses (ART, HUM, INDV, DIVERSITY) The Diversity requirement can be a course which also satisfies one of the other three (so usually only three are needed).

Physics requirements

Our introductory sequence:
Physics 161H, 162H, 261H, 263H (141, 142, 241 can replace the first three courses if approved by your advisor)
PHYS 105A (Introduction to Scientific Computing)
PHYS 204 (Mathematical Techniques in Physics)
PHYS 305 (Computational physics)
PHYS 321 (Classical Mechanics I)
PHYS 331 (Electricity and magnetism I)
PHYS 332 (Electricity and magnetism II)
PHYS 371 (Quantum Theory I)
PHYS 381, 382 (Methods in Experimental Physics I and II)
PHYS 426 (Thermal and Statistical Physics)
PHYS 472 (Quantum Theory II)

Six units chosen from:
Physics 320 (optics), 405 (digital electronics), 422 (classical mechanics II), 431 (biophysics), ATMO 436A (atmospheric science), 450 (nuclear and particle physics), 460 (solid state physics), 468 (classical and quantum relativity), 469 (general relativity), 473 (spectroscopy) and 476 (mathematical methods)

Research requirement:
Three units chosen from 492 (directed research) or 498 (senior capstone)- Research form below

Independent Study Research Form

Math prerequisites for required physics courses

MATH 124 or 125 (Calculus I)
MATH 129 (Calculus II)
MATH 223 (Vector calculus)
MATH 254 (Differential equations)

Chemistry 151 and 152 are strongly recommended.


Physics 381 and 382 are writing emphasis courses.