The physics curriculum consists of 12 required courses for the major. Nine of the courses are part of the physics core requirement. Students who intend to major in physics are required to take a year-long calculus-based university physics course. This course is structured so that about 65% of the course is devoted to lectures and demonstrations and 35% devoted to laboratory experimentation. The topics covered are: classical mechanics, thermodynamics, electricity and magnetism, optics and as time permits, modern physics. Calculus is a co-requisite and must be taken concurrently with this course. The core upper level courses provide a more in-depth exposure to the topics introduced in the university physics course.
For the non-physics majors, five courses are offered: three algebra-based general physics courses and two elementary astronomy courses.
Requirements for the BS degree in Physics
Forty-one (41) credit hours of physics are required. Thirty-two (32) credits of physics as follows: Physics 105, 106, 211, 317, 320, 330, 384, 410, 482; at least nine (9) additional credits are required from the following courses: Physics 201, 210, 283, 292, 471 and 472.
Requirements for the BS degree in Physics with HONORS
In addition to the forty-one credit hours listed above, four (4) credits of Physics 491 and 492 are required. Honor candidates must possess an overall minimum grade-point average of 3.5 and a minimum major grade-point average of 3.7 to be accepted as an honor candidate. Only senior physics majors are eligible for candidacy.
Requirements for the Physics minor
Twenty-four to twenty-six (24 – 26) credit hours of physics as follows: Physics 105, 106, 211 and 317 (14 credits); select one course from Physics 201, 210, 283 or 292 (3 – 4 credits); select two courses from Physics 320, 330, 384, 410 and 472 (7 – 8 credits).
Students who wish to enrich their academic experience by studying abroad are encouraged to do so. There are no pre-existing programs with international partners for physics, but it is possible to design such a program on an individual basis.