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Curriculum and Courses

Physics Major requirements

To graduate with a Bachelor of Science degree in Physics, a minimum of 120 university credits are required. Of these, 45 credits must be approved Physics courses, and 30 credits must be at the 300-level or higher. A 2.000 cumulative GPA for all courses as well as a 2.000 cumulative GPA for approved Physics courses is required to graduate. Approved Physics courses include all PHY courses at the 300-level or higher, together with PHY courses 109, 111, 112, 113, 114, 115, 213, 225, 227, 234, 252 and 271.

Physics Curriculum Requirements/Recommended course sequence - Catalog Year 2016-17 to present

Physics Flow Chart  Course sequence showing prerequisites and semester offerings - Catalog Year 2016-17 to present

Physics Degree Audit and Progress Sheet  - Catalog Year 2016-17 to present

Honors Curriculum for Physics Requirements/Recommended course sequence - Honors Curriculum (for students entering Fall 2020 to present).

Concentration in Astronomy/Astrophysics

The Astronomy/Astrophysics Concentration has students complete the 38-credits of required courses in physics along with the mathematics and University Studies requirements for the physics major, together with 9-credits of elective courses (or equivalent) in astrophysics. Students are required to consult with their advisor before registering for these courses.

  • PHY 252 - Elementary Astrophysics 
  • PHY 363 - Intermed Astrophysics 
  • PHY 410 - Special Topics in Physics
    One of the courses below will be completed as PHY 410 Special Topics in Physics:
    1. PHY 510 – Special Topics in Physics: High-Energy Astrophysics
    2. PHY 510 – Special Topics in Physics: Stellar Structure & Evolution
    3. PHY 565 – Black Holes, General Relativity & Gravitational Waves
  • PHY 480/490 - Up to 3 credits may be applied. Research and Capstone must be on an Astrophysics or closely related topic.

Astronomy/Astrophysics Concentration Curriculum Requirements/Recommended course sequence - Class of 2016 to present

Astronomy/Astrophysics Concentration Flow Chart - Catalog Years 2016-2017 to present

Concentration in Computational Physics

The computational physics concentration offers a course of study for the students interested in problem solving with computation. Computation is an integral part of modern science and engineering that is regarded as the third pillar of science along with experimentation and theory. Students will take a three-course sequence at introductory, intermediate, and advanced levels on scientific computing and computational modeling as applied to physical systems. With permission, a capstone research or thesis project that has a significant component with computation can be considered as equivalent to a third course in the sequence. The computational physics concentration will also satisfy the second science requirement. 

Students successfully completing the concentration may purse graduate study or career paths in diverse areas including in scientific computing, information technology and applied engineering, and of course physics.

Computational Physics concentration requires a three-course sequence as follows:

  • MTH 280 – Introduction to Scientific Computation
  • PHY 343 – Mathematical Physics
  • PHY 410 – Computational modeling
  • PHY 521 – Computational Physics

The third course PHY 410/521, may also be satisfied with:

  • PHY 480/490 – Capstone project – focusing on computational physics (requires prior approval of the Department Chairperson)

Computational Physics Concentration Flow Chart - Catalog Years 2023-2024 to present