Physics and Astronomy
Major in Physics
Three programs are available to students who want to major in physics.
- An intensive major for students who intend to pursue graduate work in the physical sciences: eight one-semester lecture courses, Physics 305 and 306; two half-course seminars; plus Chemistry 101, 102; Mathematics 207 and 212. The Graduate Record Examination is required as part of the comprehensive examination.
- A broad major for students who intend to pursue graduate work in medicine, engineering, biophysics, environmental sciences, health physics, or teaching: six one-semester lecture courses, including Physics 203, 303, and 307; Physics 305 and 306; two half-course seminars; plus five full courses in other science or mathematics courses approved by the physics department.
- The 3/2 plan for engineering students: six one-semester lecture courses including Physics 203 and 303, four with associated laboratories; one half-course seminar; plus Chemistry 101, 102; Computer Science 157; Mathematics 207 and 212.
Research participation and laboratory assistantship are encouraged in all three programs.
For a first-year student planning to major in physics, the following curriculum is recommended:
- Physics 103, 104*
- Humanities 101, 102
- Mathematics 101, 102*
- Physical Education
- Foreign Language 103, 104*
*Students may seek advanced placement in physics, mathematics, and foreign language.
The second-year program should be planned in consultation with the department chair.