Bachelor of Arts

This is a degree with versatility to accommodate interests other than physics. Do you want to be a physician? A teacher? An engineer? A lawyer? And yet: do you also want to take advantage of your college program to learn cool physics and the way how physicists approach problem solving? The bachelor of arts degree combines the basic physics foundation with the flexibility to choose advanced coursework that appeals to you. All this while keeping the required physics credits at a manageable total without compromising expectations of breadth and rigor. And because all coursework overlaps with the BS program, there is no pressure to make a decision between the two until the junior year. You can keep both options on the table until you are ready.

Breadth.   The program requires the basic 15-credit sequence which will introduce candidates to all areas of physics: classical, quantum and relativistic. Beyond the basic sequence candidates can choose the remaining 17 physics credits as broadly or as focused as needed for their other career interests.

Rigor.   The mathematics requirements of the BA program are the same as those of the BS program and the upper level physics electives are chosen from the BS course offerings. A physics capstone experience is required, with options such as internship, advanced lab or research.

Flexibility.   There are a total of only 32 physics credits required (as opposed to 50 in the BS program). This frees up many credits that can be used to pursue coursework required for other interests. The BA degree is ideal for careers in

Medical School

Medical School

Teaching

Teaching

Engineering

Engineering

For pre-meds who like physics and are not afraid of math! Contrary to popular wisdom, a biology major is not a prerequisite for medical school. Did you know that pre-meds who major in physics outperform most MCAT takers? All chemistry, biology and behavioral sciences fit into our BA program.

How much physics do you really need to know to be able to teach in high school? More than two semesters, but surely not as much as a research physicist. A happy medium is ideal to make you an inspiring physics teacher. All education requirements fit into our BA program, even the field experiences!

What is the difference between a physicist and an engineer? Same background, different attitude. If you are always wanting to know the "why" of everything, a physics degree will be the right add-on to your engineering career, making you more marketable, and can be achieved with only one additional year of college.

Learn about our pre-medical professions options

Learn about our physics teacher programs

Learn about our binary engineering program

Requirements

Basic Physics Sequence 15 Degree Requirements 40
PHYS 211 General Analytical Physics 1 3 MATH 115 Calculus 1 4
PHYS 211L General Analytical Physics 1 lab 1 MATH 116 Calculus 2 4
PHYS 212 General Analytical Physics 2 3 MATH 215 Calculus 3 4
PHYS 212L General Analytical Physics 2 lab 1 MATH 310 Linear Algebra 3
PHYS 302 Optics 3 MATH 314 Differential Equations 3
PHYS 312 Optics lab 1 Elective math: numerical analysis or approved statistics 3
PHYS 374 Modern Physics 3 Programming: C++, Java or Python 3
Advanced Physics (at level 300+) 17 CHEM 121 General Chemistry 1 4
Choose from: CHEM 121L General Chemistry 1 lab 1
PHYS 332 Electronics (3 credits) CHEM 122 General Chemistry 2 4
PHYS 350 Math Methods (3 credits) CHEM 122L General Chemistry 2 lab 1
PHYS 401 Thermal Physics (3 credits) ENLG 302W Science Writing 3
PHYS 404 Solid State Physics (3 credits) PHYS 105 Career Development 1
PHYS 405 Gravitational Astrophysics (3 credits)
PHYS 461 Mechanics (4 credits) University General Education Requirements 25
PHYS 464 Advanced Lab (2 credits) See academic advisor
PHYS 470 Electricity and Magnetism (3 credits)
PHYS 473 Electrodynamics (3 credits)
PHYS 474 Quantum Mechanics (3 credits)
PHYS 475 Advanced Quantum Mechanics (3 credits)
PHYS 482W Particle Physics (3 credits)
PHYS 491 Introductory Materials Science 1 (3 credits)
PHYS 499W Senior Research (2 credits)
Minimum of 120 credits required for graduation

Course sequence
The courses indicated below must be taken in sequence because of prerequisite linkages. Courses not appearing in the sequence are flexible.

Semester 1
PHYS 211+211L General Analytical Physics 1 and lab
MATH 115 Calculus 1
Semester 2
PHYS 212+212L General Analytical Physics 2 and lab
MATH 116 Calculus 2
Programming (COSC 150/160/170 C++, Java or Python)
Semester 3
PHYS 301 Optics
PHYS 312 Optics lab
MATH 215 Calculus 3
MATH 310 Linear Algebra
Semester 4
PHYS 374 Modern Physics
MATH 314 Differential Equations
Semester 5
PHYS xxx
Semester 6
PHYS xxx
PHYS xxx
Semester 7
PHYS xxx
Semester 8
PHYS xxx
PHYS xxx