Bachelor of Science

The Bachelor of Science (BS) program combines a strong mathematics foundation with an intense physics curriculum comparable to that of major physics programs nationwide. Our approach emphasizes undergraduate research and hands-on skills (particularly in instrumentation, optics and electronics), as well as computing skills.


The BS program is available in three tracks:

Physics Broad Track

Broad Track

Physics Professional Track

Professional Track

Physics Astronomy Track

Astronomy Track

For candidates planning to pursue graduate degrees in physics or engineering.

For candidates intending to enter the workforce immediately after graduation. For candidates planning to pursue a PhD in astrophysics.
Includes coursework introductory to condensed matter, particle physics and gravitational physics Includes advanced hands-on skills and business coursework in law, management and entrepreneurship Astronomy coursework in stars, galaxies, instrumentation, gravitation, or planetary science

There is no pressure in the decision process: All tracks share as much as 80% of the 126 credits in the curriculum.

Undergraduate research. Research participation and a senior paper are required. Candidates join our ongoing experimental research in materials science, nuclear physics or atomic physics, or externally funded research programs across the country, including national labs. Research opportunities in international sites are available through our faculty.

The advantage of being small. Candidates enjoy the many benefits of a small student-to-faculty ratio, such as student-centered instruction, close mentoring by faculty, and exceptional attention to individual needs and interests. Most students have realistic opportunities for employment as tutors, lab assistants, teaching assistants and research assistants.

Do more. A math minor is embedded and allows BS candidates to achieve a second major in mathematics with minimal if any additional credit load. Second minors are accessible in disciplines as diverse as languages, history, philosophy, international relations and computer science.

Common 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 Core 23 CHEM 121 General Chemistry 1 4
PHYS 332 Electronics 3 CHEM 121L General Chemistry 1 lab 1
PHYS 401 Thermal Physics 3 CHEM 122 General Chemistry 2 4
PHYS 461 Mechanics 4 CHEM 122L General Chemistry 2 lab 1
PHYS 464 Advanced Lab 2 ENLG 302W Science Writing 3
PHYS 470 Electricity and Magnetism 3 PHYS 105 Career Development 1
PHYS 473 Electrodynamics 3
PHYS 474 Quantum Mechanics 3
PHYS 499W Senior Research 2
Track-specific Physics Courses 12 University General Education Requirements 25
See Broad, Professional or Astronomy track See academic advisor
Minimum of 126 credits required for graduation