Sample Physics Major Programs
– for Graduate School Bound Students – for Applied Emphasis Students – for Honors College Students –
Course of study
The Physics Department offers a special introductory sequence designed for physics majors. This sequence provides an excellent opportunity for incoming majors to begin their physics studies with ample individual attention. Class sizes are typically 15 to 25 students at all levels in the physics major program.The course requirements and suggested electives for graduate school bound students are shown in the chart below.
Major Core Minimum of BS 
Recommended Enhancements 
Required Related Subjects 
Required University 

First Year 
Foundations of Physics I (251,252,253) Physics Lab. 1 (290 each term) 15 credits 
Calculus and Interdisciplinary Core courses 20 credits 
Composition 8 credits 

Second Year 
Foundations of Physics II (351,352,353) Intermediate Lab (390) 16 credits 
Differential Equations and Several Variable Calculus 12 credits 
Group satisfying courses from Arts and Letters and Social Sciences (16 credit hours in each) 

Third Year 
Electricity, Magnetism & Electromagnetism (412,413, 422) Mechanics (411) 6 cr. hours upperdivision labs 22 credits 
Electives in Physics (from Electromagnetism, Optics, Math. Methods & Astrophysics)

Electives in Mathematics (from Complex Variables, Partial Diff. Equations, Linear Algebra) 
Multicultural Courses (2 courses) 

Fourth Year 
Quantum Physics (414,415,417) 12 credits 
Physics Laboratories (from Electronics, Optics Advanced Lab) 

Students who will seek employment in the technical arena with a bachelor’s degree in physics can follow the Applied Emphasis Track, outlined below:
Major Core Minimum of BS 
Recommended Enhancements 
Required Related Subjects 
Required University 

First Year 
Foundations of Physics I (251,252,253) Physics Lab. 1 (290 each term) 15 credits 
Calculus and Interdisciplinary Core courses 20 credits 
Composition 8 credits 

Second Year 
Foundations of Physics II (351,352,353) Intermediate Lab (390) 16 credits 
Differential Equations and Several Variable Calculus 12 credits 
Group satisfying courses from Arts & Letters and Social Sciences (16 credit hrs. each) 

Third Year 
Electricity & Magnetism (412,413) Intro. Quantum Mech. (354) Analog & Digital Electronics (431,432) 20 credits 
Electives in Physics (from Electromagnetism, Optics, Math. Methods & Astrophysics) 
Electives in Mathematics (from Complex Variables, Partial Diff. Equations, Linear Algebra) 
Multicultural Courses (2 courses) 

Fourth Year 
Classical & Modern Optics (424,425) Design of Experiments (481) 6 cr. hours upperdivision labs 18 credits 
Physics Laboratories (from Physics Instrumentation, Modern Optics Lab, Advanced Lab)  
Sample Physics Major Program for Students Enrolled in the Robert D. Clark Honors College
Physics Major Core Minimum of BS 
Robert D. Clark Honor College 
Required and Optional Related Subjects 
Undergraduate Research Activities 

First Year 
Foundations of Physics I (251,252,253) Physics Lab. 1 (290 each term) 15 credits

Honors College Literature (HC 221H, 222H, 223H) 12 credits 
Calculus and Interdisciplinary Core courses
1220 credits

For advanced students:Apply for and complete NSF REU program following summer  
Second Year 
Foundations of Physics II (351,352,353) Intermediate Lab (390) 16 credits 
Honors College History (HC 231H, 232H, 233H) HC Colloquia (e.g., HC 421H, 431H, 441H)1624 credits

Chemistry or Interdisciplinary Core courses (if not taken year 1) Differential Equations and Several Variable Calculus 1220 credits 
Apply for and complete NSF REU program following summer  
Third Year 
Electricity & Magnetism (412,413, 422) 6 cr. hours upperdivision labs (e.g., 431, 432) Research (401) 22 credits 
HC Colloquia (e.g., HC 421H, 431H, 441H) to total 5 courses between 2nd, 3rd and 4th year.
812 credits

Multicultural Courses (2 courses) Math Methods for Physics (410) 12+ credits

Begin research with physicsrelated research group. Continue work through following summer and fall. 

Fourth Year 
Quantum Physics (414,415,417) Mechanics (411) Research (401)20 credits

HC Colloquia (e.g., HC 421H, 431H, 441H) to total 5 courses between 2nd, 3rd and 4th year. HC Thesis Prospectus (HC 477H)6 credits 
{ Optional electives in Physics (e.g., 410, 42426, 427) and Mathematics (see above) } 412 credits 
Write Honors College Thesis (in physics research area) during fall/winter terms. Defend during spring term. 

Students who wish to start physics their first year at the university should come prepared to study calculus.
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