BS Four-Year Degree Plan: Physics Track

The physics program can be completed in four years or eight semesters. This does not include dual enrollment or any transfer credit which you may have earned in high school or at other universities.

It is recommended that students in the physics program do not finish all of their general education courses before beginning to take courses in physics. Some physics courses do require prerequisites, so it is important to meet with an advisor in the program before you schedule your first semester or as soon as you think you might be interested in this program.

Sample Schedule

This is only a sample schedule, and an advisor will be able to customize the best plan for you.

Check out the course rotation before scheduling your classes.

The following degree plan is based on the general education program instituted in fall 2014. For the previous general education requirements, please access these Student Transition Resources.

First semester (fall)

CHM 160 General Chemistry I 4
MTH 261 Analytic Geometry and Calculus I 5
GEP 101 First-Year Foundations 2
CSC 111 Introduction to Computing 3
COM 115 Fundamentals of Public Speaking 3
Total hours17

Second semester (spring)

MTH 280 Analytic Geometry and Calculus II 5
PHY 203 Foundations of Physics I 5
ECO 155 Principles of Macroeconomics 3
ENG 110 Writing I 3
Total hours16

Third semester (fall)

MTH 302 Multivariate Calculus 3
PHY 204 Foundations of Physics II 5
AST 115 Basic Astronomy 4
KIN 210 Healthy Lifestyles: Preventive Approaches 3
PSY 121 Introductory Psychology 3
Total hours17

Fourth semester (spring)

MTH 303 Differential Equations 3
MTH 215 Discrete Mathematics
or MTH 315 Algebraic Structures
ENG 321 Writing II: Beginning Technical Writing 3
Self-understanding/humanities 3
HST 103 World History to Circa 1600 C.E. 3
Total hours15

Fifth semester (fall)

PHY 351 Circuit, Signals, and Controls 3
PHY 375 Modern Physics 3
PHY 391 Mathematics for Science and Engineering I 3
PLS 101 American Democracy and Citizenship 3
Self-understanding/Creativity and Vision 3
Total hours15

Sixth semester (spring)

PHY 385 Experiments in Modern Physics 2
PHY 386 Undergraduate Research I 1
PHY 392 Mathematics for Science and Engineering II 3
PHY 476 Introduction to Nuclear and Particle Physics 3
HST 121 Survey of the History of the United States to 1877
or HST 122 Survey of the History of the United States Since 1877
General Elective 3
Total hours15

Seventh semester (fall)

PHY 333 Intermediate Mechanics 3
PHY 353 Electricity and Magnetism 3
PHY 575 Quantum Mechanics 3
General Elective 3
Physics Elective 3
Total hours15

Eighth semester (spring)

PHY 343 Thermal Physics 3
PHY 324 Instrumental/Computer Interfacing 4
PHY 486 Undergraduate Research II 1
General Elective 3
General Elective 3
Physics Elective 3
Total hours17

Tips for success

  • Know that  you may take both PHY 203 and MTH 261 your first semester if you are eligible, based on a high math placement score.
  • Enroll in MTH 138 your first semester and MTH 261 your second, if you are not immediately eligible for MTH 261. However, you will have to postpone PHY 203 until you are ready to enroll in MTH 280