Important: New Academic Organizational Structure to Go Into Effect July 1
Beginning July 1, the College of Arts and Sciences will split into two new colleges: the College of Liberal Arts and the College of Science. Learn More...
College of Arts and Sciences

Bachelor of Science in Physics

The Bachelor of Science in Physics is a basic physics degree. Across the United States, the BS in Physics is relatively standard, so the program listed here is going to be similar to other institutions.

Degree Requirement Sheet - a one page document that lists all classes students will have to take to complete the B.S. in Physics. Sample four year plan of study - a document giving you an idea of what courses you will take when in your program.

For both of these documents, if you enter the program needing to take pre-algebra, or algebra and trigonometry, it will take longer to complete the program. The need to take these courses does not indicate that you will not succeed in physics, it simply means that you have some background work to complete before you may start the main physics program.

ALL Students are expected (required) to take PHYS 17000 - First Year Seminar their first semester. PHYS 17000 is a one credit hour course with variable topics such as Nature of Science, Experimental Physics, and Microscopy. It is important to have students become acculturated within the Department of Physics and make connections with senior students. Senior students are expected to participate in PHYS 17000 classes as well (and they may take them for credit too).

Within the Physics program, there are a number of concentrations; most are interdisciplinary. As well as obtaining a second major in secondary education in order to teach Physics in middle school/high school.


  • Astronomy.
  • Biomedical Physics. The Biomedical Physics concentration combines Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics. It is designed to help the student understand physical mechanisms in biology and can be used as preparation for medical school or graduate study in medical physics or biophysics. There are three separate tracks available to students in the Biomedical Physics concentration.
    • Biophysics: combines courses in biology with physics providing a strong physics background with which to examine biology.
    • Medical Physics: this track has the core requirements to pursue graduate school in medical physics (medical physics is a wonderful career!).
    • Pre-med: preprofessional program for medical school.
  • Computational Physics. The Computational/Mathematical concentration adds a number of either computer science or mathematics courses to the physics program and is a good background for modeling and for further study of mathematical or computational physics in the future.
    • Computational Physics: Adds additional advanced Computer Science courses in exchange for some of the advanced laboratory course work in physics.
    • Mathematical Physics: Adds additional advanced Mathematics courses in exchange for some of the advanced laboratory course work in physics.
  • Engineering Physics. The Engineering Physics concentration adds courses from different engineering programs (Electrical, Mechanical, and Civil) so that you can learn basic engineering skills and build on these skills with the scientific skills developed in physics. There are three separate tracks in the Engineering Physics Concentration.
    • Civil Engineering: Adds Civil and Environmental courses replacing some of the intermediate physics courses.
    • Electrical Engineering: Adds Electrical Engineering courses in place of some intermediate physics courses.
    • Mechanical Engineering: Adds some mechanical engineering courses in place of some intermediate physics courses.
  • Optoelectronics and Photonics. Optoelectronics and Photonics is the study of light and the production of light, and the electronics used in detection of light. This concentration expands upon the physics program by adding courses in laser physics, coherent optics and electronic instrumentation.
  • Material Science.


Physics Teaching:

For details pursuing a second degree in secondary education to teach Physics in middle/high school, please see the School of Education Secondary Education in Physics.


Physics Reseach Certificate - You will be able to apply knowledge learned by designing and executing a research study or project and communicating the results to other