B.S. PHY - Major in Physics

THE BACHELOR OF SCIENCE IN PHYSICS (B.S. PHY) Major in Physics 48-50 Credits

This degree program provides a strong foundation for careers in the rapidly developing high-technology industries. It is highly recommended as preparation for graduate work in physics. It also prepares students for graduate study in most engineering fields without requiring the early specialization, typical of undegraduate engineering programs, that can greatly reduce career options.

Program Goals Learning Objectives

1.  Students will have a knowledge of the information in each of the major areas of physics, and of the interrelation between these major areas of physics. 

1A.  Students will demonstrate an improved understanding of the fundamental concepts in each of the major areas of physics.

1B.  Students will be able to use concepts and techniques from more than one area of physics together to solve problems. 

2.  Students will have mastered the skills appropriate to the discipline of physics. 

2A.  Students will demonstrate a conceptual problem solving ability.

2B.  Students will demonstrate a proficiency in the application of mathematics to physics.

2C.  Students will demonstrate a proficiency in the design, measurement and analysis techniques required in the laboratory.

2D.  Students will demonstrate the ability to work as members of a team.

2E.  Students will synthesize current knowledge and apply or extend it to new situations.

2F.  Students will successfully analyze the ethical component of issues from the physical sciences.

2G:  Students will demonstrate the ability to effectively present the results of quantitative studies.

3.  Students can succeed in professional careers  3A.  Students will be well prepared for graduate study


Course Requirements: Students must complete the Physics courses listed here. In addition, they must complete the following courses:

Six additional credits from the Advanced Lecture Electives courses listed above.

And either

CHM 203/204 General Chemistry I with lab (4 credits), and
CHM 205/206 General Chemistry II with lab (4 credits)

(Or, choose two courses from the following:)

MTH 529 Linear Algebra (3 credits)
MTH 543 Numerical Analysis (3 credit)
MTH 545 Differential Equations (3 credits)
MTH 561 Mathematical Statistics I (3 credits)

Additional coursework in mathematics, computer science, chemistry, or other sciences is recommended. Courses selected will depend on specific career goals.

B.S. PHY - Major in Physics: 4-Year Plan

This 4-year plan satisfies the requirements for the B.S. in Physics degree with a major in Physics as well as the core requirements in four years. There is plenty of room for students to customize the degree according to their interests.

Freshman Year

B.S. in Physics Major: 4-Year Plan

Fall Spring
Course Credits Course Credits
PHY 201/213/221 & 205 LM 4 PHY 202/214/222 & 206 LM 4
Calculus I or II 4 Calculus II or III 4
RSP 1 Foundations: Critical Issues 3
Foundations: Composition 3 Foundations: Oral Communications 1
Foreign Language 4 Foundations: Theology 3
  16   15
Sophomore Year
4-Year Plan: Physics Major
Fall Spring
Course Credits Course Credits
Modern Physics 3 Optics & Lab 4
Research Methods 2 Electronics Lab 1
Calculus III or Physics Elective 3 Linear Algebra 3
Foundations: Philosophy 3 Explorations: Ethics 3
Explorations: History 3 Explorations: Biblical Traditions 3
  14   14
Junior Year
4-Year Plan: Physics Major
Fall Spring
Course Credits Course Credits
Quantum Mechanics 3 Electricity and Magnetism 3
Thermodynamics 3 Classical Mechanics 3
(Differential Equations) (3) Research 1
Research 1 Explorations: Fine Arts 3
Understanding Social Science 3 Explorations: Literature 3
  10 (13)   13
Senior Year
4-Year Plan: Physics Major
Fall Spring
Course Credits Course Credits
Physics Elective 3 Physics Seminar 1
Research Capstone 1 Physics Elective 3
Intersections 3 Physics Elective 3
Doing Social Science 3 Ultimate Questions 3
  10   10




*Students who need to take a pre-calculus math course may begin calculus in the second semester. General physics is then begun in the second semester or in the first semester of the sophomore year.

The courses listed below are suggested to fill in or expand the program. The list is not intended to be exhaustive. Choices will depend on the specific career plans and interests of the student.

  • General Chemistry I-II (CHM 203-206)
  • Computer Programming I (CSC 221)
  • Differential Equations (MTH 545)
  • Mathematical Statistics l-ll (MTH 561-562)