Physics BS Plan of Study
Students may postpone PHYS 161 until winter quarter in order to complete the pre-requisite for Calculus I (MATH 124) before starting the physics plan of study. Note that PHYS 162 will also be delayed such that PHYS 162 and PHYS 163 will need to be taken concurrently in the spring of the freshman year.
**Choose at least two of the following department electives:
- ASTR 315: Solar System
- ASTR 316: Stars & Galaxies
- ASTR 320: Cosmology
- (ASTR 315, 316 and 320 to complete the Astronomy Minor)
- PHYS 344: Relativity
- PHYS 345: Quantum Computing
- PHYS 444: Special Topics
- PHYS 476: Solids II
- Second quarter of PHYS 391: JuniorLab (sometimes offered in spring quarter)
- PHYS 497 Science Communications
Admission and Declaration Process
Admission to the Physics BS is a two-step process. Students are classified as Phase I majors until they have completed PHYS 161, 162, 163, 224, 225, 220; and MATH 124, 125, 224; and MATH 204, 304 and 331. Admission to Phase II is based on students’ academic performance in the Phase I courses. Students with a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or higher in the Phase I courses will be given preferential admission to Phase II, while students with a cumulative grade point average below 3.0 in the Phase I courses will be considered for admission on a case by case basis. Note, however, that neither completion of the prerequisites nor attainment of any specific GPA guarantees admission to Phase II. Students may obtain Phase I major status by contacting the Physics/Astronomy department, Communications Facility 385, and completing the major declaration form. At this time students will be assigned an academic adviser from the physics faculty. The application to Phase II includes an application form and a transcript, and should be submitted to the department main office by the end of the 5thweek of spring quarter during the sophomore year of the major program. Phase II major status will be granted by the beginning of fall quarter of the junior year.
Students may take Independent Research PHYS 291/491, with variable credit from 1-3, with permission of a faculty. This course provide students the opportunity to perform original research under faculty supervision. It is advised that interested students contact potential faculty supervisors during their junior year.
PHYS 161, 162, 163, 220, 224 and 225
MATH 124 and 125, or MATH 134 and 135, or MATH 138 and MATH 204, 224 and 331.
PHYS 161, 162, 163
ASTR 315, 316 and 320
The math courses required in the physics major meet most of the requirements for the Math Minor.
After completion of MATH 204, 304 and 331 you will need an additional 4 credits of approved math electives.
Recommended math courses that are of considerable value to physics majors are MATH 225 Multivariable Calculus and Geometry, MATH 226 Limits and Infinite Series, MATH 430 Fourier Series and Partial Differential Equations, MATH 432 Systems of Differential Equations, and MATH 438 Introduction to Complex Variables.
Materials Science Minor
Physics Majors completing the Materials Science Minor may substitute one year of Chemistry for the department electives.