Physics, B.S.

Degree Type
Bachelor of Science

The Physics B.S. program prepares students for a wide variety of careers and professions by providing a universal skill set in quantitative problem solving, analytical reasoning, and mathematical modeling.  Students hone these skills by investigating the fundamental laws of nature and exploring deep questions about the properties of matter, the origin and fate of the universe, and nature of space and time.

The Physics B.S. program is designed to meet the diverse needs of physics majors by offering four concentrations: a general physics concentration designed to prepare students for graduate studies and three career-oriented concentrations.  All bachelor’s students will take the physics core of foundational and upper division courses.  Further advanced courses are determined by the choice of concentration.

  • General Physics concentration:
    A traditional physics B.S. program designed for students continuing to graduate school or pursuing a career in STEM.

  • Health Science concentration:
    For students pursuing a career in the medical professions.  Beyond the physics core curriculum, students take additional courses in biology and chemistry.  The curriculum has been chosen to satisfy medical school and other health-oriented program requirements.
  • Quantitative Finance concentration:
    Prepares students for careers in finance and investing. Contains additional coursework in finance and computer science, with a capstone course in econophysics.
  • Applied/Computational concentration:
    For students interested in pursuing a career in engineering or computer/information systems. Students will take an applied physics course and the full suite of introductory computer science courses.

A. Core Requirements: 55 credits

Required lower division courses: 20 credits

  • CP2240-2241 General Physics I with Lab 4cr.
  • CP2250-2251 General Physics II with Lab 4cr.
  • CP2260-2261 General Physics III with Lab 4cr.
  • CP2120-2121 Principles of Chemistry I with Lab 4cr*
  • CP2130-2131 Principles of Chemistry II with Lab 4cr*

Required upper division courses: 23 credits

  • CP3230 Math Methods in Physical Sciences 3cr
  • CP3600 Mechanics 3cr
  • CP3700 Electromagnetism 3cr
  • CP3800 Relativity 3cr
  • CP3900 Experimental Physics & Electronics Lab 3cr
  • CP4100 Thermodynamics 3cr
  • CP4200 Quantum Mechanics 3cr
  • CP 5920 Seminar 1 1cr
  • CP 5921 Seminar 2  1cr

Required math courses: 12 credits

  • MA2310 Calculus and Analytic Geometry I 4cr.
  • MA2320 Calculus and Analytic Geometry II 4cr.
  • MA3330 Calculus and Analytic Geometry III 4cr.

*Not required for Quantitative Finance Concentration

B. Concentration Requirements: 14 credits minimum

General Physics (14 credits)

  • Two additional advanced Physics Courses (4000 or above) 6cr
  • MA3160 Linear Algebra 4cr
  • MA4360 Differential Equations (or other MA 4000 or above) 4cr

Health Science (21 credits)

  • BS2400-2401 Basic Biology I with Lab 4cr
  • BS2410-2411 Basic Biology II with Lab 4cr      
  • CP3300-3302 Organic Chemistry I with Lab 5cr
  • CP3310-3312 Organic Chemistry I with Lab 5cr
  • CP4510 Biochemistry I or CP4490 Biochemistry for Life Sciences 3cr

Quantitative Finance (31 credits)

  • CP4900 Econophysics cr3
  • MA2000 Applied Statistics cr4
  • MA3160 Linear Algebra     cr4
  • MA4360 Differential Equations cr4
  • CS2510 Computer Programming I cr4
  • BU4762 Financial Management I cr4
  • BU5740 Investment Management and Security Analysis cr4
  • BU5789 Futures and Options Markets cr4

Applied/Computational (19 credits)

  • CP4600 Applied Mechanics 3cr  
  • MA3030 Discrete Math 4cr          
  • CS2510 Computer Programming I cr4
  • CS2511 Computer Programming II cr4
  • CS3810 Data Structures & Algorithms cr4

C. Liberal Education

D. General Electives

In consultation with Academic Advisor