Apr 26, 2018  
2017-2018 Catalog 
2017-2018 Catalog

Physics, BS

Department of Physics and Astronomy, College of Science and Engineering

108 credits


Physics is the fundamental science. It is the study of matter and energy and the interaction between the two. Astronomy, Biology, Chemistry, Geology and Engineering apply the principles of physics to specific problems. Almost all areas of modern technology involve applications of physics. An undergraduate major in Physics provides a solid foundation upon which to build later work and study in physics, astronomy and engineering.

Why Consider a Physics Major?

A Bachelor’s degree in Physics provides an excellent foundation in liberal arts and technology. The Physics BS degree can open a variety of doors for jobs in high tech industries, government labs, and as preparation for graduate school. Recent Physics graduates have found positions in a variety of fields including engineering, software development, optoelectronics, failure analysis, and education, among many others. Many graduates have found the skills acquired in our degree program have prepared them for further academic studies in Physics, Astronomy, Engineering, Patent Law, Medical Physics, Medicine, and Education to name a few.

 Contact Information

Undergraduate Advisor
Andreas Riemann
Communications Facility 385

Administrative Manager
Donna VanderGriend
Communications Facility 385

 Sample Careers

Astronomer | Engineer | Research and Development Scientist | Laboratory Technician | Software Developer | Technical Consultant | Physics Teacher | Industrial Hygienist | Geophysicist | Seismologist | Optical Devices Designer | Satellite Data Analyst | Science Writer

 Major/Career Resources


How to Declare (Admission and Declaration Process):

Admission to the Physics BS major is a two-step process. Students are classified as Phase I majors until they have completed PHYS 161, 162, 163, 220, 224, 225; and MATH 124, 125, 224; and MATH 203 and 303 (or 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 Phase I major 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 5th week 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.

Grade Requirements

A GPA of at least 2.50 must be maintained in the courses required by the major.