Department of Physics and Astronomy, College of Science and Engineering
Physics is a branch of science that explores the basic principles that govern the physical world, including matter and energy, as well as their properties and interactions. Physics is often called the fundamental science because principles of physics are essential for the understanding of nearly all branches of the natural sciences. 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 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.
Astronomer | Engineer | Research and Development Scientist | Laboratory Technician | Software Developer | Technical Consultant | Educator | Industrial Hygienist | Geophysicist | Seismologist | Optical Devices Designer | Satellite Data Analyst | Science Writer
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, 322, 326; CSCI 141; and MATH 124, 125, 224; and MATH 204, 304, and 331 (or MATH 203 and 303). Admission to Phase II is based on 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 advisor 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 announced deadline 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.
A grade of C- or better is required for a student’s major or minor courses, and supporting courses for majors and minors.