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Bachelor of Science in Physics

Our Physics B.S. degree program is one of the largest in the nation, with 175 degrees awarded annually. Graduates pursue diverse paths including further studies in physics, teaching careers, and positions in the private sector. The program offers three B.S. degree tracks: Comprehensive Physics, Applied Physics, and Teaching Physics, allowing students to tailor their degree to their interests and goals. Students choose a track when declaring a major, but can change it anytime before applying to graduate.

Comprehensive Physics Track

The Comprehensive track is for students seeking a strong foundation in physics, including in-depth mathematical understanding. It is ideal for those planning to pursue a career in physics or related fields, as well as those considering graduate studies in physics or astronomy. To fully prepare for graduate school, take as many upper-division courses and research opportunities as possible.

Applied Physics Track

The Applied Physics track is ideal for students pursuing technical jobs with a Physics B.S., offering a broad grounding in physics with fewer required courses and less intense math. It allows students to diversify skills in climate science, data science, electrical engineering, aerospace, or entrepreneurship, so students can easily pursue a double major in another STEM field. Unique requirements include a statistics-focused lab, a relevant computer programming class, and elective options in related science areas.

Teaching Physics Track

The Teaching Physics track is for those interested in teaching physics or math at pre-college levels, as well as for students pursuing careers in science journalism or other fields involving the communication of physics to a broader audience. The track includes the Physics by Inquiry sequence, Phys 407/408/409, to develop conceptual understanding and communication skills without college-level math. Students in this track can benefit from and contribute to the UW's esteemed Physics Education Research Group.

Physics B.S. Degree Requirements

Declaring a Physics Major

Transfer Credit

Advice For Prospective Majors

For students interested in biophysics or medical physics

2023-2024 Quarterly Course Offerings

2024-2025 Quarterly Course Offerings