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Physics B.S. Degree Requirements

Every Physics B.S. degree option requires completion of a selection of courses plus fulfilment of a capstone requirement involving activities outside a typical classroom. Continuation in the major requires maintaining satisfactory progress. For further information on the range of activies which may be used to satisfy the capstone requirement for each degree track, and on satisfactory progress criteria, refer to:

The course requirements for a Physics B.S. degree begin with a common set of course options, applicable to all degree tracks, followed by a selection of additional option-specific courses. Note that any single course may satisfy at most one physics-specific degree requirement.

Common Requirements, All Tracks (52 credits)

Courses Topics
100-level:  Phys 121 or Phys 141 Mechanics (5)
Phys 122 or Phys 142 Electromagnetism (5)
Phys 123 or Phys 143 Waves, Optics & Heat (5)
Math 124 or Math 134 Differential Calculus (5)
Math 125 or Math 135 Integral Calculus (5)
Math 126 or Math 136  Multivariate Calculus (5)
200-level:  Phys 224 Thermal & Statistical Physics (3)
Phys 225 Introduction to Quantum Mechanics (3)
Phys 227 Mathematical Methods of Physics I (4)
Phys 294 Introduction to Research: Frontiers of Physics (1)
300-level:  Phys 321 Electromagnetism I (4)
Phys 322 Electromagnetism II (4)
Phys 334 Electronics Lab: Analog (3)

Comprehensive Track (addl. 41-44 credits)

Courses Topics
Core Physics: Phys 226 Particles & Symmetries (3)
Phys 228 Mathematical Methods of Physics II (4)
Phys 324 Quantum Mechanics I (4)
More Physics,
3 courses from: 
Phys 323 Electromagnetism III (4)
Phys 325 Quantum Mechanics II (4)
Phys 328 Statistical Physics (3)
Phys 329 Classical Mechanics (3)
Astr 321* Solar System (3)
Astr 322* Our Galaxy (3)
Astr 323* Extragalactic Astronomy & Cosmology (3)
More Math,
2 courses from:
Math 307 or AMath 351 Ordinary Differential Equations (3)
Math 308 or AMath 352 Linear Algebra (3)
Math 309 or AMath 353 Partial Differential Equations (3)
Math 324 Vector Calculus (3)
AMath 401 Vector Calculus & Complex Variables (4)
Math 334†  335† or 336 Accelerated Advanced Calculus (5)
Laboratories,
2 courses from:
Phys 331 Optics Lab (3)
Phys 335 Electronics Lab: Digital (3)
Phys 434 or Chem 464 Computers in Data Acquisition (3)
Phys 431 Modern Physics Lab: Condensed Matter (3)
Phys 432 Modern Physics Lab: Atomic (3)
Phys 433 Modern Physics Lab: Nuclear & Particle (3)
Astr 480 or Astr 481  ‡ Astronomical Data Analysis/Acquisition (5)
Electives,
6 credits from:
Additional physics or cognate electives
Capstone,
3 credits from: 
Phys 494495 or 496 Senior Seminar (1)
Phys 485486 or 487 Honors Seminar (1)
Phys 499 or Astr 499  § Undergraduate Research (1-6)
Phys 481 Astronomical Observation (5)

* At most two of Astr 321, 322 and 323 may be used to satisfy this Physics requirement.
† Not currently coded into UW degree audit reporting system (DARS), see the undergraduate faculty advisor (UFA) to allow these courses to satisfy requirements.
‡ Students taking other advanced labs may petition the UFA to have them substitute for Astr 480.
§ Students receiving credit for physics-related research or independent project work in another department may petition the UFA to have it meet the capstone requirement by writing a paper describing how they applied physics to their independent project.

Applied Physics Track (addl. 37-39 credits)

Courses Topics
Data Acquisition
& Analysis:
Phys 231 Introductory Experimental Physics (3)
AMath 301* Beginning Scientific Computing (4)
More Physics,
1 course from: 
Phys 226 Particles & Symmetries (3)
Phys 323 Electromagnetism III (4)
Phys 324 Quantum Mechanics I (4)
Phys 328 Statistical Physics (3)
Phys 329 Classical Mechanics (3)
More Math,
3 courses from:
Phys 228 Mathematical Methods of Physics II (4)
Math 307 or AMath 351 Ordinary Differential Equations (3)
Math 308 or AMath 352 Linear Algebra (3)
Math 309 or AMath 353 Partial Differential Equations (3)
Math 324 Vector Calculus (3)
AMath 401 Vector Calculus & Complex Variables (4)
Math 334†  335† or 336 Accelerated Advanced Calculus (5)
Laboratories,
2 courses from:
Phys 331 Optics Lab (3)
Phys 335 Electronics Lab: Digital (3)
Phys 434 or Chem 464 Computers in Data Acquisition (3)
Phys 431 Modern Physics Lab: Condensed Matter (3)
Phys 432 Modern Physics Lab: Atomic (3)
Phys 433 Modern Physics Lab: Nuclear & Particle (3)
Astr 480‡ or Astr 481 Astronomical Data Analysis/Acquisition (5)
Electives,
9 credits from:
Additional physics or cognate electives
Capstone,
3 credits from: 
Phys 494495 or 496 Senior Seminar (1)
Phys 485486 or 487 Honors Seminar (1)
Phys 499 or Astr 499  § Undergraduate Research (1-6)
Phys 481 Astronomical Observation (5)

* Astronomy students may substitute Astr 300 or 427 for AMath 301; contact the undergraduate faculty advisor (UFA) to have this entered into your DARS. Students may petition the UFA for other upper-division data science, computing or statistics classes to substitute for AMath 301, note however that STAT 311, CS 142, and CS 143 do not meet this requirement.
† Not currently coded into UW degree audit reporting system (DARS), see the UFA to allow these courses to satisfy requirements.
‡ Students taking other advanced labs may petition the UFA to have them substitute for Astr 480.
§ Students receiving credit for physics-related research or independent project work in another department may petition the UFA to have it meet the capstone requirement by writing a paper describing how they applied physics to their independent project.

Biological Physics Track (addl. 54-58 credits)

Courses Topics
Core Physics: Phys 228 Mathematical Methods of Physics II (4)
Phys 324 Quantum Mechanics I (4)
Phys 328* Statistical Physics (3)
Phys 429 Biological Physics (3)
Introductory Biology
& Chemistry:
Biol 180 Evolution & Ecology (5)
Biol 200 Cellular & Developmental Biology (5)
Chem 142 + 152 + 162 ‡ General Chemistry (15)
More Physics,
1 course from: 
Phys 226 Particles & Symmetries (3)
Phys 323 Electromagnetism III (4)
Phys 325 Quantum Mechanics II (4)
Phys 329 Classical Mechanics (3)
More Math,
1 course from: 
Math 307 or AMath 351 Ordinary Differential Equations (3)
Math 308 or AMath 352 Linear Algebra (3)
Math 309 or AMath 353 Partial Differential Equations (3)
Math 324 Vector Calculus (3)
AMath 401 Vector Calculus & Complex Variables (4)
Math 334†  335† or 336 Accelerated Advanced Calculus (5)
More Biology
& Chemistry,
2 courses from: 
Chem 223 or 237 or 335 Organic Chemistry I (4)
Chem 224 or 238 or 336 Organic Chemistry II (4)
Chem 428 Biomolecular Analysis (3)
Chem 452 or 453 Physical Chemistry for Biochemists I & II (3)
Chem 454 Biomolecular Spectroscopy (3)
Chem 455† or 456 Physical Chemistry I & II (3)
Biol 220 Introductory Biology (5)
Biol 340 Genetics & Molecular Ecology (5)
Biol 350 Foundations in Physiology (3)
Biol 355 Foundations in Molecular Cell Biology (3)
Biol 401 Advanced Cell Biology (3)
Biol 427 Biomechanics (5)
Biol 461 Neurobiology (3)
Biol 467 Comparative Animal Physiology (3)
BioC 405 or 440 Biochemistry (3-4)
Capstone,
3 credits from: 
Phys 499 or BioC 499 Undergraduate Research (1-6)
Biol 499 or Chem 499 Undergraduate Research (1-6)
P Bio 499 or BioE 499 Undergraduate Research (1-6)
Genome 499 or MicroM 499  Undergraduate Research (1-6)

* Chem 457 plus an additional upper-division physics course may substitute for the Phys 328 requirement with permission from the undergraduate faculty advisor (UFA). Most students should not take both Phys 328 and Chem 457.
† Not currently coded into UW degree audit reporting system (DARS), see the UFA to allow these courses to satisfy requirements.
Chem 143 + 153, Accelerated General Chemistry, may substitute for Chem 142+152+162; see the UFA to allow this.

Teaching Physics Track (addl. 41-43 credits)

Courses Topics
Core Physics: Phys 226 Particles & Symmetries (3)
Phys 228 Mathematical Methods of Physics II (4)
Phys 324 Quantum Mechanics I (4)
Phys 407 + 408 + 409 Physics by Inquiry (15)
More Physics,
1 course from: 
Phys 323 Electromagnetism III (4)
Phys 328* Statistical Physics (3)
Phys 329 Classical Mechanics (3)
More Math,
2 courses from: 
Math 307 or AMath 351 Ordinary Differential Equations (3)
Math 308 or AMath 352 Linear Algebra (3)
Math 309 or AMath 353 Partial Differential Equations (3)
Math 324 Vector Calculus (3)
AMath 401 Vector Calculus & Complex Variables (4)
Math 334†  335† or 336 Accelerated Advanced Calculus (5)
Laboratories,
1 course from:
Phys 331 Optics Lab (3)
Phys 335 Electronics Lab: Digital (3)
Phys 434 or Chem 464 Computers in Data Acquisition (3)
Phys 431 Modern Physics Lab: Condensed Matter (3)
Phys 432 Modern Physics Lab: Atomic (3)
Phys 433 Modern Physics Lab: Nuclear & Particle (3)
Astr 480 or Astr 481  ‡ Astronomical Data Analysis/Acquisition (5)
Capstone,
3 credits from: 
Phys 401 Physics Pedagogy (3)
Phys 499 Undergraduate Research (1-6)

† Not currently coded into UW degree audit reporting system (DARS), see the undergraduate faculty advisor (UFA) to allow these courses to satisfy requirements.
‡ Students taking other advanced labs may petition the UFA to have them substitute for Astr 480.

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