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 optionspecific courses. Note that any single course may satisfy at most one physicsspecific degree requirement.
 Common requirements, all tracks
 Comprehensive track
 Applied physics track
 Biological physics track (No longer accepting new students as of Spring 2024)
 Teaching physics track
 Comprehensive & Applied Physics Track Electives
BS Degree Requirements Before Autumn 2021
Common Requirements, All Tracks (52 credits)
Courses  Topics  

100level:  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)  
200level:  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)  
300level:  Phys 321  Electromagnetism I (4) 
Phys 322  Electromagnetism II (4)  
Phys 334  Electronics Lab: Analog (3) 
Comprehensive Track (addl. 3846 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 (35 credits), 2 courses from: 
Math 207 or AMath 351  Ordinary Differential Equations (3) 
Math 208 or AMath 352  Linear Algebra (3)  
Math 209 or AMath 353  Partial Differential Equations (3)  
Math 224  Advanced Multivariable Calculus (3)  
AMath 401  Vector Calculus & Complex Variables (4)  
Math 334 or 335 or 336  Accelerated Advanced Calculus (5)  
Advanced Laboratory (68 credits), 2 courses from: 
Phys 331  Optics Lab (3) 
Phys 335  Electronics Lab: Digital (3)  
Phys 431  Modern Physics Lab: Condensed Matter (3)  
Phys 432  Modern Physics Lab: Atomic (3)  
Phys 433  Modern Physics Lab: Nuclear & Particle (3)  
Phys 434  Computers in Data Acquisition (3)  
Astr 480 or Astr 481 ‡  Astronomical Data Analysis/Acquisition (5)  
Electives, 6 credits from: 
Additional physics or cognate electives  
Capstone, 3 to 5 credits from any combination of: 
Phys 494, 495 or 496  Senior Seminar (1) 
Phys 485, 486 or 487  Honors Seminar (1)  
Phys 499 or Astr 499 §  Undergraduate Research (16)  
Astr 481  Astronomical Observation (5) 
* At most two of Astr 321, 322 and 323 may be used to satisfy this Physics requirement.
‡ Students taking other advanced labs may petition the UFA to have them substitute for Astr 480.
§ Students receiving credit for physicsrelated 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. 3443 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 207 or AMath 351  Ordinary Differential Equations (3)  
Math 208 or AMath 352  Linear Algebra (3)  
Math 209 or AMath 353  Partial Differential Equations (3)  
Math 224  Vector Calculus (3)  
AMath 401  Vector Calculus & Complex Variables (4)  
Math 334 or 335 or 336  Accelerated Advanced Calculus (5)  
Advanced Laboratory, 2 courses from: 
Phys 331  Optics Lab (3) 
Phys 335  Electronics Lab: Digital (3)  
Phys 431  Modern Physics Lab: Condensed Matter (3)  
Phys 432  Modern Physics Lab: Atomic (3)  
Phys 433  Modern Physics Lab: Nuclear & Particle (3)  
Phys 434  Computers in Data Acquisition (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 494, 495 or 496  Senior Seminar (1) 
Phys 485, 486 or 487  Honors Seminar (1)  
Phys 498  Direct Reading in Physics (2)  
Phys 499 or Astr 499 §  Undergraduate Research (16)  
Astr 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 upperdivision 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.
‡ Students taking other advanced labs may petition the UFA to have them substitute for Astr 480.
§ Students receiving credit for physicsrelated 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. 4856 credits)
No longer accepting new students as of Spring 2024
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 (10 credits) 
Biol 180  Evolution & Ecology (5) 
Biol 200  Cellular & Developmental Biology (5)  
Introductory Chemistry, 1215 credits from the following options: 

a) Chem 142 (or Chem 145), 152 (or Chem 155), 162 (or Chem 165)  General Chemistry  
b) Chem 143 and CHEM 153  Accelerated General Chemistry  
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 207 or AMath 351  Ordinary Differential Equations (3) 
Math 208 or AMath 352  Linear Algebra (3)  
Math 209 or AMath 353  Partial Differential Equations (3)  
Math 224  Vector Calculus (3)  
AMath 401  Vector Calculus & Complex Variables (4)  
Math 334 or 335 or 336  Accelerated Advanced Calculus (5)  
Biology & Chemistry (610 credits), 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 456)  Physical Chemistry for Biochemists I  
Chem 453  Physical Chemistry for Biochemists II  
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 404  Animal Physiology: Cellular Aspects (3) 

Biol 427  Biomechanics (5)  
Biol 461  Neurobiology (3)  
Biol 467  Comparative Animal Physiology (3)  
BioC 405 or 440  Biochemistry (34)  
Capstone, 3 credits from any combination of: 
Phys 499 or BioC 499  Undergraduate Research (16) 
Biol 499 or Chem 499  Undergraduate Research (16)  
P Bio 499 or BioE 499  Undergraduate Research (16)  
Neusci 499  Undergraduate Research (16)  
Genome 499 or MicroM 499  Undergraduate Research (16)  
Biophysicsrelated projects in Phys 498  Direct Reading in Physics  
Biophysicsrelated projects in Phys 499  Undergraduate Research (16) 
* Chem 457 plus an additional upperdivision 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.
‡ Chem 143 + 153, Accelerated General Chemistry, may substitute for Chem 142+152+162; see the UFA to allow this.
Teaching Physics Track (addl. 4143 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, 1 course from: 
Math 207 or AMath 351  Ordinary Differential Equations (3) 
Math 208 or AMath 352  Linear Algebra (3)  
Math 209 or AMath 353  Partial Differential Equations (3)  
Math 224  Vector Calculus (3)  
AMath 401  Vector Calculus & Complex Variables (4)  
Math 334 or 335 or 336  Accelerated Advanced Calculus (5)  
Advanced Laboratory, 1 course from: 
Phys 331  Optics Lab (3) 
Phys 335  Electronics Lab: Digital (3)  
Phys 431  Modern Physics Lab: Condensed Matter (3)  
Phys 432  Modern Physics Lab: Atomic (3)  
Phys 433  Modern Physics Lab: Nuclear & Particle (3)  
Phys 434  Computers in Data Acquisition (3)  
Astr 480 or Astr 481 ‡  Astronomical Data Analysis/Acquisition (5)  
Capstone, 3 credits from: 
Phys 401 or Phys 402 or Phys 403  Physics Pedagogy (3) 
Phys 499, working on a project that involves teaching 
Undergraduate Research (16) 
‡ Students taking other advanced labs may petition the UFA to have them substitute for Astr 480.