May 29, 2022  
2021-2022 Undergraduate Catalog 
2021-2022 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Physics, Applied Physics Concentration, B.S.

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Physics Degree and Major Requirements, B.S.

Degree and major requirements for the B.S. program in physics.

Degree Requirements

Required Courses

  • General Education  41 Credit Hours 1
  • Quantitative requirement (in addition to General Education ) 3 Credit Hours
  • Scientific Literacy requirement (in addition to General Education ) 3-4 Credit Hours
  • University electives 0-19 Credit Hours
  • Major core requirements (listed below) 50 Credit Hours 2
  • Major program concentration requirements 13-36 Credit Hours
Total: 120 Credit Hours


1 The General Education  program contains a set of requirements each student must fulfill. The number of credit hours necessary to fulfill these requirements may vary.

2 Some major core courses simultaneously satisfy degree and some General Education  requirements so that a student need not take more than 120 credit hours to satisfy graduation requirements.

Major Core Requirements

Shared Core Requirements for All B. S. Physics Majors.

Choose one of the following pair of introductory courses: 6 Credit Hours

Choose one of the following pair of laboratory courses: 2 Credit Hours

Applied Physics Cognate Disciplines

Courses in related fields required of all B. S. Physics Majors.

Total: 50 Credit Hours

Includes the Physics Required Introductory, Laboratory, 200 Level and above, as well as Cognate Required Courses. This is the shared core for the overall Physics B. S.

Program Concentrations

Each student, in consultation with their faculty adviser, will choose one of the following program concentrations.

Applied Physics Concentration

The applied physics concentration is designed to prepare students for careers in a wide variety of scientific areas including laboratory and industrial settings. Students are strongly encouraged to complete at least one of six areas of interest for completion of degree requirements: applied nuclear physics, computational physics, materials physics, electronics and instrumentation, geophysics and biophysics.

All students in the applied physics concentration must complete the following courses:

Additional courses approved by the head of the Department of Physics and Astronomy: 9 Credit Hours

Ideally these courses should form a coherent set of courses for the best possible academic experience.  See below for some suggestions.

Choose one of the following research courses: 2-6 Credit Hours

At least two credits must come from research courses.

Total: 19-23 Credit Hours


1 Students completing honors theses should take PHYS 499  in both the fall and spring semesters of their senior year for a total of 6 credit hours. Alternatively students could complete their theses over three semesters (spring of junior year, fall and spring of senior year, with two credits of PHYS 499 each semester, for a total of 6 credit hours).

Suggested Areas of Interest to complete the 9 credit hours required.

To satisfy the requirement of at least 9 additional credit hours approved by the department head, students are strongly encouraged to pursue a coherent set of courses to round out their academic experience. Below are suggested areas of interest.

Applied Nuclear Physics Courses

Total: 10 Credit Hours

Electronics and Instrumentation Courses

Computational Physics Courses

Students pursuing this area of interest should declare a minor in mathematics.​

Total: 9-10 Credit Hours

Geophysics Courses

Choose one of the following: 3-4 Credit Hours

At least three credits from a field- or geographic-based course: 3-6 Credit Hours

At least six credits from the following: 6 Credit Hours

At least three credits from the following: 3 Credit hours

Total: 24-26 Credit Hours

Total: 29-30 Credit Hours

Students pursuing the Applied Physics Concentration are encouraged to consider the following minors as being particularly effective at augmenting a degree in physics:

Recommended Schedule for Physics Majors, B.S.

Choose one of the following pair of courses: 6 Credit Hours

Introductory Physics Courses for Majors.

Choose one of the following pair of laboratory courses: 2 Credit Hours

The corresponding laboratory courses associated with either PHYS 240 /PHYS 250  or PHYS 140 /PHYS 150 .

Total: 34-37 Credit Hours

Applied Physics Second Year

Total: 31-35 Credit Hours

Third and Fourth Years

During their junior and senior years, students will select courses to complete the specific program concentration which they are following. These course selections will be made with the assistance of a faculty adviser.

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