Bachelor of Science
Main Campus - Melbourne

Bachelor of Science in Physics

Physics is the discipline most directly concerned with understanding the physical world on a fundamental level. As such, it covers an extremely broad range of subjects and areas of specialization that seek to unify and understand this diversity in terms of the smallest possible number of laws and principles. A physicist therefore must receive a broad, general training in science. Mathematics, a primary tool, must be mastered as well as experimental laboratory skills. Most important is the development of a variety of problem solving skills and a critical, incisive approach to physical problems.

The curriculum for the physics major includes core courses in physics, mathematics and related sciences, plus a liberal mixture of applied courses from engineering fields and an enriching selection of humanities as electives. Students considering a career in medicine or other health sciences should consider the premedical physics program detailed below. A degree in physics provides an excellent background for entering the health sciences.

Research is a major activity of the department, which possesses good instrumentation required for research in selected areas of physics. Participation in research programs by undergraduates is strongly encouraged. A maximum of six credit hours of research can be used to fulfill technical and free elective requirements.

Degree Requirements

Candidates for the Bachelor of Science in Physics must complete the course requirements listed in the following sample curriculum. Because the subject matter of general physics forms a critically important foundation for all advanced physics courses, the minimum grade for satisfying the prerequisite requirements for a physics major is a grade of C for each of the following courses: PHY 1001, PHY 2002, PHY 2003, PHY 2091 and PHY 2092.

Freshman Year

ASC 1000 University Experience 1
CHM 1101 Chemistry 1 4
COM 1101 Composition and Rhetoric 3
MTH 1001 Calculus 1* 4
PHY 1050 Physics and Space Science Seminar 1
SPS 1020 Introduction to Space Sciences* 3

CHM 1102 Chemistry 2 4
COM 1102 Writing About Literature 3
MTH 1002 Calculus 2 4
PHY 1001 Physics 1 4
PHY 2091 Physics Lab 1 1

Sophomore Year

HUM 2051 Civilization 1 3
MTH 2001 Calculus 3   4
PHY 2002 Physics 2 4
PHY 2092 Physics Lab 2 1
   Restricted Elective (CSE 15xx) 3


MTH 2201 Differential Equations/Linear Algebra 4
PHY 2003 Modern Physics 3
   Free Elective 3
   Humanities Core Course** 3
   Social Sciences Elective 3

Junior Year

COM 2223 Scientific and Technical Communication 3
MTH 3101 Complex Variables 3
PHY 3011 Physical Mechanics 4
PHY 3060 Thermodynamics, Kinetic Theory and Statistical Mechanics 4
   Free Elective 3

MTH 3210 Introduction to Partial Differential Equations and Applications 3
PHY 3035 Quantum Mechanics 4
PHY 3152 Electronic Measurement Techniques 4
PHY 3440 Electromagnetic Theory 3
   Humanities Elective 3

Senior Year

PHY 4020 Optics 3
PHY 4021 Experiments in Optics 1
PHY 4033 Introduction to Solid State Physics 3
PHY 4200 Senior Seminar 1 (Q) 1
   Free Elective 3
   Restricted Elective (MTH or CSE) 3
   Technical Elective or Senior Research 3

PHY 4030 Introduction to Subatomic Physics 3
PHY 4071 Senior Lab 2
PHY 4210 Senior Seminar 2 (Q) 1
   Free Elective 3
   Humanities or Social Science Elective 3
   Technical Elective or Undergraduate Research 3


*Students will be block registered into Introduction to Space Sciences (SPS 1020). If a student places into Calculus 2 (MTH 1002), he/she is encouraged to take Physics 1 (PHY 1001) in the first semester and SPS 1020 (or SPS 1010) later in the program.

**Humanities Core Courses
HUM 2052 Civilization 2: Renaissance Through Modern  
HUM 2142   World Art History 2: Early Modern to Post-Colonial  
HUM 2212   British and American Literature 1  
HUM 2213   British and American Literature 2  
HUM 2331   American History: Pre-Columbian to Civil War Era  
HUM 2332   American History: From Reconstruction to the Present  

Not all humanities core courses are offered online or every term; check the current schedule of classes for humanities core options.