Physics Major

7101
Bachelor of Science
Classroom
No
Undergraduate
Main Campus - Melbourne
Major Code: 7101 Degree Awarded: Bachelor of Science
Delivery Mode(s): Classroom Age Restriction: No
Admission Status: Undergraduate Location(s): Main Campus - Melbourne

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
Fall (16 credit hours)
  • CHM 1101 General Chemistry 1
    Credit Hours: 0
  • COM 1101 Composition and Rhetoric
    Credit Hours: 0
  • FYE 1000 University Experience
    Credit Hours: 0
  • MTH 1001 Calculus 1
    *
    Credit Hours: 0
  • PHY 1050 Physics and Space Science Seminar
    Credit Hours: 0
  • SPS 1020 Introduction to Space Sciences
    *
    Credit Hours: 0
Spring (16 credit hours)
  • CHM 1102 General Chemistry 2
    Credit Hours: 0
  • COM 1102 Writing About Literature
    Credit Hours: 0
  • MTH 1002 Calculus 2
    Credit Hours: 0
  • PHY 1001 Physics 1
    Credit Hours: 0
  • PHY 2091 Physics Laboratory 1
    Credit Hours: 0
Sophomore Year
Fall (15 credit hours)
  • HUM 2051 Civilization 1: Ancient Through Medieval
    Credit Hours: 0
  • MTH 2001 Calculus 3
    Credit Hours: 0
  • PHY 2002 Physics 2
    Credit Hours: 0
  • PHY 2092 Physics Laboratory 2
    Credit Hours: 0
  • Restricted Elective (CSE 15xx) Credit Hours: 3
Spring (16 credit hours)
  • MTH 2201 Differential Equations/Linear Algebra
    Credit Hours: 0
  • PHY 2003 Modern Physics
    Credit Hours: 0
  • Free Elective Credit Hours: 3
  • Humanities Core Course Credit Hours: 3
  • Social Sciences Elective Credit Hours: 3
Junior Year
Fall (17 credit hours)
  • COM 2223 Scientific and Technical Communication
    Credit Hours: 0
  • MTH 3101 Complex Variables
    Credit Hours: 0
  • PHY 3011 Physical Mechanics
    Credit Hours: 0
  • PHY 3060 Thermodynamics, Kinetic Theory and Statistical Mechanics
    Credit Hours: 0
  • Free Elective Credit Hours: 3
Spring (17 credit hours)
  • MTH 3210 Introduction to Partial Differential Equations and Applications
    Credit Hours: 0
  • PHY 3035 Quantum Mechanics
    Credit Hours: 0
  • PHY 3152 Electronic Measurement Techniques
    Credit Hours: 0
  • PHY 3440 Electromagnetic Theory
    Credit Hours: 0
  • Humanities Elective Credit Hours: 3
Senior Year
Fall (17 credit hours)
  • PHY 4020 Optics
    Credit Hours: 0
  • PHY 4021 Experiments in Optics
    Credit Hours: 0
  • PHY 4033 Introduction to Solid State Physics
    Credit Hours: 0
  • PHY 4200 Senior Seminar 1
    Credit Hours: 0
  • Free Elective Credit Hours: 3
  • Restricted Elective (MTH or CSE) Credit Hours: 3
  • Technical Elective or Undergraduate Research Credit Hours: 3
Spring (15 credit hours)
  • PHY 4030 Introduction to Subatomic Physics
    Credit Hours: 0
  • PHY 4071 Senior Laboratory
    Credit Hours: 0
  • PHY 4210 Senior Seminar 2
    Credit Hours: 0
  • Free Elective Credit Hours: 3
  • Humanities or Social Science Elective Credit Hours: 3
  • Technical Elective or Undergraduate Research Credit Hours: 3
Total Credits Required: 129

*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.