Physics Major

67 units


The physics program is designed to equip students to:

  • Use mathematical methods to solve quantitative physics problems.
  • Use qualitative reasoning to explain physics phenomena.
  • Draw conclusions from experimental data with measurement uncertainty.
  • Use laboratory apparatus to conduct experiments and collect data.
  • Use technology, numerical calculations, and approximation methods to model physical phenomena.
  • Reconcile scientific and biblical worldviews.
  • Evaluate the role of scientist in informing society's uses of technology and scientific knowledge.

Career Opportunities

The study of physics focuses on broad topics such as matter, energy, gravitation, electricity and magnetism, atomic and nuclear structures, the theory of relativity, and quantum mechanics.

The physics major is appropriate for students who plan to teach physics, work in industrial or government engineering or research, or pursue graduate studies in physics or a variety of related disciplines. Some specific career options include work in materials science, space exploration, aerospace, technical instrumentation, fundamental research, and the computer industry. A physics major is also an excellent stepping stone for further studies in a wide range of interdisciplinary fields such as medical physics, engineering, meteorology, hydrology, geophysics, or economics.


A minimum of 39 physics units, 3 engineering units, 17 mathematics units, 4 chemistry units, and 4 computer science units are required for the physics major.

Physics Courses
PHYC 161Physics for Science and Engineering I 15
PHYC 162Physics for Science and Engineering II5
PHYC 263Physics for Science and Engineering III5
PHYC 300Physics Research Seminar 21
PHYC 361Electricity and Magnetism3
PHYC 370Waves and Optics3
PHYC 380Classical Mechanics3
PHYC 401Thermodynamics3
PHYC 430Mathematical Methods for Physics and Engineering3
PHYC 440Quantum Mechanics3
PHYC 470Writing 3: Advanced Laboratory 33
PHYC 499Physics Thesis 21-4
Engineering Courses
Select one of the following:3
Mathematics Courses
MATH 161Calculus I5
MATH 162Calculus II4
MATH 263Multivariable Calculus4
MATH 270Ordinary Differential Equations4
Chemistry Courses
CHEM 151General Chemistry I 14
Computer Science Courses
CS 120Introduction to Computer Science I4
Total Units67

Meets the General Education Natural Science requirement.


1 unit of PHYC 300 and 2 units of PHYC 499 meet the General Education Integrative and Applied Learning requirement.


Meets the General Education Writing 3 requirement.