Physics Major

67 units

Physics is the foundation for most science and engineering disciplines. By understanding the behavior of matter and energy at a fundamental level, physicists are equipped to further our knowledge of the universe through research and to apply knowledge to new technologies and engineering. 

Program Learning Outcomes

Students who complete the physics major are able to:

PLO 1: Use mathematical methods to solve quantitative physics problems

PLO 2: Use qualitative reasoning to explain physics phenomena

PLO 3: Draw conclusions from experimental data with measurement uncertainty

PLO 4: Use laboratory apparatus to conduct experiments and collect data

PLO 5: Analyze features of physical models (e.g., by approximation methods, computational methods, etc.)

PLO 6: Reconcile scientific and biblical worldviews

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 40 physics units, 3 engineering units, 16 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 Mechanics4
PHYC 401Thermodynamics3
PHYC 431Computational Methods for Physics3
PHYC 440Quantum Mechanics3
PHYC 470Writing 3: Advanced Laboratory 33
PHYC 499Physics Thesis 22
Engineering Courses
Select one of the following:3
Electrical Circuits and Systems
Mathematics Courses
MATH 165Calculus I3
MATH 166Calculus II3
MATH 167Sequences and Series1
MATH 268Multivariable Calculus3
MATH 269Vector Calculus2
MATH 270Ordinary Differential Equations4
Chemistry Course
CHEM 151General Chemistry I 14
Computer Science Course
CS 120Introduction to Computer Science I4
Total Units67