BS in Physics

The physics major prepares students to teach physics, work in industrial or government engineering or research, or pursue graduate studies in physics or a variety of related disciplines.

61-68 units

Physics is the foundation for most science and engineering disciplines. 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. 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.

Career Opportunities

The BS in Physics equips graduates to teach physics, work in industrial or government engineering or research, or pursue graduate studies in physics or in 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 foundation for further studies in a wide range of interdisciplinary fields such as medical physics, engineering, meteorology, hydrology, geophysics, or economics.


Physics Core (Required)
PHYC 161Physics for Science and Engineering I 1, F5
PHYC 162Physics for Science and Engineering II S5
PHYC 263Physics for Science and Engineering III F5
PHYC 470Writing 3: Advanced Laboratory 2, OS3
CHEM 151General Chemistry I 14
MATH 165Calculus I3
MATH 166Calculus II3
MATH 268Multivariable Calculus3
MATH 270Ordinary Differential Equations S4
Total Units35

In addition to the required courses above, complete one of the tracks below:

General Physics Track

Required Courses
PHYC 300Physics Research Seminar 3, S1
PHYC 361Electricity and Magnetism ES3
PHYC 370Waves and Optics EF3
PHYC 380Classical Mechanics OF4
PHYC 401Thermodynamics ES3
PHYC 431Computational Methods for Physics EF3
PHYC 440Quantum Mechanics OS3
PHYC 499Physics Thesis 3, F2
MATH 167Sequences and Series F1
MATH 269Vector Calculus OF2
CS 120Introduction to Computer Science I4
Choose one of the following:4
General Biology I 1
General Chemistry II
Electrical Circuits and Systems
Physics Core35
Total Units68

Physics Secondary Education Track 

Required Courses
BIOL 151General Biology I 14
PHYC 125Earth Science Concepts and Applications3
PHYC 311Teaching and Learning in STEM 42
PHYC 312STEM Education Research Seminar 4, 52
PHYC 313STEM Teaching Practicum 4, 63
Upper-division Electives12-13
Choose four of the following:
Electricity and Magnetism ES
Waves and Optics EF
Classical Mechanics OF
Thermodynamics ES
Computational Methods for Physics EF
Quantum Mechanics OS
Physics Core35
Total Units61-62

Meets the General Education Natural Sciences requirement.


Meets the General Education Writing 3 requirement.


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


These courses are cross-listed as follows: MATH 311/PHYC 311MATH 312/PHYC 312; and MATH 313/PHYC 313.


1-unit course taken twice.


1-unit course taken three times.

F Offered in Fall only
S Offered in Spring only
F/S Offered in both Fall and Spring terms
EF Offered in Fall in even years
ES Offered in Spring in even years
OF Offered in Fall in odd years
OS Offered in Spring in odd years

Program Learning Outcomes

Students who successfully complete this program shall be able to:
  1. Use mathematical methods to solve quantitative physics problems.
  2. Use qualitative reasoning to explain physics phenomena.
  3. Draw conclusions from experimental data with measurement uncertainty.
  4. Use laboratory apparatus to conduct experiments and collect data.
  5. Analyze features of physical models (e.g., by approximation methods, computational methods, etc.).
  6. Reconcile scientific and biblical worldviews.