Do you like to figure out how things work? Do you like to build things? Are you fascinated by recent astronomical discoveries? Do you like math? Physics is a great choice for a major or minor. Many of our graduates go on to become engineers, teachers, or scientists. Others to into the world of business and pursue careers in marketing or finance. The Physics department offers a major and a minor. It has combined programs with Geology and Biology, and is normally the entry point for the 3+2 Engineering Program.
If you are interested in majoring in physics or completing the 3+2 Engineering Program, you should enroll in PHYS 151: University Physics with lab (NS-L). Additionally, PHYS 151 is a calculus-based class, and you need to enroll in calculus—MATH 135: Calculus I or a higher level of calculus (see the Math section of this guide for more information on the math offerings). If you enjoyed physics and math in high school, and would like to continue physics for fun, we still recommend PHYS 151. We also offer an algebra-based course, PHYS 103: College Physics with lab (NS-L). This course is designed primarily for pre-health career students. While there is no calculus required for this course, pre-health career students should not take PHYS 103 in their first year because they should complete the introductory biology and chemistry courses during that year.
If you scored a 4 or 5 on the Physics B Advanced Placement exam, you may be qualified to receive credit for PHYS 103 and 104. If you scored a 4 or 5 on the Physics C-Mech Advanced Placement exam, you may be qualified to receive credit for PHYS 151. If this applies to you and you intend to take physics, you should still enroll in PHYS 151 and discuss other options with the physics chair when you arrive on campus (or by e-mail over the summer). The following courses this fall are appropriate for first-year students, subject to the availability of seats:
- PHYS 102: Intro to Astronomy with Lab (NS-L)
- PHYS 103: College Physics with Lab (NS-L)
- PHYS 151: University Physics with Lab (NS-L)
If you find that University Physics, PHYS 151, is full, please contact the department chair who will make every effort to make seats available. This is particularly important if you are interested in majoring in Physics or completing the 3+2 Engineering Program.