First-Year Advising

The Physics Department offers two introductory course sequences:

  • Phys 151 and 152 (University Physics) are calculus-based courses with calculus co-requisites.
  • Phys 103 and 104 (College Physics) are algebra-based courses designed primarily for students interested in health careers. While the interdisciplinary majors can be begun with this sequence, Phys 151 and 152 provide the best foundation for further study in physics.

Physics Major

In your first semester you should enroll in

  • Phys 151 – University Physics (Note: you must register for a lab section!)
  • Math 135 – Calculus I. If you qualify for advanced placement, enroll in Math 136 – Calculus II.

It is possible to major in physics without taking physics in your first year. However, such a program would not prepare you for graduate school and could cause scheduling problems in your junior or senior years.

Biology-Physics Interdisciplinary Major

Start with

  • Biol 101 and possibly Math 135
  • Phys 151 (and Math 135) or Phys 103

Geology-Physics Interdisciplinary Major

Start with

  • Geol 103 and possibly Math 135
  • Phys 151 (and Math 135) or Phys 103

3+2 Engineering Program

Everyone should enroll in Math 135 or 136. Except for those students interested in chemical or environmental engineering, you should enroll in Phys 151. See the Major/Minor Requirements page and the Basic Engineering page for more information about combining majors in physics and engineering.

Junior Year Abroad

See How to Major in Physics and Go Abroad