Physics Major, Minor and Honors Requirements

 Alan Idelkope '19 learning to solder

Major Requirements

The requirements for a major in physics total 11.5 course units, which include three half-unit courses, PHYS 317, 318, and 452. PHYS 151, 152, 221, 222, 307, 308, 333, 489 (or 498) and one additional full-unit course at the 400 level make up the other ten course units.  In preparation for senior-year research, we strongly recommend that physics majors take PHYS 452 in their junior year.

The three-course calculus sequence (MATH 135, 136, 205) should be completed as soon as possible. Since physics students make extensive use of computers, potential majors are advised to enroll in CS 140 during the sophomore year. Majors considering the possibility of graduate study in physics are strongly encouraged to take PHYS 401. Also recommended for the major are MATH 217 and 230 and CHEM 103 and 104.

Minor Requirements

A minor in physics consists of PHYS 151, 152, 221, 222, plus one unit at the 300 level or above selected from the following courses: 307 or 333 or a combination of any two of 317, 318, and 452.


To qualify for honors, students must fulfill the following requirements:

  1. A major in physics that includes at least three units of 400-level work in physics, not including units earned in the seminar series 451-454.
  2. Submission for departmental evaluation of a copy of an independent project undertaken in the senior year.
  3. A minimum grade point average of 3.5 over all courses in the major. (See Honors in the Curriculum chapter of this Catalog.)

Study Abroad

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