Physics Major Curriculum

The Physics & Astronomy Department offers Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees in Physics. No matter which track a student chooses to follow, the first two years of coursework in physics and math are identical. 1XX and 2XX level physics and math courses build on another and must be taken in sequence. Thus, it is important to keep track of which courses need to be taken at any given time.

For an example of a complete four-year plan, see the current physics Undergraduate Catalog listing.

  1. First Semester:
    PHYS 201, PHYS 211, PHYS 221, MATH 106
  2. Second Semester:
    PHYS 212, PHYS 222, MATH 107
  3. Third Semester:
    PHYS 213, PHYS 223, MATH 208
  4. Fourth Semester:
    PHYS 231, PHYS 311, MATH 221

All physics courses numbered 231 and above (and PHYS 201) are offered in either the spring or the fall semesters — not both. Undergraduates who postpone one of these courses will do so not by a semester, but an entire year. As a result, your graduation date could slip by a year.

  • Fall Courses:
    PHYS 201, PHYS 311, PHYS 431, PHYS 441, PHYS 452, PHYS 462
  • Spring Courses:
    PHYS 231, PHYS 361, PHYS 401, PHYS 442, PHYS 451, PHYS 461

Course Registration

Sign up for your classes in MyRED. The Office of the University Registrar is in charge of course registration and records. They have a useful Registration Tutorials page with pictures step-by-step pictures.

If you have questions about registering, visit the Registrar's Registration Tips and Techniques page for more answers.

Waitlisted Courses

Some courses with a tendency to fill quickly offer a waitlist option in MyRed. It allows students to "line up" and be registered automatically if enrolled students remove themselves from the course prior to the beginning of the semester.

Which courses have a waitlist in MyRED? ASTR 204, PHYS 141, PHYS 142, PHYS 211, PHYS 212, PHYS 213, PHYS 221, PHYS 222, and PHYS 223 (Note that courses with waitlists may change per term). To see a tutorial for how to sign up for a waitlist, visit the Registrar's To Wait list a Class tutorial.

If you would like to join the waitlist for PHYS 153, email to be added to the list.

College of Arts and Sciences Resources

College of Arts and Sciences website
Arts and Sciences Academic and Career Advising Center (resource for general advising and forms)
Degrees with Distinction (scroll down to "Degrees with Distinction")