PHYSICS - Dept. Code:  PHY


The requirements for a major or minor in the Department of Physics are flexible and may be adapted to the needs of the individual student:


1. Pure Physics

This sequence is recommended for those intending to enter a graduate school in Physics. It consists of a minimum of 34 credits in Physics at or above the 200 level, including four credits of laboratory and the courses PHY 205, 206, 207 (or 205, 210); 360, 362; 340, 321; 350, 351; 540, 560.  . The physics minor consists of University Physics, two credits of laboratory work, PHY 360,. another 3-credit physics lecture course (other than PHY 315) at the 300-level or above

2. Marine Science/Physics

This is one of the interdisciplinary majors offered in conjunction with RSMAS. It includes 31 credits from the core physics courses through PHY 560 together with a group of marine science and other courses detailed in the section of this Bulletin on MARINE SCIENCE.

3. Applied Physics

This sequence is available for those intending careers in applied physics, and consists of 22 credits in Physics plus nine credits of Engineering and Computer Science courses with prior approval of the Department of Physics. The Physics courses must be at or above the 200 level and include three credits of laboratory. The major includes PHY 205, 206, 207 (or 205, 210), 208, 209, 340, 350, 360.

4. Dual Physics Majors

Physics requirements: PHY 205, 206, 207 (or 205, 210), 208, 209, 360 and at least two of the following: PHY 321, 340, 350, 351, 560. In the total of 22 credits of physics, 2 or 3 credits of advanced lab may be included, or another lecture course. 

Students will have the full, normal major in Biology or Chemistry and provided that among those courses certain specific ones are included, they will also be able to have the dual major in physics. The specific courses are

Biology – Physics

Three of the courses BIL 358, 554, CHM 360, 365  

Chemistry – Physics

Three of the courses CHM 360, 365, 565, BIL 358.
Note: Depending on the selection of the Physics courses in the Biology and Chemistry dual majors, more mathematics beyond two semesters of calculus is required for most of the physics courses.

5. Students in the College of Engineering who want a dual major in physics should consult the Physics Department Chairman. A major tailored to the student’s needs will be arranged. The minimum number of physics credits is the same as for the Applied Physics major.

In order to complete any Physics major sequence in four years, the student should begin elementary calculus in the first semester. The recommended mathematics sequence is MTH 151 or 161, 162 (or 171, 172); (310 or 211), 311; 210; (230, 433, 461, 510, 512 also recommended).

A grade of C- or better is required in all courses counted toward the major or minor with an overall GPA of 2.0. Any lecture course in the Physics department may be passed by means of a proficiency examination.

Requirements for the Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy degrees will be found in the Bulletin of the Graduate School.


The physics minor consists of University Physics, two credits of laboratory work, PHY 360, and another 3 credit physics lecture course (other than PHY 315) at the 300-level or above.