Southwestern

Engaging Minds, Transforming Lives

Physics

Majoring & Minoring

The Physics Department offers majors and minors for the Bachelor of Science and the Bachelor of Arts degrees.  Most students who obtain a BS in physics will go on to postgraduate studies in order to obtain an MS or Ph.D. 

Students wishing to study Engineering are also supported by the department.  For more information, please consult the Physical Science Major (Dual Degree, Pre-Engineering Program).

A minimum of eight semester hours of physics is required of all candidates for the degree of Bachelor of Science. This requirement is satisfied by Physics 53-154 and 53-164. Students who have little or no physics background normally take Physics 53-104, Introductory Physics, before registering for Physics 53-154.

The Physics capstone (53-951, 952 or 953) normally is an introduction to research in which a student works with one of the departmental staff on a project in the staff member's area of interest. The capstone may, however, also be an independent, but guided, study of a topic in which the student has a particularly deep interest. Topics such as advanced study in optics, nuclear physics or quantum mechanics may be selected by a student in consultation with one of the physics staff.

Major in Physics (BA or BS)

34-36 semester hours, including Physics 53-154, 164, 204, 214, 324, 334, 403, 413, 423; one from 53-951, 952, 953 (Capstone).

Required supporting courses in the major: 13 semester hours, including Chemistry 51-713, 711; at least nine semester hours of mathematics above the introductory level. Sufficient advanced mathematics for a minor is recommended.

Minor in Physics

20 semester hours, including Physics 53-154, 164, 204, 214, 334.