College of Arts and Sciences
BA in Physics
Our Bachelor of Arts in Physics is the perfect choice if you want to study physics but are not necessarily intending to become a physicist. The program gives you a strong scientific background and analytical and problem-solving skills to pursue a variety of related careers. You customize your degree by choosing electives that help you explore your career options.
About the Major
The Bachelor of Arts in Physics includes a concentration in physics with requirements in mathematics and chemistry, along with a broad range of required and elective courses in the arts and sciences. The required courses may be combined with courses in education to complete certification for teaching in the public schools.
You must complete 50-51 credits that include a combination of physics, mathematics, chemistry, and computer science courses. To see a complete listing of courses, visit the course catalog.
Among the required courses are:
- Calculus-Based Physics I and II
- Modern Physics I and II
- College Chemistry
- Fundamentals of Computing
10 additional credits of upper-level (200 and above) physics courses
One upper-level (200 level or above) mathematics course
The minor in physics requires a total of 21 to 24 credits:
- Calculus-Based Physics I
- Calculus-Based Physics II
- Calculus-Based Physics III
- Three upper-level (200 and above) physics courses
Bachelor of Arts in Physics students will demonstrate:
- Knowledge of the body of natural laws through which much of the behavior of the physical universe can be understood and predicted;
- An understanding of the powerful concepts of mathematical analysis necessary for the construction and application of physical theories;
- Competency in the use of sophisticated and accurate apparatus specifically designed to discover the physical attributes of matter and radiation and their interactions; and
- The ability to properly interpret data obtained from experimental investigations and mathematical simulations.
Dana Hall Room 220
Associate Professor of Physics James McDonald teaches a University Interdisciplinary Studies course, The Martian Way, that examines the mechanics of human space travel to Mars, as well as the physical, psychological, social, environmental, legal issues, that come along with it.
Part of the idea of studying Mars, says McDonald, is that it is roughly the same age as earth, but smaller.
“Because Mars is smaller, it goes through its life cycle quicker,” he says. “So all that’s happened so far to Mars, without human interaction, will eventually happen to Earth.”