Majoring in Physics

The undergraduate program in physics provides the foundation necessary for either continued study in graduate school or for a terminal degree leading to professional employment.

Flexibility in Minors

Since a rigorous mathematics curriculum is already part of the physics major requirements, a physics major is able to minor in any other science discipline in 128 credit hours!

For example, while the atmospheric science minor requires 23 credit hours in ATS and ES courses, there is an extensive list of ancillary math courses. Unless those advanced math courses are already part of the major, the effective number of credit hours for the atmospheric science minor is far larger than 23. Those math courses are already a part of the physics major, and so an atmospheric minor is truly just 23 credit hours.

Students can also minor in

  1. computer science
  2. chemistry
  3. mathematics
  4. biological science, for medical school preparation or future study in biophysics or medical physics
  5. other disciplines


The math minor requires just two additional math courses beyond those required for the physics courses, leaving many credit hours available for electives. These electives can be taken in other disciplines or within physics, to specialize in

  1. astronomy and astrophysics
  2. optics
  3. applied and theoretical physics (essential for graduate school preparation)
  4. secondary education (Alabama Class B teaching certificate)


Under their programs of study, students may choose specific sets of related courses and earn certificates of specialization awarded by the College of Science within areas of physics. Research is an integral part of the Physics degree. During their senior year, all physics students take a capstone course, PH 499, and receive real-world research experience by working individually with faculty members on research projects, either on campus or with a local company or government lab.