Time to Graduation

All the options presented below can be completed in 4 years.

Physics Major Requirements

Note the number of electives, which allows for a large range of curriculum customization to be discussed below.

 

EH 101 FRESHMAN COMPOSITION 1 3
EH 102 FRESHMAN COMPOSITION 1 3
Fine Arts 1 3
Literature 1 3
CM 113 Intro to Rhetorical Communication 1 3
Humanities, Fine Arts, or Literature 3
Math  
MA 171 CALCULUS A 1 4
MA 172 CALCULUS B 4
MA 201 CALCULUS C 4
MA 238 APPL DIFFERENTIAL EQUATIONS 3
MA 244 INTRO TO LINEAR ALGEBRA 3
Chemistry 1  
CH 121
  & CH 125
GENERAL CHEMISTRY I
   and GENERAL CHEMISTRY LAB I
4
CH 123
  & CH 126
GENERAL CHEMISTRY II
   and GENERAL CHEMISTRY LAB II
4
History 1 3
Social and Behavioral Sciences 1 6
History or Social Behavioral Science 1 3
Science or Engineering Course 3-4
Choose one  
PRECALCULUS ALGEBRA  
PRECALCULUS TRIGONOMETRY  
PRECALCULUS ALGEBRA & TRIG  
INTRO TO CHEMISTRY
   and INTRO CHEMISTRY LAB
 
EXPLORING THE COSMOS I  
EXPLORING THE COSMOS II  
ENVIR EARTH SCI FND & APPLICA  
CLIMATE AND GLOBAL CHANGE  
EH 301 TECHNICAL WRITING 3
CS 102 INTRO TO C PROGRAMMING 3
Core Physics  
PH 110 FRONTIERS IN SCIENCE 3
PH 111
  & PH 114
GEN PHYSICS W/CALCULUS I
   and GENERAL PHYSICS LAB I
4
PH 112
  & PH 115
GEN PHYSICS W/CALC II
   and GENERAL PHYSICS LAB II
4
PH 113
  & PH 116
GEN PHYSICS W/CALC III
   and GENERAL PHYSICS LAB III
4
PH 251 SPECIAL RELATIVITY 1
PH 301 INTERMEDIATE MECHANICS 3
PH 305 MATH METHODS IN PHYSICS 3
PH 351 INTRODUCTION TO MODERN PHYSICS 3
PH 499 PHYSICS PRACTICUM 3
Physics Electives   
PH/OPT/AST 300+ 8
Elective Courses 26-27
Total Semester Hours 128
1  This course satisfies a Charger Foundations Requirement.

Variations

The 8 physics electives and 26-27 free electives offer lots of options.

 

While not required, this option also allows the student to minor in any other College of Science discipline in the same 128 credit hours!

  • Atmospheric Science: need 23 ATS credit hours
  • Biological Sciences: need 24 BYS and CH credit hours
  • Mathematics: need just 6 additional MA credit hours
  • Chemistry: need 21 CH credit hours
  • Computer Science: need 22 CS credit hours

Physics has long been recognized as the true fundamental science, and the curriculum leading to the Applied and Theoretical Physics Certificate of Specialization guarantees that the student is exposed to all aspects of both fields. This program of study is designed specifically for the undergraduate student who has already decided to pursue a graduate degree in physics.

To earn this Certificate, so indicated on the student's diploma, we require these classes in addition to the Physics Core.

  • PH 310, Intermediate Lab I
  • PH 311, Intermediate Lab II
  • PH 431, Intermediate E&M I
  • PH 432, Intermediate E&M II
  • PH 421, Thermal & Statistical Physics
  • PH 451, Introduction to Quantum Mechanics I
  • PH 452, Introduction to Quantum Mechanics II
  • 15 credit hours of electives (can still earn a Math Minor also!)

The fields of astronomy and astrophysics have seen great advances over the centuries, and especially over the last few decades. The introductory physics courses included in the physics core, along with the courses included in the mathematics minor, prepare students to study the nature and behavior of our Universe. Students then secure a thorough understanding through several upper-level physics and astronomy courses, covering basic astronomy and astrophysics, stellar and galactic structure, high-energy astrophysics, general relativity and cosmology. 

To earn this Certificate, we require these classes in addition to the Physics Core: 

  • AST 106 & 106L, Exploring the Cosmos I
  • AST 107 & 107L, Exploring the Cosmos II
  • AST 371, Introduction to Astrophysics
  • AST 471, Astrophysics
  • PH 421, Thermal & Statistical Physics
  • PH/AST/OPT Elective (3 credit hours, 300+)
  • 18 credit hours of Electives (can still earn a Math Minor also!)

 

Optics is a multidisciplinary field that requires a broad spectrum of knowledge. Beginning with the core physics courses, students completing the optics concentration receive a strong exposure to geometrical optics, physical optics, optical instruments, and interference and diffraction, along with laboratory experience using state-of-the-art equipment and modern optical techniques. In addition, the electives cover contemporary topics such as polarimetry, optoelectronics, lasers, optical sources and detectors, and radiometry. The optics concentration produces professionals who are able to move immediately into government or private industry, and are also well prepared for graduate work in optics, physics, or related fields.

  • OPT 341, Geometrical Optics
  • OPT 342, Physical Optics
  • OPT 411, Geometrical Optics Lab
  • OPT 412, Physical Optics Lab
  • PH/OPT Elective (3 credit hours, 300+)
  • PH/OPT Elective (3 credit hours, 400+)
  • 18+ credit hours of Electives (can still earn a Math Minor also!)

The College of Engineering does not offer minors but, in consultation with that College, we can develop an individual engineering physics curriculum.

  • PH/OPT/AST/ATS/ESS Electives (3 credit hours, 300+)
  • Engineering Courses (15 credit hours, 300+)
  • OPT 411, Geometrical Optics Lab
  • OPT 412, Physical Optics Lab
  • 16+ credit hours of Electives (may be required for upper level engineering pre-reqs)

The Department of Physics and Astronomy also participates with the College of Education in the support and training of secondary school teachers. Students that wish to earn a B.S. degree in physics with certification from the Alabama Department of Education can do so with an extra 12 semester hours. We strongly encourage you to consider this rewarding career.

Students need to take the Physics Core plus the 8 credit hours of Physics Electives.

In addition, Alabama Teaching Certification requires 40 credit hours in education, in the following courses:

  • ED 301, Introduction to Education Practicum (1 credit hour)
  • ED 307, Multicultural Foundations of Education (3 credit hours)
  • ED 308, Educational Psychology (3 credit hours)
  • ED 350, Technology in the Classroom (3 credit hours)
  • ED 309, Classroom Management (3 credit hours)
  • EDC 301, Teaching Exceptional Children (3 credit hours)
  • EDC 311, Instructional Strategies (3 credit hours)
  • ED 408, Content Area Reading (3 credit hours)
  • ED 410, Found Educational Evaluation (3 credit hours)
  • ED 423, Teaching Science in Middle and Secondary Schools (3 credit hours)
  • ED 497, High School Internship (12 credit hours)

For further information, see the Undergraduate Programs webpage under the College of Education.

There are no other options at this time.