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Academics: In-Depth Physics Major

Intensive program in physics

The in-depth physics major is a 58-hour major track that leads to a bachelor of science (BS) degree. The major includes all 300-level physics courses and additional math courses beyond the minimal physics major.

This program meets the requirements of a physics major and an optics minor.

Who is this program for?

The in-depth physics major is for those interested in a career in physics and is excellent preparation for graduate school. Our students have been admitted into some of the top physics graduate programs in the country.

Major requirements

  • Physics 133, 134, 235, 246, and 306 (or higher level substitutes)
  • Two or more advanced theory courses from
  • Physics 335-376 (excluding 347 and 359)
  • Two or more upper-level laboratory courses from Physics or Astronomy 380-386 (Engineering 204 is allowed as a substitute for Physics 381)
  • Enroll in Phys195 at least twice and in any combination of Phys295 or Phys296 at least two additional semesters.
  • Departmentally approved electives to bring the total to at least 32 hours


  • Computer Science 104, 106 (recommended) or 108
  • Mathematics 170 or 171
  • Mathematics 172
  • Mathematics 231 is also recommended
  • Mathematics 232, 261 or 271 (Mathematics 261 or 271 are recommended)

Additional course recommendations

  • All upper-level theory courses: Physics 335, 336, 345, 346, 347, 365, 375 and 376
  • Physics 395
  • Mathematics 333
  • As many as possible of Mathematics 331, 355 and 365


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Four-year sample plans

These plans meet the requirements and recommendations for the expanded in-depth physics major and include an optics minor:

Contact an advisor

Interested in a career in physics? Contact any physics professor for advice.