B.A. in Physics

This program provides an opportunity for a broad and liberal education, which in some cases may be sufficient for graduate work. This program can also be excellent preparation for middle and high school physics teachers, pre-med and pre-law students, and those wishing to pursue a technical career in industry. Because there are fewer required courses than for a B.S., you have to time to pursue other academic interests.



  1. Satisfy the requirements of the Discovery Program.
  2. Satisfy the Writing Requirements. This requirement includes 4 courses, two of which (English 401 and Physics 705) are also Physics B.A. degree requirements. A list of approved writing intensive courses appears on the web.
  3. Satisfy the Bachelor of Arts Requirements; this includes proficiency in a foreign language, and a minimum of 128 credits at the 400-799 level, with a minimum GPA of 2.00.
  4. Minimum Physics requirements: 400, 407-408, 505-506, 508, 605, 615-616, 701, 703, 705.
  5. Math 425 and Math 426 and two additional courses, which can be either Math 527 and Math 528 or Math 525 and Math 526. Note that these are required because they are prerequisites for one or more physics courses.
  6. Physics majors can fulfill the University's Capstone Requirement in one of two ways: (1) completing a senior thesis (PHYS799) or (2) taking the Physics capstone course (PHYS798). Students who complete a summer research project in physics after their junior year may submit a petition to the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee to have the capstone requirement waived. 

Suggested Curriculum for B.A. in Physics

The following gives a suggested schedule for a student obtaining a B.A. in Physics. Please note that Physics courses numbered 500 and higher are offered only once a year, and elective courses (numbered above 706) are typically offered only every other year. Only 400 level physics courses are offered in the summer (and even these are not guaranteed to be offered at that time.) Also, most courses above 600 have several physics and mathematics prerequisites. All this means that the schedule given below is somewhat rigid (although Physics 508, 701 and 703 can be taken in any order in the last two years). If you feel you need to deviate from this schedule for any reason, it is best to do so in consultation with your Physics advisor.


There are spaces for seventeen electives. These spaces must be used to fulfill the following requirements:

  • the two writing intensive requirements (in addition to ENG 401 and PHYS 705)
  • the eight general education requirements (in addition to ENG 401 and MATH 425)

Note that many courses are both general education courses and writing intensive, so you can fulfill these requirements with as few as eight courses. The remaining electives can be used to pursue other academic interests.