Physics (BS)

math_physics

This program was approved for students entering the university in the Summer 2018–Spring 2019 catalog year. For more information about catalog year, go to Catalog Year Information.

Bachelor of Science in Physics (PHYSBS)
Unit: College of Arts and Sciences (AS)
Department: Physics and Astronomy

Program Information

The Bachelor of Science (BS) degree is intended as preparation for entry into graduate programs in Physics and other scientific or engineering fields. It also provides suitable training for entering the workforce in a technical position.

Completion of this degree requires work to be submitted for the department’s Learning Outcomes Measurement. For details, contact the department.

Degree Summary

General Education Requirements 131
College/School Requirements13-15
Program/Major Requirements 165-68
Track Requirements9-10
Minimum Total Hours121

Specific coursework information can be found on the Degree Requirements tab.


Accelerated BS/MS (Master of Science) in Physics Program

The Department of Physics and Astronomy also offers a five-year accelerated program leading to a Bachelor of Science degree and Master of Science degree in Physics. Interested students should apply for admission to the program in the first semester of the senior year (i.e., after completing 90 hours).

Applicants must completed at least 21 credit hours in Physics before applying to the program with at least a 3.0 GPA in Physics courses and a 3.35 university GPA. Students take up to nine (9) credit hours in 500-level physics courses for graduate credit that may be applied to both degrees. Two of the courses must be PHYS 542 and PHYS 556; preferably, these courses will be taken during the same semester in the student’s senior year. Students must also maintain a 3.0 GPA after they are admitted to the BS/MS program.

Departmental Admission Requirements

There are no specific admission requirements for this degree plan. 

The Application for Major form can be found on the Arts & Sciences Advising Center website: louisville.edu/artsandsciences/advising/apply.

Accelerated BS/MS (Master of Science) in Physics Program

Applicants apply for admission to the five-year accelerated program in the first semester of the senior year and must meet the following criteria:

  • The applicant will have completed at least 21 credit hours in Physics before applying to the program.
  • The applicant will have maintained at least a 3.0 GPA in Physics courses and a 3.35 GPA overall.

All applicants must submit an application along with GRE General test score consistent with MS in Physics program guidelines.

General Education Requirements         

General Education Requirements 131
The following courses are required by the program and should be taken to fulfill the respective General Education Requirement:
General Chemistry I - S
Introductory Mechanics, Heat and Sound - S
Introductory Laboratories I - SL
Calculus I - QR
Minimum Total Hours31

All degrees require the completion of the University-wide General Education Program (link provided above).  Some General Education requirements may be met in the requirements for the major or supporting coursework, in which case additional electives may be required to complete the minimum hours for the degree.

College/School Requirements

Arts & Sciences Requirements
GEN 100Student Success Center Orientation1
or GEN 101 Arts and Sciences Orientation
Foreign Language 26-8
Electives in Humanities or Social Sciences at 300 level or above 36
WR—two approved courses at the 300 level or above 4
Minimum Total Hours13-15

Program/Major Requirements

Department of Physics
PHYS 295Introductory Laboratories I - SL1
PHYS 296Introductory Laboratories II - SL1
PHYS 301Introductory Modern Physics Laboratory1
PHYS 298Introductory Mechanics, Heat and Sound - S4
PHYS 299Introductory Electricity, Magnetism and Light4
PHYS 300Introductory Modern Physics3
PHYS 351Atomic and Nuclear Physics Laboratory2
PHYS 350Differential Equations for the Physical Sciences4
PHYS 460Mechanics3
PHYS 530Thermal Physics3
PHYS 541Electromagnetic Fields3
PHYS 555Elementary Quantum Mechanics3
Culminating Undergraduate Experience (CUE) Select one of the following: 3
Practicum in Physics Education - CUE (CUE)
Senior Seminar in Physics - CUE, WR (CUE)
Senior Thesis in Physics - CUE, WR (CUE)
Cooperative Internship in Physics - CUE (CUE)
Professional, or Astronomy and Astrophysics, or Applied Track (see track tab for requirements)9-10
Supporting Courses
CHEM 201General Chemistry I - S3
CHEM 202General Chemistry II - S3
MATH 205Calculus I - QR4
MATH 206Calculus II4
MATH 301Calculus III4
Minimum Electives 1, 512-15
Minimum Total Hours74-78
Minimum Hours Required for Degree121

Only 60 hours in the major department may be applied toward the Bachelor of Science degree.

At least 50 of the total minimum hours required must be at the 300 level or above.

Culminating Undergraduate Experience (Graduation requirement)
Requirement fulfilled by completing one of the following:
Practicum in Physics Education - CUE
Senior Seminar in Physics - CUE, WR
Senior Thesis in Physics - CUE, WR
Cooperative Internship in Physics - CUE

Track Requirements 

Track in Applied Physics

Select one of the following:1-2
Observational Astronomy
Optics Laboratory
Advanced Optics Lab
Select one of the following: 3
Electromagnetic Radiation
Advanced Optics
Fundamentals of Lasers
Quantum Theory of Matter
Computational Physics
Atomic and Molecular Physics
Solid State Physics
Nuclear Physics
Elementary Particle Physics
General Relativity
Astrophysics
PHYS electives: PHYS courses at 300 level or above to total nine hours beyond core4-5
Minimum Total Hours9-10

Alternate choices within or outside of the department are possible with approval.


Track in Astronomy and Astrophysics

PHYS 307Introductory Stellar Astrophysics3
PHYS 308Observational Astronomy1
PHYS 355Optics3
PHYS 590Astrophysics3
Minimum Total Hours10

Track in Professional

PHYS 542Electromagnetic Radiation3
PHYS 556Quantum Theory of Matter3
PHYS 498Undergraduate Research3
Minimum Total Hours9

Flight Plan


Track in Applied Physics

Plan of Study Grid
Year 1
FallHours
GEN 100
Student Success Center Orientation
or Arts and Sciences Orientation
1
ENGL 101 Introduction to College Writing - WC 3
MATH 205 Calculus I - QR 4
PHYS 298 Introductory Mechanics, Heat and Sound - S 4
PHYS 295 Introductory Laboratories I - SL 1
General Education: Cardinal Core Social & Behavioral Sciences US Diversity - SBD1 3
 Hours16
Spring
MATH 206 Calculus II 4
PHYS 299 Introductory Electricity, Magnetism and Light 4
PHYS 296 Introductory Laboratories II - SL 1
CHEM 201 General Chemistry I - S 3
ENGL 102 Intermediate College Writing - WC 3
 Hours15
Year 2
Fall
MATH 301 Calculus III 4
PHYS 300 Introductory Modern Physics 3
PHYS 301 Introductory Modern Physics Laboratory 1
PHYS 350 Differential Equations for the Physical Sciences 4
CHEM 202 General Chemistry II - S 3
 Hours15
Spring
PHYS 351 Atomic and Nuclear Physics Laboratory 2
PHYS 530 Thermal Physics 3
PHYS 460 Mechanics 3
General Education: Cardinal Core Arts & Humanities - AH 3
General Education: Cardinal Core Oral Communication - OC 3
 Hours14
Year 3
Fall
PHYS 541 Electromagnetic Fields 3
Select one of the following: 1-2
Observational Astronomy  
Optics Laboratory  
Advanced Optics Lab  
Foreign Language 1 3-4
General Elective 3
General Elective 3
General Elective 3
 Hours17-18
Spring
Physics track course 3
Humanities or Social Science WR elective (300 level or above) 3
General Education: Cardinal Core Arts & Humanities Global Diversity - AHD2 3
General Education: Cardinal Core Social & Behavioral Sciences Historical Perspective - SBH 3
Foreign Language 2 3-4
 Hours15-16
Year 4
Fall
PHYS 555 Elementary Quantum Mechanics 3
Select one of the following: 3
Practicum in Physics Education - CUE  
Senior Seminar in Physics - CUE, WR  
Senior Thesis in Physics - CUE, WR  
Cooperative Internship in Physics - CUE  
Physics elective (300 level or above) 3
General elective 3
General elective 3
 Hours15
Spring
General Elective 3
Humanities or Social Science WR elective (300 level or above) 3
General elective 3
General elective 3
General elective 3
 Hours15
 Minimum Total Hours122-124

Track in Astronomy and Astrophysics

Plan of Study Grid
Year 1
FallHours
GEN 100
Student Success Center Orientation
or Arts and Sciences Orientation
1
ENGL 101 Introduction to College Writing - WC 3
MATH 205 Calculus I - QR 4
PHYS 298 Introductory Mechanics, Heat and Sound - S 4
PHYS 295 Introductory Laboratories I - SL 1
General Education: Cardinal Core Social & Behavioral Sciences US Diversity - SBD1 3
 Hours16
Spring
MATH 206 Calculus II 4
PHYS 299 Introductory Electricity, Magnetism and Light 4
PHYS 296 Introductory Laboratories II - SL 1
ENGL 102 Intermediate College Writing - WC 3
General Education: Cardinal Core Oral Communication - OC 3
 Hours15
Year 2
Fall
MATH 301 Calculus III 4
PHYS 300 Introductory Modern Physics 3
PHYS 301 Introductory Modern Physics Laboratory 1
PHYS 350 Differential Equations for the Physical Sciences 4
CHEM 201 General Chemistry I - S 3
 Hours15
Spring
PHYS 351 Atomic and Nuclear Physics Laboratory 2
PHYS 460 Mechanics 3
CHEM 202 General Chemistry II - S 3
General Education: Cardinal Core Arts & Humanities - AH 3
General Education: Cardinal Core Social & Behavioral Sciences Historical Perspective - SBH 3
General Elective 3
 Hours17
Year 3
Fall
PHYS 307 Introductory Stellar Astrophysics 3
PHYS 308 Observational Astronomy 1
PHYS 355 Optics 3
General Education: Cardinal Core Arts & Humanities Global Diversity - AHD2 3
Humanities or Social Science WR Elective (300 level or above) 3
Foreign Language 1 3-4
 Hours16-17
Spring
PHYS 590 Astrophysics 3
PHYS 530 Thermal Physics 3
General Elective 3
General Elective 3
Foreign Language 2 3-4
 Hours15-16
Year 4
Fall
PHYS 541 Electromagnetic Fields 3
PHYS 555 Elementary Quantum Mechanics 3
Select one of the following: 3
Practicum in Physics Education - CUE  
Senior Seminar in Physics - CUE, WR  
Senior Thesis in Physics - CUE, WR  
Cooperative Internship in Physics - CUE  
General Elective 3
General Elective 2-3
 Hours14-15
Spring
Humanities or Social Science WR elective (300 level or above) 3
General Elective (300 level or above) 3
General Elective (300 level or above) 3
General Elective (300 level or above) 3
General Elective 1-2
 Hours13-14
 Minimum Total Hours121-125

Track in Professional

Plan of Study Grid
Year 1
FallHours
GEN 100
Student Success Center Orientation
or Arts and Sciences Orientation
1
ENGL 101 Introduction to College Writing - WC 3
MATH 205 Calculus I - QR 4
PHYS 298 Introductory Mechanics, Heat and Sound - S 4
PHYS 295 Introductory Laboratories I - SL 1
General Elective 3
 Hours16
Spring
MATH 206 Calculus II 4
PHYS 299 Introductory Electricity, Magnetism and Light 4
PHYS 296 Introductory Laboratories II - SL 1
CHEM 201 General Chemistry I - S 3
ENGL 102 Intermediate College Writing - WC 3
 Hours15
Year 2
Fall
MATH 301 Calculus III 4
PHYS 300 Introductory Modern Physics 3
PHYS 301 Introductory Modern Physics Laboratory 1
PHYS 350 Differential Equations for the Physical Sciences 4
CHEM 202 General Chemistry II - S 3
 Hours15
Spring
PHYS 351 Atomic and Nuclear Physics Laboratory 2
PHYS 460 Mechanics 3
Humanities or Social Science WR elective (300 level or above) 3
General Education: Cardinal Core Social & Behavioral Sciences US Diversity - SBD1 3
General Education: Cardinal Core Oral Communication - OC 3
 Hours14
Year 3
Fall
PHYS 541 Electromagnetic Fields 3
General Education: Cardinal Core Arts & Humanities Global Diversity - AHD2 3
General Education: Cardinal Core Social & Behavioral Sciences Historical Perspective - SBH 3
General Education: Cardinal Core Arts & Humanities - AH 3
Foreign Language 1 3-4
 Hours16
Spring
PHYS 530 Thermal Physics 3
PHYS 542 Electromagnetic Radiation 3
Foreign Language 2 3-4
General Elective 3
General Elective 3
 Hours15-16
Year 4
Fall
PHYS 498 Undergraduate Research 1-3
PHYS 555 Elementary Quantum Mechanics 3
Select one of the following: 3
Practicum in Physics Education - CUE  
Senior Seminar in Physics - CUE, WR  
Senior Thesis in Physics - CUE, WR  
Cooperative Internship in Physics - CUE  
Humanities or Social Science WR Elective (300 level or above) 3
General Elective (300 level or above) 3
 Hours15
Spring
PHYS 556 Quantum Theory of Matter 3
General Elective (300 level or above) 3
General Elective (300 level or above) 3
General Elective 3
General Elective 3
 Hours15
 Minimum Total Hours121-122

Degree Audit reports illustrate how your completed courses fulfill the requirements of your academic plan.  What-if reports allow you to compare the courses you have completed in your current academic plan to the courses required in another academic plan.  For both reports, please consult with your advisor before editing your course schedule.

To create either report:

  1. Log into your ULink account.
  2. Click on the Student Services tab.
  3. Next, click on "View my Academic Advisement Report" to run a Degree Audit report in the Undergraduate Advising area. 
  4. To create a What-if report, click on "Create a What-if Advisement Report."

Click here to run a Degree Audit report, or create a What-if report.