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General Physics

The General Physics major contains all the theory of the other majors and provides students with the foundations of Physics. Students with this major will be expected to learn a little about each major in the Department, as well as, some other more theoretical subjects, like Astronomy and Cosmology.

This major leaves students with an appreciation of the Physics of everything and gives them a knowledge of theoretical Physics, which tends to be more math-based, and also gives students a foothold into the world of Research.

To graduate with a Physics Major, the student must have done at Level I:

  • Semester 1
    • MATH1185  Mathematics for Scientists and Engineers
    • MATH1141  Introduction to Linear Algebra and Analytic Geometry
    • PHYS 1411   Mechanics
    • PHYS 1412   Waves and Optics
  • ​Semester 2

A major requires 36 Part II credits, 30 of which are core courses, and the other 6 from electives.

A minor requires 18 Part II credits, all of which are highlighted in the table below.                           

Core Courses
  Level II Level III
Core for Major and Minor  PHYS 2351 – Modern Physics 1  PHYS 3351 – Modern Physics II
 PHYS 2386 – Electricity and Magnetism and Optics
 PHYS 2396 – Computer Applications in Physics  PHYS 3386 – Electromagnetism
 PHYS 2300 – General Physics Lab 1
Core for Major only  ELET 2420 – Semiconductor Devices  PHYS 3200 – Advanced General Physics Lab
 Math 2230 - Engineering Math


Any three of the following courses can be chosen as electives, if qualified, to complete the General Physics Major:

PHYS 3399 - Research Project
PHYS 3565 - Thermodynamics and Kinetics of Materials (highly recommended)
Any other PHYS course
Any Level II or III Electronics course

If pursuing a double major, a single advanced level course CANNOT count towards 2 majors. Therefore, due to overlapping core courses, a double major within the department MUST have Electronics as one of the majors.

The Mathematics courses listed are those required to complete Physics majors. For more information on Mathematics courses, please contact the Department on Mathematics. Students pursuing both MATH1142 and MATH1151 otherwise do not need to do MATH1185.

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