The core physics curriculum is 35 credit hours, flexible and allowing for multidisciplinary studies. Free and concentration electives account for 28 of the remaining 85 credits and can be used toward fulfilling the core course requirements of another major area. This allows physics majors to undertake a dual major in other fields. Popular dual major choices include computer science and mathematics, as well as computer, electrical and mechanical engineering.

Clarkson Common Experience

The following courses are required for all students, irrespective of their program of study. These courses are offered during the fall semester, with FY100 First-Year Seminar being required of only first-year students. Both FY100 and UNIV190 are typically taken during the fall semester of the first year at Clarkson.

FY100

First-Year Seminar

1

UNIV190

The Clarkson Seminar

3

Core Requirements

Students majoring in physics are required to complete the following courses:

CM131

General Chemistry I

4

CM132

General Chemistry II

4

MA131

Calculus I

3

MA132

Calculus II

3

MA231

Calculus III

3

MA232

Elementary Differential Equations

3

PH121

Physics Freshman Seminar

1

PH131

Physics I

4

PH132

Physics II

4

PH231

Fundamentals of Modern Physics

3

PH232

Modern Physics Laboratory

1

PH327

Experimental Physics I

1-3

PH331

Quantum Physics I

3

 

Professional Experience

This requirement focuses on project-based professional experience such as co-ops, internships, directed research, or community projects clearly related to the student’s professional goals. To meet this requirement, a physics major student will take one course (at least 1 credit) from one of the following three categories:

  • Senior Thesis: PH445, Senior Thesis I; PH446, Senior Thesis II
  • Directed Research: PH478 Directed Research in Experimental Physics; PH479, Directed Research in Theoretical Physics
  • Internship/Co-op: PH480, Internship/Co-op in Physics

Core Electives

The following are electives students are required to complete for the physics major.

Biology Elective
Students must complete one 3-credit course from the biology (BY) subject area.

Concentration Electives
Students must complete 9 credits of concentration electives. All of these must be in one area outside of physics; an area need not be a department. Concentration electives allow students to explore another field of interest outside physics. These classes, combined with free electives, can be used toward fulfilling the core course requirements for a double major.

Physics Electives I
Students must complete approximately 12 credits of physics electives at the 200-level and above.

Physics Elective II
Students must complete one 3-credit course from the following:

PH445

Undergraduate Thesis I

1-3

PH446

Undergraduate Thesis II

1-3

PH470-473

Directed Study Experimental

1-3

PH474-477

Directed Study Theoretical

1-3

 

Probability/Statistics Elective
Students will complete one 3-credit course in probability/statistics from the mathematics (MA) or statistics (STAT) subject areas. Experimental Physics I (PH327, 3 credits), one of the required physics courses in our undergraduate major curriculum, would also satisfy the statistics requirement of the Clarkson Common Experience.

Knowledge Area/University Course Electives
Students majoring in physics will have approximately 15 credit hours available to use toward Knowledge Area and/or University Course electives.

Free Electives
Students majoring in physics will have approximately 19 credit hours available to use toward courses of their choice.