Core Requirements

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

  • CM131 General Chemistry I (4 credits)
  • CM132 General Chemistry II (4 credits)
  • MA131 Calculus I (3 credits)
  • MA132 Calculus II (3 credits)
  • MA231 Calculus III (3 credits)
  • MA232 Elementary Differential Equations (3 credits)
  • PH121 Physics Freshman Seminar (1 credits)
  • PH131 Physics I (4 credits)
  • PH132 (Physics II (4 credits)
  • PH231 Fundamentals of Modern Physics (3 credits)
  • PH232 Modern Physics Laboratory (1 credits)
  • PH327 Experimental Physics I (1-3 credits)
  • PH331 Quantum Physics I (3 credits)

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 credits)
  • PH446 Undergraduate Thesis II (1-3 credits)
  • PH470-473 Directed Study Experimental (1-3 credits)
  • PH474-477 Directed Study Theoretical (1-3 credits)

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.