A curriculum that balances rigor and flexibility.

Physics and astronomy programs of study prepare students for graduate study, positions as high school teachers, and entry-level work as physicists in government or industry. Several degree options meet a range of needs and interests.

All majors in the College of Arts and Sciences complete at least 124 total credits to earn a bachelor’s degree.

Majors in Physics and Astronomy

There are four different options a student may choose to pursue. All four options share 19 credit hours of required courses in common, making it easy for students to switch from one to another if their career objectives change.


This degree offers a broad background in basic physics to students pursuing a second major or minor in any discipline, including arts, humanities, and social sciences.
Degree Requirements »

This degree program highlights students’ interest and preparation in astronomy. Students interested in pursuing graduate study in astronomy generally complete about 40 credit hours in the department – the number required for a stand-alone astronomy major with no minor or second major.
Degree Requirements »

This versatile major plan can be tailored to many interests through elective courses and optional concentrations. Faculty advisors can help students to accomplish double majors efficiently. A stand-alone physics major (with no minor or second major) requires 40 hours of physics credits.
Degree Requirements »

The program is designed for students who are interested in teaching physics in secondary education, allowing them to take most of the core physics courses while still having room to take education courses.
Degree Requirements »

Minors in Physics

All minors require a minimum of 16 credit hours.

An overview of important topics in physics.
Coursework »
An applied-science minor, focusing on the action of forces on bodies and the properties of matter.
Coursework »
Courses of special interest in the design and development of electronic devices.
Coursework »
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Physics Concentrations

Students in physics can focus their studies by choosing a concentration:

Fundamental physics prepares students for graduate study

Applied physics prepares students for employment in:

  • Mechanics and materials
  • Electronics
  • Computational physics
  • Industrial project management

Concentrations in the physics major »

Cooperative Education

Qualified students may combine semesters in applied physics or research at a professional work site with other semesters of traditional academic studies on campus. Enrollment in this program is limited by the availability of positions offered by suitable cooperating companies.

More About Cooperative Education »