Physics (PHY) Courses of Study

Link to Physics Courses

Program Overview

The mission of the Physics Department is to provide students opportunities for interactive engagement with physics principles and concepts, scientific thinking, communication, and research of solar cells.

The goals of the Physics Program are the following:

  1. To provide physics background for Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics, and Environmental Studies majors.
  2. To provide significant modern physics concepts (post Newtonian) in all the departmental courses.
  3. To provide courses in astronomy and physical science that fulfill the science general education requirement for non-science majors.
  4. To provide a minor in Physics for students majoring in the sciences or mathematics.

Extensive emphasis is placed on communication of physics principles through regular assignments and student reports, writing for the extended community, learning transferable skills such as model fitting of experimental data, and providing areas for independent study and research (both student and faculty) in physics and photovoltaics.

Minor in Physics

Grades: Students must pass courses at a grade of C- or better to count toward the minor.

Total Credit Hours: Students must earn a minimum of 20 credit hours in physics courses at the 200 level and above and selected courses from related disciplines to fulfill the minor requirements. Courses from related disciplines may include CHM 331 Thermodynamics and Kinetics (4 credits), CHM 332 Quantum Chemistry and Molecular Spectroscopy (4 credits), CHM 333 Physical Chemistry Laboratory (1 credit), approved special topics in physics, independent studies in physics, and SCI 486-489 Natural Science Research.


  1. PHY 251 Physics I (4 credits)
  2. PHY 252 Physics II (4 credits)
  3. Independent Study in Physics — 2 credits minimum

In addition to the courses listed above, a student completing a minor in Physics should complete the Natural Science Undergraduate Research Sequence (SCI 390 Research Design, SCI 486-489 Natural Science Research, and SCI 493 Natural Science Presentation) approved and supervised by the physics department or the department of the student’s major. Natural Science Research and Presentation courses supervised by physics faculty contribute towards the 20-hour minor requirement. However, Natural Science Research and Presentation courses supervised by another department do not contribute to the 20-hour minor requirement in physics. See section 4.26 Science (SCI) for details.