Physics

Physics majors receive a broad but rigorous education in basic scientific principles that govern the behavior of matter and energy in nature. The program provides hands-on experience in electronics, optics, nuclear physics, astronomy and solar energy. Students also take courses in chemistry, mathematics, computer science, and the liberal arts. Senior students pursue research projects. The College's planetarium provides a rich enhancement to the program. Most graduates pursue graduate study or enter highly competitive positions in industry and education.

Requirements for a Major in Physics (B.S.)
A minimum of 16 units with the following distribution:
Core requirements - 7 units of Physics
  • Physics 141, 142, 211, 212, 222, 411, 511
Elective requirements - 2 units of Physics chosen from the following:
  • Physics 221, 251, 311, 312, 361, 412, 512,531, 541, 542, 491
Reflective Tutorial - 1 unit
  • The senior year Learning Community consists of Physics 411 or 511, coupled with another lecture course or individualized research, and the Reflective Tutorial includes two presentations in the physics seminar or a senior thesis (Physics 543).
Cognate requirements - 4 units of Mathematics
  • Mathematics 121, 122, 223, 233
Cognate electives - 2 units of Chemistry , Mathematics, or Computer Applications.
The courses must be chosen from Chemistry 111 or higher, and Mathematics 230 or higher or Computer Applications 130 or higher.
  • It is recommended that students who plan to go to graduate school in physics take Physics 311, 361, at least one other physics elective, Math 232 and one year of French or German.
Requirements for a Minor in Physics
A minimum of 6 units with the following distribution: Core requirements - 3 units of Physics
  • Physics 141, 142, 211
Elective requirements - 3 units of Physics
  • Any physics courses beyond Physics 211.
Requirements for the Pre-engineering option
A minimum of 12 units Core requirements - 12 units
  • Physics, Mathematics, Chemistry, and Computer Applications
  • Chemistry 111, 112, Computer Applications 130, Physics 141, 142 211, 221, 222, Mathematics 121, 122, 223,233