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Bachelor of Science in Physics

Elizabeth AltersPictured | Elizabeth Alters | B.S., Physics | South Bend, Indiana (hometown)
Club Affiliations | Physics Club (President)


Bachelor of Science in Physics

There are multiple tracks for the Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Physics. The Professional Track is designed to prepare students either for graduate study in physics or for employment. The Applied Physics Track is intended primarily for students pursuing degrees in both physics and engineering through the dual-degree arrangements described below. 


Academic Advising

College policy on advising requires that students meet with their academic advisors at least once each year, and in some departments, prior to each semester’s enrollment. Advising holds are reset following advising appointments. Students with a declared major are advised in their academic units. To determine who your advisor is and how to contact them, see One.IU.


Degree Requirements (120 cr.)
Degree Map >>

Students receiving the Bachelor of Science degree in Physics must complete 120 total credit hours including

  • IU South Bend Campuswide General Education Curriculum (33 cr.)
  • World Language | Successful completion of a second-semester language class, designated as 102, or formal training, as evidenced by secondary or university diplomas, in a language other than English. The Department of World Language Studies (W.L.S.) offers a placement examination to determine into which semester a student should enroll and/or to qualify students for credit by examination. (3-6 cr.)

  • Minimum of 30 credit hours at the 300– or 400–level.
  • Courses required for the major must be completed with a grade of C– or higher.
  • A minimum CGPA of 2.0 is required.
  • All courses are 3 credits, unless otherwise noted

Major Requirements (36 cr.)

There are multiple tracks for the B.S. degree in physics at IU South Bend. The Professional Track is the best preparation for graduate study in physics, and the Nanoscience Track provides additional training related to the science of modern nanotechnology; while the Applied Physics Track is intended primarily for students who are pursuing degrees in both physics and engineering through our “3/2” dual-degree arrangements with engineering departments at other universities. It is especially important for those interested in completing a 3/2 program to work closely with their advisor to navigate the specific requirements of the engineering school and program of their choosing.

For students completing the Applied Physics Track as part of a 3/2 program, up to 10 credits in approved courses from the partnering institution may be transferred back to IU South Bend to reach the 36 credits in the physics requirements.

Fundamental Core (20 cr.)
  • PHYS-P 221 Physics 1 (5 cr.)
  • PHYS-P 222 Physics 2 (5 cr.)
  • PHYS-P 309 Modern Physics Laboratory
  • PHYS-P 323 Physics 3
  • PHYS-P 324 Physics 4
  • PHYS-S 106 Contemporary Physics Seminar (1 cr.)

Advanced Core | Professional Track (12 cr.)
  • PHYS-P 331 Theory of Electricity and Magnetism
  • PHYS-P 340 Thermodynamics and Statistical Mechanics
  • PHYS-P 441 Analytical Mechanics I
  • PHYS-P 453 Introduction to Quantum Mechanics

Advanced Core | Applied Physics Track (6 cr.)

Select two from the following:

  • PHYS-P 331 Theory of Electricity and Magnetism
  • PHYS-P 340 Thermodynamics and Statistical Mechanics
  • PHYS-P 441 Analytical Mechanics I
  • PHYS-P 453 Introduction to Quantum Mechanics

Physics Electives (0-9 cr. to reach total of 36 cr. in Physics Requirements)
  • AST-A 453 Topical Astrophysics
  • AST-N 390 The Natural World
  • PHYS-P 303 Digital Electronics (4 cr.)
  • PHYS-P 321 Techniques of Theoretical Physics
  • PHYS-P 334 Fundamentals of Optics
  • PHYS-P 410 Computing Applications in Physics
  • PHYS-P 473 Introduction to String Theory
  • PHYS-S 405 Readings in Physics (1-3 cr.; limited to 6 cr.)
  • For students in the Applied Physics Track, approved engineering courses from a cooperating program may be counted as Physics Electives

Research and Capstone (1 cr. min.)
  • PHYS-S 406 Research Project (1-4 cr.)
  • PHYS-S 490 Physics Capstone (0 cr.)

Math Requirements (22 cr.)
  • MATH-M 215 Calculus I (5 cr.)
  • MATH-M 216 Calculus II (5 cr.)
  • MATH-M 301 Linear Algebra and Applications
  • MATH-M 311 Calculus 3 
  • MATH-M 312 Calculus 4
  • MATH-M 343 Introduction to Differential Equations with Applications I

Track Requirements >>

Academic Bulletins

PDF Version

2021-2022 Campus Bulletin
2020-2021 Campus Bulletin
2019-2020 Campus Bulletin
2018-2019 Campus Bulletin
2017-2018 Campus Bulletin
2016-2017 Campus Bulletin
2015-2016 Campus Bulletin
2014-2015 Campus Bulletin

Please be aware that the PDF is formatted from the webpages; some pages may be out of order.