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Bachelor of Science in Physics

Emilee EdmondsPictured | Emilee Edmonds | Bachelor of Science in Mathematics; Bachelor of Science in Physics | Goshen, Indiana (hometown)
Honors Program (intern)
Club Affiliation | Physics Club (co-president)

Bachelor of Science in Physics

A Bachelor of Science (BS) in Physics is a versatile degree, with some students seeking immediate employment upon graduation, while others pursue advanced degrees in physics or a closely allied science or medical field.

Additionally, an undergraduate physics curriculum provides an excellent foundation for those ultimately interested in becoming engineers, with some becoming employed with no further education, some transferring to, or seeking a second undergraduate degree from, an engineering school, and some transitioning straight from a BS in Physics to a graduate programs in engineering.

Accordingly, even though we offer a single BS in Physics, we make strong recommendations for elective choices based upon each student’s intended path. We refer to these sets of recommendations as “tracks".

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.)
Fundamental Core (20 cr.)
  • PHYS-S 106 Contemporary Physics Seminar (1 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

Advanced Core (6-12 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

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.)

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 Recommendations

Academic Bulletins

PDF Version

2023-2024 Campus Bulletin
2022-2023 Campus Bulletin
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.