The Department offers BA and BS degrees in physics and in physics and astronomy. The BA program is appropriate for students desiring a broad academic experience. It also provides greater flexibility when planning a joint degree with another department. The BS degree is intensive and provides stronger preparation for graduate school in physics or a closely related science. Students planning to pursue graduate study normally elect the BS program; they are strongly encouraged to take advantage of opportunities for independent reading or research provided by PHY 391 and PHY 393 in the senior year.
Graduation with a concentration (major, minor) in any specific subject is conditional upon meeting the writing and cluster requirements of the College, as well as concentration requirement of the unit in which one concentrates. The College requirements, which include writing, and courses in the social sciences and humanities, are described in detail in the official University's Undergraduate Bulletin. Refer to this Bulletin for further details.
Students must fulfill the upper-level writing requirement and can do so by taking two upper-level writing courses within the department. In particular, courses that can be used to satisfy this requirement are: AST 231, AST 232W, AST 391W, AST 393W, PHY 235W, PHY 258W, PHY 243W, PHY 244W, PHY 245W, PHY 391W and PHY 393W.
On occasion, the Department of Physics and Astronomy may allow an upper-level writing course from another Mathematics, Science, or Engineering department to be used to satisfy the upper-level writing requirement, but only with prior approval of the physics or physics and astronomy advisor.