Physics majors and others interested in exploring physics

Students interested in seeing what physics is all about, especially those who are considering majoring in physics, should take Physics 130: Relativity, Spacetime, and Contemporary Physics. This is the entry into the introductory sequence for physics majors, and it is designed for all students interested in exploring physics regardless of physics or math placement credit.  It is offered every fall and has a corequsite of Math 161: Calculus I.

Physics 130 is followed by introductory mechanics and electromagnetism courses in the following semesters. Typical course sequences taken by physics majors are given on the Physics Degree Requirements page.

Students who have not taken Physics 130 in their first year but are interested in majoring in Physics can take the course later. Such students should contact Prof. David Nice for guidance about course selection.

Advanced placement?

Prospective physics majors with advanced placement credit should register for Physics 130, as described above, and should E-mail Prof. David Nice to discuss course selection.

Undecided between physics and engineering?

If you are undecided between engineering and physics, please E-mail both Prof. David Nice (physics) and Prof. Scott Hummel (engineering) to discuss your course selections. Based on your individual background and interests, we will work with you to pick courses that will best serve your needs. Typically students in this situation should take Physics 130 along with courses geared toward engineering.

Other physics courses open to first-year students

Fall Spring
Physics 104: Astronomy: The Solar System Physics 108: Astronomy: Stars, Galaxies and the Big Bang
Physics 111: General Physics I Physics 112: General Physics II
Physics 130: Relativity, Spacetime, and Contemporary Physics Physics 131: Physics I: Mechanics
With Physics 131 AP Credit: Physics 133: Physics II: Electricity, Magnetism, and Waves Physics 151: Accelerated Physics I
With Physics 131 AP Credit: Physics 152: Accelerated Physics II: Electricity, Magnetism, and Optics

See Choosing the Right Physics Course for more information about our range of introductory physics courses.