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Twin Cities Campus
Physics B.A.School of Physics & Astronomy
College of Liberal Arts
The undergraduate physics program prepares students for employment, often in industrial or governmental laboratories, or for further study at graduate or professional schools in physics, engineering, biophysics, medicine, education, law, or business.
The program integrates a broad foundation in physics that can be flexibly combined with coursework in other technical disciplines or used to specialize in physics. Students should consult a physics adviser to help formulate objectives for undergraduate study.
Program Delivery
This program is available:
Admission Requirements
Students must complete
7 courses
before admission to the program.
For information about University of Minnesota admission requirements, visit the
Office of Admissions
website.
Required prerequisites
Mathematics
Take exactly 3 course(s) totaling exactly 12 credit(s) from the following:
Calculus I
·
MATH 1271  Calculus I
[MATH]
(4.0 cr)
or
MATH 1371  CSE Calculus I
[MATH]
(4.0 cr)
or
MATH 1571H  Honors Calculus I
[MATH]
(4.0 cr)
·
Calculus II
·
MATH 1272  Calculus II
(4.0 cr)
or
MATH 1372  CSE Calculus II
(4.0 cr)
or
MATH 1572H  Honors Calculus II
(4.0 cr)
·
Linear Algebra
·
MATH 2243  Linear Algebra and Differential Equations
(4.0 cr)
or
MATH 2373  CSE Linear Algebra and Differential Equations
(4.0 cr)
or
MATH 2574H  Honors Calculus IV
(4.0 cr)
Required prerequisites
Physics
Take exactly 4 course(s) totaling exactly 16 credit(s) from the following:
Physics I
·
PHYS 1301W  Introductory Physics for Science and Engineering I
[PHYS, WI]
(4.0 cr)
or
PHYS 1401V  Honors Physics I
[PHYS, WI]
(4.0 cr)
·
Physics II
·
PHYS 1302W  Introductory Physics for Science and Engineering II
[PHYS, WI]
(4.0 cr)
or
PHYS 1402V  Honors Physics II
[PHYS, WI]
(4.0 cr)
·
Thermodynamics
·
PHYS 2201  Introductory Thermodynamics and Statistical Physics
(4.0 cr)
·
Physics III
·
PHYS 2503  Physics III: Intro to Waves, Optics, and Special Relativity
(4.0 cr)
or
PHYS 2503H  Honors Physics III
(4.0 cr)
General Requirements
All students in baccalaureate degree programs are required to complete general University and college requirements including writing and liberal education courses. For more information about Universitywide requirements, see the
liberal education requirements.
Required courses for the major, minor or certificate in which a student receives a D grade (with or without plus or minus) do not count toward the major, minor or certificate (including transfer courses).
Program Requirements
Students are required to complete 4 semester(s) of
any second language.
with a grade of C, or better, or S, or demonstrate proficiency in the language(s) as defined by the department
or college.
CLA BA degrees require 18 upperdivision (3xxxlevel or higher) credits outside the major designator. These credits must be taken in designators different from the major designator and cannot include courses that are crosslisted with the major designator. The major designator for the Physics BA is PHYS.
At least 12 upperdivision credits in the major must be taken at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities campus.
Students may earn no more than one undergraduate degree in the physics program: a BA or a BS or a minor.
All incoming CLA firstyear (freshmen) must complete the FirstYear Experience course sequence.
All incoming CLA firstyear (freshmen) students earning a BA, BS, or BIS degree must complete the secondyear career management course CLA 3002.
All students must complete a capstone in at least one CLA major. The requirements for double majors completing the capstone in a different CLA major will be clearly stated. Students must also complete all major requirements in both majors to allow the additional capstone to be waived. Student completing an addition degree must complete the capstone in each degree area.
Multivariable Calculus
Take exactly 1 course(s) totaling exactly 4 credit(s) from the following:
·
MATH 2263  Multivariable Calculus
(4.0 cr)
or
MATH 2374  CSE Multivariable Calculus and Vector Analysis
(4.0 cr)
or
MATH 2573H  Honors Calculus III
(4.0 cr)
Experimental Physics Courses
Take exactly 2 course(s) totaling exactly 8 credit(s) from the following:
·
PHYS 3605W  Modern Physics Laboratory
[WI]
(3.0 cr)
·
PHYS 4051  Methods of Experimental Physics I
(5.0 cr)
Capstone
The capstone requires the students to carry out an independent experimental research project and report on the results both orally and in written form. The capstone experience is a culmination of both experimental technique and the ability to apply mathematical models to physical phenomena. Students who double major within CLA and choose to complete the capstone requirement in their other major are still required to take the Physics BA capstone.
Take exactly 1 course(s) totaling exactly 5 credit(s) from the following:
The capstone is completed in PHYS 4025W, or by some alternate means subject to prior departmental approval. Should the approved alternate physics project total fewer than 5 credits, an additional physics elective at the 3xxxlevel or higher is required to meet the 5credit capstone minimum.
·
PHYS 4052W  Methods of Experimental Physics II
[WI]
(5.0 cr)
Upper Division Writing Intensive within the major
Students are required to take one upper division writing intensive course within the major. If that requirement has not been satisfied within the core major requirements, students must choose one course from the following list. Some of these courses may also fulfill other major requirements.
Take 0  2 course(s) from the following:
·
PHYS 4052W  Methods of Experimental Physics II
[WI]
(5.0 cr)
·
PHYS 3605W  Modern Physics Laboratory
[WI]
(3.0 cr)


Credits:  4.0 [max 4.0] 
Course Equivalencies:  Math 1271/Math 1281/Math 1371/ 
Typically offered:  Every Fall, Spring & Summer 
Credits:  4.0 [max 4.0] 
Course Equivalencies:  Math 1271/Math 1281/Math 1371/ 
Typically offered:  Every Fall & Spring 
Credits:  4.0 [max 4.0] 
Course Equivalencies:  Math 1271/Math 1281/Math 1371/ 
Grading Basis:  AF only 
Typically offered:  Every Fall 
Credits:  4.0 [max 4.0] 
Course Equivalencies:  Math 1272/Math 1282/Math 1372/ 
Typically offered:  Every Fall, Spring & Summer 
Credits:  4.0 [max 4.0] 
Course Equivalencies:  Math 1272/Math 1282/Math 1372/ 
Typically offered:  Every Spring 
Credits:  4.0 [max 4.0] 
Course Equivalencies:  Math 1272/Math 1282/Math 1372/ 
Grading Basis:  AF only 
Typically offered:  Every Fall & Spring 
Credits:  4.0 [max 4.0] 
Course Equivalencies:  Math 2243/Math 2373/Math 2574H 
Typically offered:  Every Fall, Spring & Summer 
Credits:  4.0 [max 4.0] 
Course Equivalencies:  Math 2243/Math 2373/Math 2574H 
Typically offered:  Every Fall & Spring 
Credits:  4.0 [max 4.0] 
Course Equivalencies:  Math 2243/Math 2373/Math 2574H 
Grading Basis:  AF only 
Typically offered:  Every Spring 
Credits:  4.0 [max 4.0] 
Course Equivalencies:  Phys 1201W/1301W/1401V/1501V 
Typically offered:  Every Fall, Spring & Summer 
Credits:  4.0 [max 4.0] 
Course Equivalencies:  Phys 1201W/1301W/1401V/1501V 
Grading Basis:  AF only 
Typically offered:  Every Fall 
Credits:  4.0 [max 4.0] 
Course Equivalencies:  Phys 1202W/1302W/1402V/1502V 
Typically offered:  Every Fall & Spring 
Credits:  4.0 [max 4.0] 
Course Equivalencies:  Phys 1202W/1302W/1402V/1502V 
Grading Basis:  AF only 
Typically offered:  Every Spring 
Credits:  4.0 [max 4.0] 
Typically offered:  Every Fall 
Credits:  4.0 [max 4.0] 
Course Equivalencies:  Phys 2303/2403H/2503/2503H 
Typically offered:  Every Fall 
Credits:  4.0 [max 4.0] 
Course Equivalencies:  Phys 2303/2403H/2503/2503H 
Grading Basis:  AF only 
Typically offered:  Every Fall 
Credits:  4.0 [max 4.0] 
Course Equivalencies:  Math 2263/Math 2374/Math 2573H 
Typically offered:  Every Fall, Spring & Summer 
Credits:  4.0 [max 4.0] 
Course Equivalencies:  Math 2263/Math 2374/Math 2573H 
Typically offered:  Every Fall & Spring 
Credits:  4.0 [max 4.0] 
Course Equivalencies:  Math 2263/Math 2374/Math 2573H 
Grading Basis:  AF only 
Typically offered:  Every Fall 
Credits:  4.0 [max 4.0] 
Typically offered:  Every Spring 
Credits:  3.0 [max 3.0] 
Typically offered:  Every Spring 
Credits:  3.0 [max 3.0] 
Course Equivalencies:  Phys 2605/Phys 3605W 
Typically offered:  Every Fall & Spring 
Credits:  5.0 [max 5.0] 
Typically offered:  Every Fall 
Credits:  4.0 [max 4.0] 
Typically offered:  Every Fall 
Credits:  4.0 [max 4.0] 
Typically offered:  Every Fall & Spring 
Credits:  4.0 [max 4.0] 
Typically offered:  Every Fall 
Credits:  5.0 [max 5.0] 
Typically offered:  Every Spring 
Credits:  5.0 [max 5.0] 
Typically offered:  Every Spring 
Credits:  3.0 [max 3.0] 
Course Equivalencies:  Phys 2605/Phys 3605W 
Typically offered:  Every Fall & Spring 