The major program is structured so that nearly all students take the same classes during the first two years and must complete the same list of core upper-level courses during their second two years, but permits a variety of choices in upper-level electives. By the end of the four years, they share an understanding of classical mechanics, electromagnetism, and quantum mechanics, and have acquired physics lab skills that will support them in graduate school or in a host of other pursuits.
Full requirements and a sample program of study for the BA and BS degrees are available on the online academic catalog.
Requirements for a Bachelor of Arts in Physics
In addition to the core courses, students working toward a BA take at least two more elective courses at the 300 level or above. These courses must be in the Department of Physics and Astronomy or from a list of approved physics-related courses in other departments.
Requirements for a Bachelor of Science in Physics
This program is designed to supplement the core physics courses with a concentration at an advanced level in a scientific or engineering discipline.
The total number of credits required for the BS is 126, rather than 120. The required core course work in physics is the same as for the BA, as are the mathematics requirements. However, the two electives required for the BA are replaced by five courses at the 200 level or above (at least 3 credits each). These must be in the departments of physics and astronomy, biology, biophysics, chemistry, cognitive science, earth and planetary sciences, or mathematics, or in any of the departments of the Whiting School of Engineering. At least four must be taken within a single science department (including physics and astronomy) of the Krieger School, or within a single department or program of the School of Engineering. Considered as a whole, these courses must constitute a coherent and rigorous program of study, one that is approved as such by the student’s faculty adviser.