Physics, B.S.

The Bachelor of Science in Physics provides strong preparation for those wishing to attend graduate school in physics or related disciplines and is recommended for those who intend to enter the scientific workforce upon completion of a bachelor's degree. 

Undergraduate Contact Information:

Dr. James Napolitano, Chair
Science Education and Research Center, Room 406
215-204-1638

Dr. Bernd Surrow, Vice Chair
Science Education and Research Center, Room 420
215-204-1638

Dr. Zbigniew Dziembowski, Faculty Advisor (Last names A-K)
Science Education and Research Center, Room 412
215-204-7639
zbig.dziembowski@temple.edu

Dr. Tan Yuen, Faculty Advisor (Last names L-Z)
Science Education and Research Center, Room 409
215-204-5182
tan.yuen@temple.edu

Bachelor of Science 

Summary of Requirements for the Degree

  1. University Requirements (123 total s.h.)
    • MATH 0701 (4 s.h.) and/or ENG 0701 (4 s.h.), if required by placement testing.

    • All Temple students must take a minimum of two writing-intensive courses at Temple as part of their major. Following is a list of courses that can be used to satisfy the writing-intensive requirement: PHYS 2796 and PHYS 4796.

    • Students must complete the General Education (GenEd) requirements.
      • See the General Education section of the Undergraduate Bulletin for the GenEd curriculum.
      • Students who complete CST majors typically receive a waiver for 2 Science & Technology (GS) and 1 Quantitative Literacy (GQ) GenEd courses.
    • Students must satisfy general Temple University residency requirements.
  2. College Requirements
    • 90 credits within the College of Science & Technology (CST) or the College of Liberal Arts (CLA).

    • 45 Upper Level (2000+) credits within the College of Science & Technology (CST) or the College of Liberal Arts (CLA).

  3. Major Requirements for Bachelor of Science (71-74 s.h.)
    A least 9 courses required for the major must be completed at Temple. At least 8 Physics courses must be completed at Temple.
    Mathematics
    Select one of the following:4
    Calculus I with Lab 1
    Calculus I
    Honors Calculus I
    MATH 1042Calculus II4
    or MATH 1942 Honors Calculus II
    MATH 2043Calculus III4
    or MATH 2943 Honors Calculus III
    Select one of the following:3-4
    Differential Equations I
    Differential Equations with Linear Algebra (F)
    Differential Equations with Computer Lab (S)
    Two science or mathematics elective courses
    These two electives can be chosen from Biology, Chemistry, Engineering, Earth & Environmental Science, Mathematics or Physics in consultation with the faculty advisor.6-8
    Physics Courses
    Select one of the following:4
    Elementary Classical Physics I
    Honors Elementary Classical Physics I (F)
    General Physics I
    Honors General Physics I (F)
    Select one of the following:4
    Elementary Classical Physics II
    Honors Elementary Classical Physics II (S)
    General Physics II
    Honors General Physics II (S)
    PHYS 2101Classical Mechanics (S)3
    PHYS 2501Computing for Scientists (F)3
    PHYS 2502Mathematical Physics (S)4
    PHYS 2796Introduction to Modern Physics (S)4
    PHYS 3101Analytical Mechanics (F)3
    PHYS 3301Electricity and Magnetism (F)4
    PHYS 3302Classical Electromagnetism (S)3
    PHYS 3701Introduction to Quantum Mechanics (S)3
    PHYS 4101Thermodynamics and Kinetic Theory (F)3
    PHYS 4302Optics (F)3
    PHYS 4796Experimental Physics (S)3
    Select two of the following:6
    Electronics (S (odd years))
    Introduction to Solid State Physics (S (even years))
    Introduction of Atomic, Nuclear, and Particle Physics (F)
    Total Credit Hours71-74

    Note: PHYS 3091 is not available for major credit. 

    (F) - Fall only course
    (S) - Spring only course
    1

    Students who choose MATH 1038 must also take the linked course MATH 1039.

Distinction in Major

A student who wishes to graduate with distinction in the major must complete all courses required for the physics major with a GPA of 3.5 or better, and carry out an independent study or undergraduate thesis project. Consult the undergraduate physics advisor for more details.

Suggested Academic Plan

Bachelor of Science in Physics

Requirements for New Students starting in the 2016-2017 Academic Year

Year 1
FallCredit Hours
Select one of the following:4
Calculus I with Lab1 
Calculus I 
Honors Calculus I 
Select one of the following:4
Elementary Classical Physics I 
Honors Elementary Classical Physics I (F) 
General Physics I 
Honors General Physics I (F) 
General Education/Elective Credits7
 Term Credit Hours15
Spring
MATH 1042 or 1942Calculus II4
Select one of the following:4
Elementary Classical Physics II 
Honors Elementary Classical Physics II (S) 
General Physics II 
Honors General Physics II (S) 
General Education/Elective Credits8
 Term Credit Hours16
Year 2
Fall
MATH 2043 or 2943Calculus III4
Select one of the following:3-4
Differential Equations I 
Differential Equations with Linear Algebra (F) 
Differential Equations with Computer Lab (S) 
PHYS 2501Computing for Scientists (F)3
General Education/Elective Credits6-5
 Term Credit Hours16
Spring
PHYS 2101Classical Mechanics (S)3
PHYS 2502Mathematical Physics (S)4
PHYS 2796Introduction to Modern Physics [WI] (S)4
General Education/Elective Credits4
 Term Credit Hours15
Year 3
Fall
PHYS 3101Analytical Mechanics (F)3
PHYS 3301Electricity and Magnetism (F)4
Science Elective23-4
General Education/Elective Credits5-4
 Term Credit Hours15
Spring
PHYS 3302Classical Electromagnetism (S)3
PHYS 3701Introduction to Quantum Mechanics (S)3
Science Elective23-4
General Education/Elective Credits6-5
 Term Credit Hours15
Year 4
Fall
PHYS 4101Thermodynamics and Kinetic Theory (F)3
PHYS 4702Introduction of Atomic, Nuclear, and Particle Physics (F)33
PHYS 4302Optics (F)3
General Education/Elective Credits6
 Term Credit Hours15
Spring
PHYS 4701 or 4301Introduction to Solid State Physics (S)3,43
PHYS 4796Experimental Physics [WI] (S)3
General Education/Elective Credits10
 Term Credit Hours16
 Total Credit Hours: 123
(F) - Fall only course
(S) - Spring only course
1

Students who choose MATH 1038 must also take the linked course MATH 1039.

2

The elective can be chosen from Biology, Chemistry, Engineering, Earth & Environmental Science, Mathematics or Physics in consultation with the faculty advisor.

3

Complete two of the three courses listed: PHYS 4301, PHYS 4701, PHYS 4702.

4

PHYS 4701 is offered in even-numbered years. PHYS 4301 is offered in odd-numbered years.