Physics, B.A.

Learn more about the Bachelor of Arts in Physics.

The Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) program is designed for those who are planning for a non-research career in a field which nevertheless has an important science component. Examples include patent law, environmental law enforcement, medicine or sales or management in a high-technology industry.

Undergraduate Contact Information:

Dr. Bernd Surrow, Chair
Science Education and Research Center, Room 406
215-204-7736

Dr. Adrienn Ruzsinszky, Vice Chair
Science Education and Research Center, Room 708
215-204-8479

Dr. Zbigniew Dziembowski, Faculty Advisor
Science Education and Research Center, Room 412
215-204-7639
zbig.dziembowski@temple.edu

Bachelor of Arts 

Summary of Requirements for the Degree

  1. University Requirements (123 total s.h.)
    • Students must complete all University requirements including those listed below.
    • All Temple students must take a minimum of two writing-intensive courses at Temple as part of their major. The specific writing-intensive course options for this major are:
      PHYS 2796Introduction to Modern Physics4
      PHYS 4796Experimental Physics3
    • 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 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
    • 45 Upper Level (2000+) credits within the College of Science & Technology (CST), the College of Liberal Arts (CLA), or the College of Engineering (ENG). 
    • 90 credits within the College of Science & Technology (CST), the College of Liberal Arts (CLA), or the College of Engineering (ENG).
    • Two (2) Upper Level (2000+) Liberal Art courses.
    • Second (2nd) Level of a Foreign Language (1002).
    • All students in the College of Science and Technology are required to take a one credit first year seminar. SCTC 1001 CST First Year Seminar is the appropriate course option for every entering first year CST major. Transfer students should use SCTC 2001 CST Transfer Seminar to fulfill this requirement. Other courses that fulfill this requirement may be found on the CST College Requirements page.
  3. Major Requirements for Bachelor of Arts (56 s.h.)
    At least 7 courses required for the major must be completed at Temple. At least 5 Physics courses must be completed at Temple.
    Mathematics
    MATH 1041Calculus I4
    or MATH 1941 Honors Calculus I
    MATH 1042Calculus II4
    or MATH 1942 Honors Calculus II
    MATH 2043Calculus III4
    or MATH 2943 Honors Calculus III
    Sequenced Science Courses 1
    Select one of the following sequences:8
    General Biology I
    and General Biology II 2
    Introduction to Organismal Biology
    and Introduction to Cellular and Molecular Biology
    Honors Introduction to Organismal Biology
    and Honors Introduction to Cellular and Molecular Biology
    General Chemistry I
    and General Chemistry Laboratory I
    and General Chemistry II
    and General Chemistry Laboratory II
    Physical Geology (and a 2000+ Elective)
    Physics Courses
    PHYS 1008Physics Seminar I1
    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 2502Mathematical Physics (S)4
    PHYS 2796Introduction to Modern Physics (S)4
    PHYS 3301Electricity and Magnetism (F)4
    PHYS 4796Experimental Physics (S)3
    Physics Electives
    Select three of the following:9
    Introduction to Astronomy (F)
    Scientific Computing I
    and Scientific Computing II
    Analytical Mechanics (F)
    Classical Electromagnetism (S)
    Introduction to Quantum Mechanics I (S)
    Thermal Physics (F)
    Electronics (S - odd years)
    Optics (F)
    Introduction to Solid State Physics (S - even years)
    Introduction to Quantum Mechanics II (F)
    Total Credit Hours56
    (F) - Fall only course
    (S) - Spring only course

    Note: PHYS 3091 is not available for major credit. 

Calculation of Major GPA

Courses listed under the major requirements for the degree will be included in the calculation of the major GPA. Courses that could not apply toward the major as an elective or required course would not be counted in the calculation of the major GPA. This would include MATH 1022, for example. 

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 Arts in Physics

Requirements for New Students starting in the 2021-2022 Academic Year

Year 1
FallCredit Hours
MATH 1041 or 1941Calculus I4
PHYS 1008Physics Seminar I1
Select one of the following:4
Elementary Classical Physics I 
Honors Elementary Classical Physics I (F) 
General Physics I 
Honors General Physics I (F) 
SCTC 1001CST First Year Seminar1
ENG 0802, 0812, or 0902Analytical Reading and Writing [GW]4
Elective1
 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) 
IH 0851 or 0951Intellectual Heritage I: The Good Life [GY]3
Elective4
 Term Credit Hours15
Year 2
Fall
MATH 2043 or 2943Calculus III4
IH 0852 or 0952Intellectual Heritage II: The Common Good [GZ]3
Elective9
 Term Credit Hours16
Spring
PHYS 2502Mathematical Physics (S)4
PHYS 2796Introduction to Modern Physics [WI] (S)4
GenEd Breadth Course3-4
Elective4-3
 Term Credit Hours15
Year 3
Fall
PHYS 3301Electricity and Magnetism (F)4
Sequenced Science Part 114
GenEd Breadth Course3
Elective4
 Term Credit Hours15
Spring
PHYS 2101Classical Mechanics (S)3
Sequenced Science Part 214
GenEd Breadth Course3
Elective6
 Term Credit Hours16
Year 4
Fall
Physics Elective23
Physics Elective23
GenEd Breadth Course3
Elective7
 Term Credit Hours16
Spring
PHYS 4796Experimental Physics [WI] (S)3
Physics Elective23
GenEd Breadth Course3
Elective6
 Term Credit Hours15
 Total Credit Hours: 123
(F) - Fall only course
(S) - Spring only course