Physics, B.S.

Learn more about the Bachelor of Science in Physics.

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
Science Education and Research Center, Room 412
215-204-7639
zbig.dziembowski@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 (72-74 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
    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
    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
    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 2063Wave Physics3
    PHYS 2101Classical Mechanics (S)3
    PHYS 2511Scientific Computing I1.5
    PHYS 3511Scientific Computing II1.5
    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 4101Thermal Physics (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 Hours72-74

    Note: PHYS 3091 is not available for major credit. 

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

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 Science in Physics

Requirements for New Students starting in the 2018-2019 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) 
General Education/Elective Credits6
 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) 
PHYS 2511Scientific Computing I1.5
General Education/Elective Credits6
 Term Credit Hours15.5
Year 2
Fall
MATH 2043 or 2943Calculus III4
PHYS 2063Wave Physics3
PHYS 3511Scientific Computing II1.5
General Education/Elective Credits7
 Term Credit Hours15.5
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 Elective13-4
General Education/Elective Credits6-5
 Term Credit Hours16
Spring
PHYS 3302Classical Electromagnetism (S)3
PHYS 3701Introduction to Quantum Mechanics (S)3
Science Elective13-4
General Education/Elective Credits6-5
 Term Credit Hours15
Year 4
Fall
PHYS 4101Thermal Physics (F)3
PHYS 4702Introduction of Atomic, Nuclear, and Particle Physics (F)23
PHYS 4302Optics (F)3
General Education/Elective Credits6
 Term Credit Hours15
Spring
PHYS 4701 or 4301Introduction to Solid State Physics (S)2,33
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