Degree Options
This information is accurate for the 20212022 academic year. All course requirements and offerings are subject to change. Meet with the undergraduate academic advisor regularly to check current requirements. For more information, explore our Undergraduate Handbook.
To declare a major or minor, contact the academic advisor.
The Physics major is designed to give students the deepest and broadest understanding of physics to lay a firm foundation for graduate work in physics or related discipline. Courses provide advanced and indepth instruction in topics that are the most important for success in physics graduate studies. This degree also provides practical experience in laboratory techniques, writing, and computer programming.
Core Physics Courses
PHYS 1970 
Undergrad Seminar I 
PHYS 1980 
Undergrad Seminar II 
PHYS 2210 
Physics I for Scientists & Engineers 
PHYS 2215 
Physisscs I Lab for Sci & Eng 
PHYS 2235 
Computation Lab for Physicists 
PHYS 2220 
Physics II for Scientists & Engineers 
PHYS 2225 
Physics II Lab for Sci & Eng 
PHYS 3740 
Intro to Quantum Theory and Relativity 
PHYS 3760 
Thermodyamics and Statistical Mechanics 
Advanced Physics Courses
PHYS 3719/3729 
Undergraduate Lab/Honors Undergraduate Lab 
PHYS 3730 
Computational Physics I 
PHYS 4410 
Classical Physics I 
PHYS 4420 
Classical Physics II 
PHYS 5450 
Intro to Quantum Mechanics 
Advanced Physics Electives
Select two courses below:
PHYS 5110 
Intro to Nuclear and Particle Physics 
PHYS 5210 
Intro to Gravitation 
PHYS 5460 
Quantum Mechanics and Statistical Mechanics 
PHYS 5510 
Solid State Physics I 
PHYS 5520 
Solid State Physics II 
Core Math Courses
MATH 1210 
Calculus I 
MATH 1220 
Calculus II 
MATH 2210 
Calculus III 
MATH 2250 
Differential Equations and Linear Algebra 
MATH 3150 OR 5440 
Partial Differential Equations for Eng OR Partial Differential Equations 
MATH 3160 OR 4200 
Applied Complex Variables OR Complex Variables 
Core Chemistry Courses
CHEM 1210/1211 
General Chemistry I/Honors General Chemistry I 
CHEM 1215/1240 
Gen ChemLab I/Honors Gen Chem Lab I 
CHEM 1220/1221 
General Chemistry II/Honors General Chemistry II 
CHEM 1225/1241 
Gen ChemLab II/Honors Gen Chem Lab II 
The Physics major with an Applied Physics emphasis is intended for students who want considerable physics knowledge, but who do not plan on a researchoriented career. It is helpful for those who are planning on doing graduate research in related areas such as engineering or earth science, who are thinking about law school, or who plan on going directly into industry after graduating with their bachelorâ€™s. By reducing the total number of semesters in classical and quantum physics from four to two, the Applied Physics emphasis allows students more time for additional practical courses. Students choose advanced and practical electives to best meet their goals and interests.
Core Physics Courses
PHYS 1970 
Undergrad Seminar I 
PHYS 1980 
Undergrad Seminar II 
PHYS 2210 
Physics I for Scientists & Engineers 
PHYS 2215 
Physics I Lab for Sci & Eng 
PHYS 2235 
Computation Lab for Physicists 
PHYS 2220 
Physics II for Scientists & Engineers 
PHYS 2225 
Physics II Lab for Sci & Eng 
PHYS 3740 
Intro to Quantum Theory and Relativity 
PHYS 3760 
Thermodyamics and Statistical Mechanics 
Advanced Physics Courses
PHYS 3719/3729 
Undergraduate Lab/Honors Undergraduate Lab 
PHYS 3730 
Computational Physics I 
PHYS 5010 
Classical Mechanics and Quantum Mechanics 
PHYS 5020 
Electricity and Magnetism and Statisical Physics 
Advanced Physics Electives
Select one course:
PHYS 5110 
Intro to Nuclear and Particle Physics 
PHYS 5210 
Intro to Gravitation 
PHYS 5510 
Solid State Physics I 
Practical Physics Electives
Select two courses:
PHYS 3330 
Digital Audio and Video 
PHYS 3410 
Found of Modern Optics 
PHYS 3610 
Electronics for Scientific Instrumentation 
PHYS 3620 
Data Aquisition for Scientific Instrumentation 
PHYS 4060 
Observational Astronomy 
PHYS 5760 
Principles of Physical Measurement and Instrumentation 
PHYS 4800 OR 4999 
Undergraduate Research OR Senior Honors Thesis 
Core Math Courses
MATH 1210 
Calculus I 
MATH 1220 
Calculus II 
MATH 2210 
Calculus III 
MATH 2250 
Differential Equations and Linear Algebra 
Math 3150/5440 
Partial Differential Equations for Eng/Partial Differential Equations 
Math 3160/4200 
Applied Complex Variables/Complex Variables 
Core Chemistry Courses
CHEM 1210/1211 
General Chemistry I/Honors General Chemistry I 
CHEM 1215/1240 
Gen ChemLab I/Honors Gen Chem Lab I 
CHEM 1220/1221 
General Chemistry II/Honors General Chemistry II 
CHEM 1225/1241 
Gen ChemLab II/Honors Gen Chem Lab II 
The Physics major with an Astronomy & Astrophysics Emphasis prepares students for graduate school in Astronomy or Astrophysics. At its core, it is the same sequence of courses that are in the Physics Bachelorâ€™s Degree, but the depth and breadth courses have been replaced with astronomy electives, allowing students to study astronomy as an undergraduate. Because it is a strong physics degree, students with this degree also attend graduate school in other areas of physics, or related fields.
Core Physics Courses
PHYS 1970 
Undergrad Seminar I 
PHYS 1980 
Undergrad Seminar II 
PHYS 2210 
Physics I for Scientists & Engineers 
PHYS 2215 
Physics I Lab for Sci & Eng 
PHYS 2235 
Computation Lab for Physicists 
PHYS 2220 
Physics II for Scientists & Engineers 
PHYS 2225 
Physics II Lab for Sci & Eng 
PHYS 3740 
Intro to Quantum Theory and Relativity 
PHYS 3760 
Thermodyamics and Statistical Mechanics 
Core Math Courses
MATH 1210 
Calculus I 
MATH 1220 
Calculus II 
MATH 2210^{2} 
Calculus III 
MATH 2250^{3} 
Differential Equations and Linear Algebra 
MATH 3150/5440 
Partial Differential Equations for Eng/ Partial Differential Equations 
MATH 3160/4200 
Applied Complex Variables/Complex Variables 
Advanced Physics Courses
ASTR 3070 
Foundations of Astronomy 
PHYS 4410 
Classical Physics I 
PHYS 4420 
Classical Physics II 
PHYS 5450 
Intro to Quantum Mechanics 
Topical Astronomy Electives
Select two courses:
ASTR 4070 
Extragalactic Astrophysics 
ASTR 4080 
Intro to Cosmology 
ASTR 4090 
Stellar Astrophysics 
ASTR 5560 
Stars and Stellar Populations 
ASTR 5570 
Galaxies 
ASTR 5580 
Cosmology 
ASTR 5590 
High Energy Astrophysics 
Practical Physics Electives
Select two courses:
PHYS 3410 
Found of Modern Optics 
PHYS 3610 
Electronics for Sci Instrument 
PHYS 3620 
Data Aquisition for Sci Instrumentation 
PHYS 3719/3729 
Undergraduate Lab/Honors Undergraduate Lab 
PHYS 3730 
Computational Physics I 
PHYS 4060 
Observational Astronomy 
PHYS 4800 OR 4999 
Undergraduate Research OR Senior Honors Thesis 
CMP 3850 OR 3851 
Dark Sky Studies: Lightscapes or Nightscapes 
Advanced Physics or Astronomy Electives
Select one PHYS/ASTR 5000level or higher course to fulfill this requirement.
The Physics major with a Biomedical Physics emphasis was designed by a professor in the department who holds both a PhD in Physics and an MD. The degree is designed with the intent of allowing students to complete their premed requirements as well as complete a degree in physics. This is an ideal degree for applying to medical school, dental school, or other medical professions. Students also use this degree program to prepare to study biophysics or medical physics. Students choose electives to best meet their goals and interests.
Core Physics Courses
PHYS 1970 
Undergrad Seminar I 
PHYS 1980 
Undergrad Seminar II 
PHYS 2210 
Physics I for Scientists & Engineers 
PHYS 2215 
Physics I Lab for Sci & Eng 
PHYS 2235 
Computation Lab for Physicists 
PHYS 2220 
Physics II for Scientists & Engineers 
PHYS 2225 
Physics II Lab for Sci & Eng 
PHYS 3740 
Intro to Quantum Theory and Relativity 
PHYS 3760 
Thermodyamics and Statistical Mechanics 
Core Math Courses
MATH 1210 
Calculus I 
MATH 1220 
Calculus II 
MATH 2210^{1} 
Calculus III 
MATH 2250^{2} 
Differential Equations and Linear Algebra 
MATH 4600^{3} 
Mathematics in Physiology and Medicine 
^{1}Qualified students are encouraged to substitute MATH 12501260 for MATH 121012202210.
^{2}Qualified students are encouraged to substitute MATH 22702280 for MATH 2250.
^{3}Students may substitute MATH 31503160 for MATH 4600.
Core Chemistry Courses
CHEM 1210/1211 
General Chemistry I/Honors General Chemistry I 
CHEM 1215/1240 
Gen ChemLab I/Honors Gen Chem Lab I 
CHEM 1220/1221 
General Chemistry II/Honors General Chemistry II 
CHEM 1225/1241 
Gen ChemLab II/Honors Gen Chem Lab II 
CHEM 2310/2311 
Organic Chem I/Honors Organic Chem I 
CHEM 2315 
Organic Chem Lab I 
Advanced Physics Courses
PHYS 3719/3729 
Undergraduate Lab/Honors Undergraduate Lab 
PHYS 5010 
Classical Mechanics and Quantum Mechanics 
PHYS 5020 
Electricity and Magnetism and Statisical Physics 
Advanced Physics Electives
Select one course from the advanced physics electives and one course from the practical physics electives:
Advanced Physics Electives:
 PHYS 4210: Optics in Bio
 PHYS 4230: Molecular Motors
 PHYS 4310: Physics in Biology
 PHYS 5110: Nuclear/Particle Physics
 PHYS 5510: Solid State Physics I
Practical Physics Electives:
 PHYS 3330: Audio and Video
 PHYS 3410: Modern Optics
 PHYS 3610: Electronics
 PHYS 3620: Data Aquisition
 PHYS 3730: Computational Physics I
 PHYS 4800: Undergraduate Research
 PHYS 4999: Senior Honors Thesis
 PHYS 5760: Physical Measurements and Instrumentation
Allied Courses
Select five credit hours from chemisty and four courses from biology.
Chemistry Electives:
 CHEM 2320/2321: Organic Chemistry II
 CHEM 2325: Organic Chemistry II Lab
 CHEM 3000: Quantitative Analysis
 CHEM 3100: Inorganic Chemistry
 CHEM 3130: Solid State Chemistry
 CHEM 3200: Radio Chemistry
 CHEM 5810: Nanoscience
 CHEM 4800: Undergraduate Research
 CHEM 4801: Honors Undergraduate Research
Biology Electives:
 BIOL 1610: Biology
 BIOL 2020: Cell Biology
 BIOL 2021: Cell Science
 BIOL 2030: Genetics
 BIOL 2210: Human Genetics
 BIOL 2420: Physiology
 BIOL 3510: Biochemistry
 BIOL 3215: Cell Biology Lab
 BIOL 3515: Biochemistry Lab
 BIOL 4955: Undergraduate Research
 BIOL 4995: Honors Undergraduate Research
The Computational Emphasis is designed for students interested in focusing on computational methods in physics and astronomy. A broad range of electives allows students to customize their experience toward their interests.
Core Physics Courses
PHYS 1970 
Undergrad Seminar I 
PHYS 1980 
Undergrad Seminar II 
PHYS 2210 
Physics I for Scientists & Engineers 
PHYS 2215 
Physisscs I Lab for Sci & Eng 
PHYS 2235 
Computation Lab for Physicists 
PHYS 2220 
Physics II for Scientists & Engineers 
PHYS 2225 
Physics II Lab for Sci & Eng 
PHYS 3740 
Intro to Quantum Theory and Relativity 
PHYS 3760 
Thermodyamics and Statistical Mechanics 
Core Math Courses
MATH 1210 
Calculus I 
MATH 1220 
Calculus II 
MATH 2210 
Calculus III 
MATH 2250 
Differential Equations and Linear Algebra 
MATH 3150 OR 5440 
Partial Differential Equations for Eng OR Partial Differential Equations 
MATH 3160 OR 4200 
Applied Complex Variables OR Complex Variables 
^{1}Qualified students are encouraged to substitute MATH 12501260 for MATH 121012202210.
^{2}Qualified students are encouraged to substitute MATH 22702280 for MATH 2250.
^{3}Placement into your computer science track will depend on your previous experience..
^{4}ASTR 3070 is a required prerequisite for other astronomy courses.
Advanced Physics Courses
PHYS 3730 
Computational Physics I 
PHYS 4410 
Classical Physics I 
PHYS 4420 
Classical Physics II 
PHYS 5730 
Computational Physics II 
Computational Electives
Select one course below:
CS 3200 
Intro to Scientific Computing and Data Computing 
CS 3500 
Software Practice 
CS 3190 
Foundations of Data Analysis 
CS 4230 
Parallel Programming 
CS 5635 
Visualization for Scientific Data 
DS 2500 
Data Wrangling 
MATH 5600 OR 5610 
Survey of Numerical Analysis 
MATH 5740 
Mathematical Modeling 
s
Core Computer Science Courses
Complete one set of courses^{3}:
CS 1400+ CS 1410+ CS 2420 
CS 1420+ CS 2420+ One Additional Computational Elective 
Physics and Astronomy Electives:
Select two courses in any combination from the list below or the computational electives list:
PHYS 5110 
Intro to Nuclear and Particle Physics 
PHYS 5210 
Intro to Gravitation 
PHYS 5450 
Intro to Quantum Mechanics 
PHYS 5460 
Quantum Mechanics and Statistical Mechanics 
PHYS 5510 
Solid State Physics I 
PHYS 5520 
Solid State Physics II 
PHYS 3719 
Undergraduate Lab 
ASTR 3070^{4} 
Foundations of Astronomy 
ASTR 4060 
Observational Astronomy 
ASTR 4070 
Extragalactic Astrophysics 
ASTR 4080 
Intro to Cosmology 
ASTR 4090 
Stellar Astrophysics 
The Physics Teaching major is intended for students who plan on becoming teachers in the secondary school system. It includes all the required courses for an endorsement in Physics through the Utah State Office of Education, a sampling of courses required for the licensure program through the Urban Institute for Teacher Education (UITE), as well as additional depth and breadth courses beneficial for physics teachers. Students in this degree program should also meet with the UITE advisors.
Core Physics Courses
PHYS 1970 
Undergrad Seminar I 
PHYS 1980 
Undergrad Seminar II 
PHYS 2210 
Physics I for Scientists & Engineers 
PHYS 2215 
Physics I Lab for Sci & Eng 
PHYS 2235 
Computation Lab for Physicists 
PHYS 2220 
Physics II for Scientists & Engineers 
PHYS 2225 
Physics II Lab for Sci & Eng 
PHYS 3740 
Intro to Quantum Theory and Relativity 
PHYS 3760 OR CHEM 3070 
Thermodyamics and Statistical Mechanics OR Thermodynamics and Chemical Kinematics 
PHYS 3719/3729 
Undergraduate Lab 
Core Math Courses
MATH 1050  College Algebra 
MATH 1060 
Trigonometry 
MATH 1210 
Calculus I 
MATH 1220 
Calculus II 
MATH 2210^{1} 
Calculus III 
MATH 2250^{2} 
Differential Equations and Linear Algebra 
^{1}Qualified students are encouraged to substitute MATH 12501260 for MATH 121012202210.
^{2}Qualified students are encouraged to substitute MATH 22702280 for MATH 2250.
Core Chemistry Courses
CHEM 1210/1211 
General Chemistry I/Honors General Chemistry I 
CHEM 1215/1240 
Gen ChemLab I/Honors Gen Chem Lab I 
CHEM 1220/1221 
General Chemistry II/Honors General Chemistry II 
Advanced Physics Courses
PHYS 4410 
Classical Physics I 
PHYS 5140 
Physics Education Research 
ASTR 3070 
Foundations of Astronomy 
PHYS or ASTR

Any elective 3000level or higher (except PHYS 3111 or 3670 
Education Courses
EDU 1010 OR SCI 3670 OR SCI 5050 
Intro to Teaching OR Science Communication and Mentoring OR Science of Learning 
ETHNC 25** 
Ethnic Studies Elective (2550, 2570, 2580, 2590) 
ECS 2150 OR SCI 3900 
Intro to Multi Cultural Ed OR Being Human in STEM 
ED PS 3721 
Adolescent Psychology 
EDU 5170 
Secondary Science Methods 
ECS 5709 
Building Family Partnership 
Allied Electives Courses
Select one course:
 ATMOS 1010: Severe and Unusual Weather
 ATMOS 1020: Climate Change
 ATMOS 5400: The Climate System
Combined BS/MEd Degree
Students interested in completing the combined BS/MEd degree in 5 years should meet with their physics and education advisors as soon as possible to create a plan to complete in a timely manner. Graduate work is completed through the Urban Institute of Teacher Education.
Honors College Requirements
2 Intellectual Traditions Courses 
6 
1 Honors Writing Course 
3 
1 Honors Science Course 
34 
Honors Electives 
9 
Honors Thesis (PHYS/ASTR 4999) 
3 
For more information about the Honors College, advising, other degree requirements, or how to apply, please visit the Honors College website.
Department Requirements
In addition to the requirements for the physics degree, students seeking an Honors Degree must also meet the following requirements:




For more departmental information about Honors, click here.
Honors Courses
Courses offered by the Department of Physics & Astronomy that fill Honors elective requirements are:
PHYS 3210 
Physics I for Scientists 
PHYS 3220 
Physics II for Scientists 
PHYS 3729 
Honors Undergraduate Lab 
PHYS 4410 
Classical Physics I 
PHYS 4420 
Classical Physics II 
PHYS 4800 
Undergraduate Researchss 
PHYS 5450 
Intro to Quantum Mechanics 
PHYS 5460 
Quantum Mechanics and Statistical Mechanics 
PHYS 5510 
Solid State Physics I 
PHYS 5520 
Solid State Physics II 
ASTR/PHYS 5560 
Stars and Stellar Populations 
ASTR/PHYS 5570 
Galaxies 
ASTR/PHYS 5580 
Cosmology 
The physics minor is designed for students outside of the major to gain an deep knowledge and understanding of physics.
Any University of Utah student with a declared major other than physics can add a physics minor.
Physics minors must complete all general education and College of Science requirements and have a GPA of at least 2.0 in physics courses combined. All physics, math, and chemistry classes must be passed with at least a C grade. The credit/nocredit option may not be elected for any course used to fulfill the degree requirements for a physics minor.
Required Physics Courses
Select up to ten credit hours from the list below:
PHYS 2210 
Physics I for Scientists & Engineers 
4 
PHYS 2215 
Physics I Lab for Scientists & Engineers 
1 
PHYS 2235 
Computation Lab for Physicists 
1 
PHYS 2220 
Physics II for Scientists & Engineers 
4 
PHYS 2225 
Physics II Lab for Scientists & Engineers 
1 
Upper Division Courses
Select six or more credit hours of upper division approved coursework, totalling 16 credit hours.
To fulfill requirement, student must take any Physics or Astronomy course numbered 30005999, except:
PHYS 3111, PHYS 3210, PHYS 3220, PHYS 3670, PHYS 3949, PHYS 3970, PHYS 4800, PHYS 4999
Astronomy is a profound and fundamental science that has never ceased to fascinate the general public and attract the imagination of students.
Any University of Utah student with a declared major other than physics can add an Astronomy minor.
Astronomy minors must complete all general education and College of Science requirements and have a GPA of at least 2.0 in physics, astronomy and mathematics courses combined. All physics, astronomy and mathematics courses must be passed with at least a C grade. The credit/no credit option may not be elected for any course used to fulfill the degree requirements for an astronomy minor.
Required Courses
MATH 1210 
Calculus I 
MATH 1220 
Calculus II 
MATH 2210 
Calculus III 
PHYS 2210 
Physics I for Scientists & Engineers 
PHYS 2220 
Physics II for Scientists & Engineers 
ASTR 3070 
Foundations of Astronomy 
Elective Courses
Select three courses from the list below:
ASTR 4060 
Observational Astronomy 
ASTR 4070 
Extragalactic Astrophysics 
ASTR 4080 
Intro to Cosmology 
ASTR 4090 
Stellar Astrophysics 
ASTR 5560 
Stars and Stellar Populations 
ASTR 5570 
Galaxies 
ASTR 5580 
Cosmology 
Students declaring this minor must have declared a teaching major in another subject.
Required Physics and Math Courses
PHYS 2210 
Physics I for Scientists & Engineers 
PHYS 2215 
Physics I Lab for Sci & Eng 
PHYS 2220 
Physics II for Scientists & Engineers 
PHYS 2225 
Physics II Lab for Sci & Eng 
PHYS 3740 
Intro to Quantum Theory and Relativity 
MATH 1210 
Calculus I 
MATH 1220 
Calculus II 
MATH 2210 
Calculus III 
MATH 2250 
Differential Equations and Linear Algebra 
^{1}Qualified students are encouraged to substitute MATH 12501260 for MATH 121012202210.
^{2}Qualified students are encouraged to substitute MATH 22702280 for MATH 2250.
Other Requirements
EDU 5170 
Secondary Science Methodss 

Select at least one course of upper division approved coursework: Any Physics or Astronomy course numbered 30005999, except: PHYS 3111, PHYS 3210, PHYS 3220, PHYS 3670, PHYS 3949, PHYS 3970, PHYS 4800, PHYS 4999 
This minor is hosted by the College of Architecture and Planning, and interested students will need to meet with a Student Success Advisor in order to declare this minor.
Students are required to complete at least 18 credits: 3 required courses, and 4 elective courses. You can find more details about the minor program here.
Astronomy courses that fulfill these electives:
ASTR 1050: The Solar System,
ASTR 1060: The Universe,
ASTR 3070: Foundations of Astronomy,
and ASTR 4060: Observational Astronomy.
Click Here to Schedule an Appointment with an Academic Advisor