Physics Major

Description: A general program that focuses on the scientific study of matter and energy, and the formulation and testing of the laws governing the behavior of the matter-energy continuum. Includes instruction in classical and modern physics, electricity and magnetism, thermodynamics, mechanics, wave properties, nuclear processes, relativity and quantum theory, quantitative methods, and laboratory methods.

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Physics Major

What Kinds of Students Major in Physics?

The major in physics requires strong scientific and mathematical proficiencies. Successful students spend about 50 to 60 hours per week on academic studies. This includes time in classes and laboratories and about 30 to 40 hours in studying and preparing assignments. If you enjoy logic puzzles, such as mathematical word problems and you have a natural curiosity about how things work, then you will likely enjoy learning about physics.

Is Physics the right major for you?
Take the MyMajors Quiz and find out if it is one of your top recommended majors!

What Courses Do Physics Majors Take?

The required and elective courses you would take for Physics majors vary considerably among institutions. Courses are listed here that are illustrative of the breadth of topics you are likely to experience were you to major in this field.

  • Algorithmic Processes for Computers
  • Analysis
  • Chemical Principles and Measurements
  • Differential Equations
  • Electricity and Magnetism
  • Fundamentals of Inorganic Chemistry
  • General Physics
  • Mechanics: Dynamics
  • Modern Atomic Physics
  • Numerical Methods in Computing
  • Optics
  • Thermodynamics

Specializations In This Major

Various specializations related to a major in Physics may be offered by colleges and universities. These specializations may be of greater or lesser interest to you. A few of these specializations related to this field include, but are not limited to: