Undergraduate Requirements

Regulations for all Physics Majors, Concentrators, and Interdepartmental Majors

Majors and concentrators should plan their programs of study with the director of undergraduate studies before the beginning of the junior year. 

Prospective physics majors are strongly encouraged to begin one of the introductory physics sequences in their first year. Majors should aim to acquire as extensive a background in mathematics as possible.

The department considers laboratory experience to be an essential part of the physics curriculum. Majors and concentrators can gain such experience in the intermediate-level laboratories, the electronics laboratory and through experimental research in faculty research groups.


A grade of C- or better must be obtained for a course to count toward the majors or the concentration. The grade of P is not acceptable, but a course that was taken P/D/F may be counted if and only if the P is uncovered by the Registrar's deadline.


For a Major in Physics

Physics courses

A minimum of 41 points in physics courses, including:

  1. One of the following introductory sequences:
  2. The 18 point sequence of core physics courses PHYS W3003, PHYS W3007, PHYS W3008, PHYS G4021, PHYS G4022, PHYS G4023
  3. At least 6 points of elective courses chosen from a list including PHYS W3002PHYS G4003, PHYS G4011PHYS G4018, PHYS G4019, PHYS G4040, PHYS G4050 or, with the permission of the Director of Undergraduate Studies, 4000 or 6000 level courses offered in this or other science departments.
  4. 6 or 7 points of laboratory work at the intermediate level—either two semesters of PHYS W3081 and one semester of electronics laboratory, PHYS W3083, or three semesters of PHYS W3081. Approved experimental work with a faculty research group may satisfy one semester of the laboratory requirement.
  5. Senior seminar, PHYS W3072 (2 points)

Mathematics courses

Calculus through MATH V1202 or MATH V1208; and MATH V3027 or the equivalent. Recommended cognate courses: MATH V2010, MATH V3007 and MATH V3028.

For a Concentration in Physics

A minimum of 24 points in physics, including one of the introductory sequences.

For an Interdiscplinary Major

It is also possible to major in Astrophysics, Biophysics and Chemical Physics. Students interested in these areas should consult with the director of undergraduate studies and with cognate departments (Astronomy, Biological Sciences, Chemistry).