Academic Catalog

Physics (B.A.)

This program is intended to meet the needs of several kinds of students:

  1. students wishing to major in physics who have transferred to Wayne State University after one or two years at a community college, but whose background in physics and mathematics does not complement the content, level, or scheduling of remaining course requirements well enough to permit completion of the Bachelor of Science degree curriculum in a reasonable time;
  2. students who wish to pursue a general course of education in the sciences with physics as an area of concentration. Those who undertake such a program are sometimes interested in the study of physics as an integrated part of a broad educational background;
  3. students who decide relatively late in their college careers (for example, during the sophomore year) that they wish to major in physics.

It should be emphasized that completion of the Bachelor of Arts program instead of the Bachelor of Science program does not preclude later graduate work in physics. In most cases, it will mean that the student will spend part or all of his/her first year in graduate school making up deficiencies in his or her physics and mathematics background. Generally speaking, such deficiencies may be determined by consulting the Suggested Course Sequence of the Bachelor of Science degree in physics.

Admission requirements for this program are satisfied by the general requirements for undergraduate admission to the University.

Candidates must complete 120 credits in course work including satisfaction of the University General Education Requirements and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Group Requirements, as well as the Departmental major requirements cited below. All course work must be completed in accordance with the regulations of the University and the College governing undergraduate scholarship and degrees.

Students must receive a grade of C- or better in all physics and/or astronomy courses. A cumulative grade point average of 2.0 or higher for all course work is required for graduation.

For the B.A. in physics, students must complete:

PHY 2170
PHY 2171
University Physics for Scientists I
and University Physics Laboratory *
PHY 2180
PHY 2181
University Physics for Scientists II
and University Physics Laboratory II *
PHY 3300
PHY 3310
Introductory Modern Physics
and Introductory Modern Physics Laboratory
PHY 3500Introduction to Thermal and Fluid Physics3
PHY 3750Introduction to Computational Methods1
PHY 5620
PHY 5621
Electronics and Electrical Measurements
and Electronics and Electrical Measurements Laboratory
PHY 6750Applied Computational Methods2
PHY 6850Modern Physics Laboratory2
Two electives in physics, astronomy or mathematics 6-8
MAT 2010Calculus I4
MAT 2020Calculus II4
CHM 1100
CHM 1130
General Chemistry I
and General Chemistry I Laboratory
Total Credits47-49

A student may present credits in PHY 2130PHY 2140 or equivalent, in lieu of PHY 2170 and PHY 2180, with the consent of the Departmental Undergraduate advisor.

Physics and Biomedical Physics Honors Program

Undergraduate majors, in both Physics and Biomedical Physics, with a minimum grade point average of 3.3 can enroll in the Honors program of the Department of Physics and Astronomy. Prospective students should consult the departmental Undergraduate Academic Advisor as soon as they declare their major to learn about specific requirements.

Physics AGRADE Program

Seniors in Physics and Astronomy, with a minimum grade point average of 3.5, may enroll simultaneously in the undergraduate and graduate programs. These students can apply up to fifteen credits towards both the bachelors and masters degrees in physics. Contact Undergraduate Academic Advisor for further information.

Back to top