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102 Physics Bldg.
1315 N. Pine St.
Rolla, MO 65409
(573) 341-4781

Curriculum & Courses

The bachelor of science degree in physics lays the foundation to begin a career or to continue your education for a higher degree in graduate school in physics or other fields, such as law or medicine. The program has a high fraction of electives so that each student, in consultation with their advisor, can tailor a special program which suits their needs. This makes it easy to minor in Computer Science, Mathematics, or other fields. We offer a Five Year Masters Program for students of high achievement, and special programs for enhanced cooperative learning. To prepare in high school for our physics program, you should take as much mathematics, chemistry and physics as possible.

Freshman Year 
First SemesterCredit
Chem 1-General Chemistry4
Chem 2-General Chemistry1
Chem 4-Intro to Lab Safety & Hazardous Materials1
English 20-Exposition & Argumentation3
Math 8-Calculus w/Analytic Geometry I5
Physics 1-Introduction to Physics1

Second SemesterCredit
Chem 3-General Chemistry3
Hist ( 112, 175, 176) or Pol Sc 903
Math 21-Calculus w/Analytic Geometry II5
Physics 21-General Physics I4
Physics 22-General Physics Lab1


Sophomore Year 
First SemesterCredit
English 60-Writing & Research3
Math 22-Calculus w/Analytic Geometry III4
Physics 25-General Physics II4
Physics 26-General Physics Lab1
Comp Sc 73&77 or Comp Sc 74&78 or Comp Sc 53&543
Literature Elective3


Second SemesterCredit
Math 204-Elementary Differential Equations3
Physics 207-Modern Physics I3
Physics 212-Intermediate Physics Lab3
Physics 208-Introduction to Theoretical Physics3
Social Science Elective3


Junior Year 
First SemesterCredit
Physics 308-Physical Mechanics3
Physics 322-Advanced Physics Lab I3
Physics 307-Modern Physics II3
Math/Stat Elective13
Social Science Elective3


Second SemesterCredit
Physics 221-Electricity & Magnetism3
Physics 322-Advanced Physics Lab II3
Math/Stat Elective13


Senior Year 
First SemesterCredit
Physics 321-Electricity & Magnetism II3
Physics 361-Introduction to Quantum Mechanics3
Physics Elective3 (300 Level)3


Second SemesterCredit
Physics 311-Thermal Physics3
Elective-Hum (300 Level)3
Physics Elective3 (300 Level)3


NOTE: A minimum of 128 hours credit hours is required for the Bachelor of Science degree in physics. A student may count no more than two of their required physics and mathematics courses in which a grade of "D" has been earned to meet their degree requirements.

1 Six hours of mathematics or statistics beyond Math 204 are required. Math 208, 322, 325, or 351 is recommended.

2 Free electives may be used to develop an emphasis area.

3 In addition to the specific physics courses listed (Physics 307, 308, 311, 321, 322, 332, and 361), two other physics 300 level courses are required. Physics 305, 313, 323, 337, 357, 371, or 381 are recommended.

Minor Curriculum
 The minor in physics is a flexible program whose goal is to increase the breadth and competency of science and engineering students in modern or classical physics. Science students pursuing the physics minor will be interested in a deeper understanding of fundamental physical processes. Engineering students who intend to work in research or advanced development may use a physics minor to acquire a thorough knowledge of classical and quantum optics or laser processes.
 The physics minor consists of one course in Modern Physics, either Physics 107 or 207, and 12 additional hours of physics courses at the 200 level or above. The program wii be designed to conform to the individual's interests and needs.