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Bachelor of Arts Degree in Physics

The Bachelor of Arts degree in Physics provides opportunities for careers in several professional fields. It is not recommended for students planning to pursue graduate studies in physics or related fields.

The minimum number of semester credit hours required for this degree, including the Core Curriculum requirements, is 120. Thirty-nine of the total semester credit hours required for the degree must be at the upper-division level.

All majors in physics are required to complete all required and elective physics courses with a grade of “C-” or better.

All candidates seeking this degree must fulfill the Core Curriculum requirements and the degree requirements, which are listed below.

Core Curriculum Requirements (42 semester credit hours)
Students seeking the Bachelor of Arts degree in Physics must fulfill University Core Curriculum requirements in the same manner as other students. The courses listed below satisfy both degree requirements and Core Curriculum requirements; however, if these courses are taken to satisfy both requirements, then students may need to take additional courses in order to meet the minimum number of semester credit hours required for this degree. For a complete listing of courses that satisfy the Core Curriculum requirements, see pages 3-5 of this catalog.

MAT 1214 may be used to satisfy the core requirement in Math­ematics as well as a major requirement. PHY 1943 and PHY 1963 may be used to satisfy the core requirement in Life and Physical Sciences as well as major requirements.

Degree Requirements

  1. 33 semester credit hours of physics and astronomy courses:

    1. 27 semester credit hours of required courses completed with a grade of “C-” or better:

      PHY  1943, 1951  Physics for Scientists and Engineers I and Laboratory
      PHY  1963, 1971  Physics for Scientists and Engineers II and Laboratory
      PHY  2103, 2111  Modern Physics and Laboratory
      PHY  2823           Mathematical Physics I
      PHY  3203           Classical Mechanics I
      PHY  3293           Thermal Physics
      PHY  3343           Advanced Physics Laboratory
      PHY  3423           Electricity and Magnetism

    2. 6 additional semester credit hours selected from the following:

      AST  3013  Fundamentals of Astronomy
      AST  3023  Introduction to Astrophysics
      PHY  3143  Introduction to Computational Physics
      PHY  3313  Materials Physics
      PHY  3443  Modern Optics
      PHY  3603  Cosmology
      PHY  4013  Relativity: Special and General
      PHY  4263  Quantum Mechanics I
      PHY  4843  Condensed Matter Theory

  2. 54 semester credit hours required in the College of Sciences:

    1. 22 semester credit hours of required courses (excluding physics):

      CHE  1103   General Chemistry I
      CHE  1113   General Chemistry II
      CHE  1121   General Chemistry I Laboratory
      CS    1073   Introductory Computer Programming for Scientific Applications
      MAT  1214  Calculus I
      MAT  1224  Calculus II
      MAT  2214  Calculus III

    2. 32 additional approved semester credit hours from the College of Sciences including 18 upper-division hours

Course Sequence Guide for B.A. Degree in Physics

This course sequence guide is designed to assist students in completing their UTSA undergraduate Physics degree requirements. This is merely a guide and students must satisfy other requirements of this catalog and meet with advisors in the College of Sciences Undergraduate Advising Center for individualized degree plans. Progress within this guide depends upon such factors as course availability, individual student academic preparation, student time management, work obligations, and individual financial considerations. Students may choose to take courses during Summer terms to reduce course loads during long semesters.

B.A. in Physics - Recommended Four-Year Academic Plan

First Year
Fall Credit Hours
AIS 1203 Academic Inquiry and Scholarship (core) 3
CHE 1103 or 1143 General Chemistry I (core and major) 3
CHE 1121 General Chemistry I Laboratory 1 1
CS 1073 Introductory Computer Programming for Scientific Applications 3
MAT 1214 Calculus I (core and major) 4
WRC 1013 Freshman Composition I (core) 3
Spring
CHE 1113 or 1153 General Chemistry II 3
MAT 1224 Calculus II 4
PHY 1943
& PHY 1951
Physics for Scientists and Engineers I (core and major) 4
WRC 1023 Freshman Composition II (core) 3
College of Sciences elective **   2
Second Year
Fall
MAT 2214 Calculus III [TCCN: MATH 2415.] 4
PHY 1963
& PHY 1971
Physics for Scientists and Engineers II (core and major) 4
Social & Behavioral Sciences core   3
American History core   3
Spring
PHY 2103
& PHY 2111
Modern Physics 4
PHY 2823 Mathematical Physics I 3
PHY 3203 Classical Mechanics I 3
American History core   3
Component Area Option core   3
Third Year
Fall
PHY 3293 Thermal Physics 3
PHY 3423 Electricity and Magnetism 3
College of Sciences elective **   3
College of Sciences elective **   3
Language, Philosophy & Culture core   3
Spring
PHY 3343 Advanced Physics Laboratory 3
POL 1133 Texas Politics and Society (core) 3
College of Sciences elective **   3
College of Sciences elective **   3
Fourth Year
Fall
POL 1013 Introduction to American Politics (core) 3
College of Sciences elective **   3
College of Sciences elective **   3
College of Sciences elective **   3
Upper-division AST or PHY elective ***   3
Spring
College of Sciences elective **   3
College of Sciences elective **   3
College of Sciences elective **   3
Upper-division AST or PHY elective ***   3
Creative Arts core   3
  Total Credit Hours: 120.0

* These laboratory courses include a lecture component as indicated on the University Schedule of Classes.

** At least 18 semester credit hours of College of Sciences electives must be at the upper-division level.

*** From section A.2. of degree requirements.

Note: Some courses are only offered once a year; Fall or Spring. Check with the Department of Physics and Astronomy for scheduling of courses.

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