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Bachelor of Science Degree in Physics

The Bachelor of Science degree in Physics provides opportunities for preparation for careers in industry and governmental agencies and for graduate study in physics or related fields.

The minimum number of semester credit hours required for this degree, including the Core Curriculum requirements, is 120. At least 39 of the total semester credit hours required for the degree must be at the upper-division level. All major and support work courses (including math, chemistry and computer science courses) must be completed 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 Science degree in Physics must fulfill University Core Curriculum requirements in the same manner as other students. The courses listed below satisfy both major 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. 54 semester credit hours of physics and astronomy courses:

    1. 45 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
      PHY  3443           Modern Optics
      PHY  3513           Electrodynamics
      PHY  3583           Mathematical Physics II
      PHY  4263           Quantum Mechanics I
      PHY  4423           Quantum Mechanics II
      PHY  4983           Unifying Concepts in Physics

    2. 9 additional approved semester credit hours selected from the following (a maximum of 6 hours from either PHY 4911-3 or PHY 4953 may apply to this requirement):

      AST  3013  Fundamentals of Astronomy
      AST  3023  Introduction to Astrophysics
      PHY  3143  Introduction to Computational Physics
      PHY  3313  Materials Physics
      PHY  3453  Lasers: Theory and Applications
      PHY  3603  Cosmology
      PHY  4013  Relativity: Special and General
      PHY  4203  Classical Mechanics II
      PHY  4563  Biophotonics
      PHY  4603  Crystallography and Materials Characterization
      PHY  4623  Nanotechnology
      PHY  4653  Introduction to Micro and Nanotechnology
      PHY  4703  Renewable Energy: Solar Energy Convertors
      PHY  4833  Molecular Biophysics
      PHY  4843  Condensed Matter Theory
      PHY  4911-3  Independent Study
      PHY  4953  Special Studies in Physics
      PHY  4993  Honors Research

  2. 33 semester credit hours required in the College of Sciences:

    1. 28 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
      MAT  2233  Linear Algebra
      MAT  3613  Differential Equations I

    2. 5 additional approved semester credit hours in the College of Sciences

Course Sequence Guide for B.S. 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 an undergraduate academic advisor 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.S. 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 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
Second Year
Fall
MAT 2214 Calculus III [TCCN: MATH 2415.] 4
MAT 2233 Linear Algebra 3
PHY 1963
& PHY 1971
Physics for Scientists and Engineers II (core and major) 4
POL 1013 Introduction to American Politics (core) 3
Spring
MAT 3613 Differential Equations I 3
PHY 2103
& PHY 2111
Modern Physics 4
PHY 2823 Mathematical Physics I 3
PHY 3203 Classical Mechanics I 3
American History core   3
Third Year
Fall
PHY 3293 Thermal Physics 3
PHY 3423 Electricity and Magnetism 3
PHY 3443 Modern Optics 3
PHY 3583 Mathematical Physics II 3
POL 1133 Texas Politics and Society (core) 3
Spring
PHY 3343 Advanced Physics Laboratory 3
PHY 3513 Electrodynamics 3
PHY 4263 Quantum Mechanics I 3
Language, Philosophy & Culture core   3
Social & Behavioral Sciences core   3
Fourth Year
Fall
PHY 4423 Quantum Mechanics II 3
College of Sciences elective   3
Upper-division AST or PHY elective **   3
Upper-division AST or PHY elective **   3
American History core   3
Spring
PHY 4983 Unifying Concepts in Physics 3
College of Sciences elective   2
Upper-division AST or PHY elective **   3
Creative Arts core   3
Component Area Option core   3
  Total Credit Hours: 120.0

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

** 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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