Physics (BS)

Deepen your understanding of the natural world through rigorous quantitative analysis

Our Bachelor of Science in Physics program offers a rigorous, quantitative approach to understanding the natural world. Differentiating itself from the Bachelor of Arts program, it features enhanced focus on challenging subjects like Quantum Mechanics and Electricity & Magnetism. You'll also gain expertise in scientific computing through our Computational Physics course and engage in essential independent research for a well-rounded scientific education.


Campus Locations

Main Campus - Alfred, NY


Physics (BS)



All courses in section A below taken as part of the Physics major must be passed with a grade of
C or better; transferred courses must have approval from the Division of Physics and Astronomy
to receive major credit.

  1. Physics Courses: All must be taken (50 credits)
    PHYS125 Physics I (4 credits)
    PHYS126 Physics II (4 credits)
    PHYS3xx (proposed) Mathematical Methods in Physics (3 credits)
    PHYS325 Elementary Optics (3 credits)
    PHYS326 Elementary Modern Physics (3 credits)
    PHYS327 Computational Physics (3 credits)
    PHYS341 Advanced Physics Lab (2 credits)
    PHYS401 Quantum Mechanics I (3 credits)
    PHYS402 Quantum Mechanics II (3 credits)
    PHYS421 Statistical Mechanics (4 credits)
    PHYS423 Classical Mechanics (4 credits)
    PHYS424 Electricity and Magnetism I (3 credits)
    PHYS454 Electricity and Magnetism II (3 credits)
    PHYS450 Independent Study(2 credits)
    Upper Level (3xx or 4xx) Astronomy or Physics Elective (minimum 3 credits)
    Upper Level (3xx or 4xx) Astronomy or Physics Elective (minimum 3 credits)
  2. Prerequisite Courses: All must be taken (23 credits)
    CSCI156 Computer Science I (4 credits)
    MATH151 Calculus I (4 credits)
    MATH152 Calculus II (4 credits)
    MATH253 Calculus III (4 credits)
    MATH271 Differential Equations (3 credits)
    MATH371 Linear Algebra (4 credits)
  3. College, University, and Elective Requirements:
    University Requirements (8 credits)
    Wellness, Physical Education, Global Perspectives, Common Ground
    CLAS General Education Requirements (40 credits)
    Ten additional courses (I, I, II, II, A, B, C, D, E, E) (40 credits) one of which meets the First
    Year Experience (FYE) requirement
    Free electives to meet the college total of 124 total credits (3 credits)
Note: Prerequisite course MATH151 satisfies the Quantitative Reasoning requirement (III) and
PHYS125 and PHYS126 satisfy the Natural Science requirement (F)

View general education requirements.

In addition to fulfilling the requirements of the Physics BS major, as well as the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences general education requirements, you'll be required to complete the College's First Year Experience Program or Transfer Student Program.

Physics Minor:

PHYS 125 Physics I
PHYS 126 Physics II
PHYS 325 Elementary Optics
PHYS 326 Elementary Modern Physics
8 hours of 300 and/or 400 level courses in physics (4 hours may be taken in astronomy).

*Note: Since 300 and 400 level physics courses are only offered in alternate years, be careful scheduling.

A degree in Physics prepares students for a wide range of careers. According to the Institute of Physics, about one third of all physicists work in public service industries, one third in private industry, and one third in secondary and higher education. Physics graduates are qualified to work in career fields such as astronomy, medicine, engineering, research, computing, and even finance.

Recent examples include:

  • Teaching Assistant – University of Toledo
  • Measurements Engineer – Corning Incorporated
  • Toxicologist – New York Hospital
  • Engineer – EMS Technologies
  • Engineer – Mercury Corporation

Similar Programs

Considering majoring in the Physics BS but like the idea of having more career options after graduation? You should consider the Physics BA, adding a second major or minoring in a related program.

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