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Physics (B.S.)

Students earn a bachelor of science degree (B.S.) in physics. Several courses from the major requirements can be applied to fulfill IR requirements.

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A student who graduates from Thiel College with a major in physics will:

  • understand the fundamental concepts of the physical world, as they extend to mechanics, thermodynamics, optics, electromagnetism, relativity, atoms, the solid state and elementary particles.
  • understand common technical applications of fundamental concepts and the relation between physics and various engineering disciplines.
  • be able to use advanced mathematical and computational skills in solving a variety of problems in applied physics.
  • understand and apply the scientific method, in particular as it applies to the physical sciences.
  • relate the subject knowledge in physics to a variety of global problems, in particular those of energy generation, resource use, transportation and similar ones.
  • possess laboratory skills including the handling of instruments and apparatus, measuring techniques and data processing/analysis.
  • be proficient in word processing and at least one spreadsheet application for graphing and data analysis.

Major Requirements

Students earn a bachelor of science degree (B.S.) in physics. Several courses from the major requirements can be applied to fulfill IR requirements.

The required courses for a physics major (not including IR courses and electives) are as follows:


  • PHYS 174 Introductory Physics I (Calc)
  • PHYS 184 Introductory Physics II (Calc)
  • PHYS 213 Analog Electronics
  • PHYS 223 Thermophysics
  • PHYS 243 Digital Electronics
  • PHYS 253 Statics and Dynamics
  • PHYS 263 Modern Physics
  • PHYS 343 Electromagnetic Theory
  • PHYS 353 Intermediate Lab 
  • PHYS 363 Mathematical Physics
  • PHYS 424 Senior Project

The student majoring in physics shall carry out a project based on library research as well as laboratory and/or computational research as specified in course PHYS 424. He or she shall give a report on that project as a comprehensive examination.

In addition to the physics courses listed above, physics majors require the following additional courses, several as prerequisites:

Mathematics and Computer Science

  • MATH 181 Calculus I
  • MATH 182 Calculus II
  • MATH 281 Calculus III
  • MATH 302 Differential Equations
  • CSCI 159 Introduction to Programming


  • CHEM 140 General Chemistry I
  • CHEM 160 General Chemistry II

All courses counting toward the major in physics must be completed with a C minus or better.

Physics majors who intend to take an advanced degree in physics are encouraged to take more than the minimum required courses in physics, mathematics and chemistry. Students interested in pursuing an advanced degree in cross-disciplinary areas, such as chemical physics, biophysics or geophysics are encouraged to consult with their adviser and the departments in question as early as possible in their undergraduate careers so that an optimal program can be arranged.