Major, Minors, and Tracks
The Department of Physics and Astronomy offers the bachelor of science (BS) degree in physics, with four major track options. We also offer a minor in physics and a minor in astronomy. General information about UA’s physics and astronomy programs are available in the UA Undergraduate Catalog.
The department also offers a high school physics teacher certification program and a second-major curriculum for engineering majors.
An Accelerated Masters Program for highly motivated undergrads is also available. General information can be found at the Graduate School website.
Physics Major Tracks
There are four tracks leading to the bachelor of science (BS) degree in physics:
- Graduate School track: for students considering graduate work in physics
- Includes Classical and Quantum Mechanics, Electricity and Magnetism, and Thermal Physics
- Astrophysics track: for students interested in astronomy or space science
- A mostly complete physics curriculum with an emphasis on understanding astronomical phenomena
- Physics Education track: for students who want to teach in grades K–12
- Adapted for integration with the teacher certification process
- Biophysics track: for students planning a career in a health profession
- Part of curriculum oriented toward physical underpinnings of biomolecular phenomena
Requirements for each track can be found in the UA Undergraduate Catalog.
You can formally declare a minor by completing the Change of Major/Minor Application online under the “Student” tab of myBama. The minor in physics requires successful completion of 18 semester hours. For more information, including a list of these courses, visit the physics minor page in the UA Undergraduate Catalog.
You can formally declare a minor by completing the Change of Major/Minor Application online under the “Student” tab of myBama. The minor in astronomy requires successful completion of 14 semester hours. For more information, including a list of these courses, visit the astronomy minor page in the UA Undergraduate Catalog.
High School Physics Teacher Certification
We have a new program to recruit and train students who are interested in becoming certified high school physics teachers. For more information, visit our PhysTEC website.
Double Major with Engineering
The Department of Physics and Astronomy also has a second-major curriculum tailored to engineering majors. The curriculum is constructed to allow appropriate engineering course substitutions as described in this summary with possible substitutions listed. Electrical and computer engineering majors need as little as 4 additional hours beyond their normal program to complete a second major in p hysics. This combination of fundamental and applied physics can be highly advantageous when the graduate enters the job market.
Further details pertaining to College of Engineering requirements, including a course flowchart, can be found at the Engineering/Physics double major website at the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.
Special Academic Programs
Accelerated Masters Program
The University of Alabama offers an ‘Accelerated Masters Program’ for highly motivated undergrads. The program may lead to simultaneous completion of requirements for both master’s and bachelor’s degrees, each within its specified framework. Upon completion, students enter the job market with increased earnings potential. More information is available at the Graduate School website.
The University of Alabama offers undergraduate students opportunities to participate in (a) cooperative exchange programs and (b) 1-2 semester national exchange program. Details on both programs can be found at the University’s Special Academic programs website.
For additional information, contact the Undergraduate Director, Dr. Adam Hauser.