The Department of Physics and Astronomy offers major and minor programs in physics and a minor in astronomy. The department also offers a second-major curriculum for engineering majors.  See further details below.

Physics Major

Admission into the Major

Students are expected to formally declare a major no later than the fourth semester of full-time enrollment (or at 61 semester hours for transfer students). You can declare a major by completing the Change of Major/Minor Application online under the “Student” tab of myBama.

Tracks and Required Courses

Students majoring in physics choose one of four tracks:

  • 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.

Each of these tracks has slightly different course requirements. These are listed in the UA Undergraduate Catalog, on the page dedicated to the physics major.

Degree Requirements

Students earning the bachelor of science (BS) degree with a major in physics must complete all University, college, and departmental degree requirements. For full requirements, please refer to the Physics Major section of the UA Undergraduate Catalog.

Physics Minor

Admission into the Minor

You can formally declare a minor by completing the Change of Major/Minor Application online under the “Student” tab of myBama.

Minor Courses

The minor in physics requires successful completion of 18 semester hours. For more information, including a list of these courses, visit the UA Undergraduate Catalog page on the physics minor.

Engineering and Physics Double Major

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 Physics.  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.