Degree Awarded

  • Associate of Arts

Nature of Program

Following completion of an associate degree, there are two bachelor degree options for students in physics.  The bachelor of science degree is for students wanting a career in research and is typically followed by graduate work in physics, materials science, astrophysics, or in other physical sciences. This bachelor of science degree program provides a comprehensive grounding in the fundamentals of physics and is usually accompanied by participation in research programs.

The bachelor of arts degree in physics is more flexible in that more free elective choices are available.  The increased flexibility helps prepare a student for a career that combines a science background with subsequent professional training, such as secondary education or medical school.  

The courses in physics provide a mix of theoretical concepts and practical examples.  Each course within a degree plan builds upon the knowledge base acquired in previous courses and, together, these courses allow a student to acquire the combination of physical insight and mathematical skill needed for success in today’s demanding job markets.

The associate degree program provides the first two years of undergraduate study for students planning to pursue a B.A. or B. S. Degree at West Virginia University or other comparable institutions.

Career Opportunities

Some graduates of the B.S. program accept positions in industry or in a government laboratory immediately, while many continue their education in graduate research programs. Career paths for physicists obtaining a B.A. degree may include secondary education, patent law, forensics, health physics, environmental engineering, journalism, government policy, and business management immediately or following further graduate training.

General Education FOUNDATIONS

Please use this link to view a list of courses that meet each GEF requirement.

NOTE: Some major requirements will fulfill specific GEF requirements. Please see the curriculum requirements listed below for details on which GEFs you will need to select.

General Education Foundations
F1 - Composition & Rhetoric3-6
Introduction to Composition and Rhetoric
and Composition, Rhetoric, and Research
Accelerated Academic Writing
F2A/F2B - Science & Technology4-6
F3 - Math & Quantitative Skills3-4
F4 - Society & Connections3
F5 - Human Inquiry & the Past3
F6 - The Arts & Creativity3
F7 - Global Studies & Diversity3
F8 - Focus (may be satisfied by completion of a minor, double major, or dual degree)9
Total Hours31-37

Please note that not all of the GEF courses are offered at all campuses. Students should consult with their advisor or academic department regarding the GEF course offerings available at their campus.

Curriculum Requirements

GEF Requirements (4, 5, 6, and 7)12
ENGL 101
ENGL 102
Introduction to Composition and Rhetoric
and Composition, Rhetoric, and Research (GEF 1)
MATH 155Calculus 1 (GEF 3)4
MATH 156Calculus 2 (GEF 8)4
MATH 251Multivariable Calculus4
MATH 261Elementary Differential Equations4
CHEM 115Fundamentals of Chemistry (GEF 2)4
CHEM 116Fundamentals of Chemistry (GEF 8)4
PHYS 111General Physics (GEF 8)4
PHYS 112General Physics4
WVUE 191First Year Seminar1
Total Hours60

Suggested Plan of Study

First Year
ENGL 101 (GEF 1)3MATH 156 (GEF 8)4
MATH 155 (GEF 3)4CHEM 116 (GEF 8)4
CHEM 115 (GEF 2)4PHYS 111 (GEF 8)4
WVUE 1911GEF Elective (GEF 5)3
GEF Elective (GEF 4)3 
 15 15
Second Year
ENGL 102 (GEF 1)3MATH 2614
MATH 2514GEF Elective (GEF 6)3
PHYS 1124GEF Elective (GEF 7)3
 14 16
Total credit hours: 60

Major Learning Goals


Upon successful completion of an A.A. degree, physics majors will be able to:

  1. Solve basic conceptual and quantitative problems in theoretical mechanics and electricity and magnetism.
  2. Perform accurate measurements of physical systems and communicate the results and implications of those measurements in writing.
  3. Use mathematical and chemical concepts to solve physics-related problems.
  4. Transfer into a bachelor degree program in physics.



  • Vicki Huffman - Ph.D. Biomedical Science

Assistant professor

  • Joan Vogtman - M.S. Applied Physics