Physics B.S.

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

Degree Requirements

Students must complete WVU General Education Foundations requirements, College B.S. requirements, major requirements, and electives to total a minimum of 120 hours. For complete details on these requirements, visit the B.S. Degrees tab on the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences pages.

Departmental Requirements for the B.S. in Physics

Students may not earn both a B.A. and a B.S. in Physics.  All students wishing to obtain a degree in Physics must comply with the following:

  • Capstone Requirement: The university requires the successful completion of a Capstone course.  Students majoring in Physics must complete PHYS 496.
     
  • Writing and Communication Skills Requirement: Physics Bachelor of Arts students fulfill the requirement by completing ENGL 101 and ENGL 102 (or ENGL 103), and two of the following  SpeakWrite Certified Courses TM:  PHYS 199, PHYS 341, PHYS 496, ASTR 469.
     
  • Calculation of the GPA in the Major: Students must maintain at least a minimum cumulative 2.2 GPA is required in all courses counted toward the major. If a course is repeated, all attempts will be included in the calculation of the GPA unless the course is eligible for a D/F repeat. 

  • Area of Emphasis: Students may elect to complete an Area of Emphasis in Applied Physics, Astro/Space Physics, Biophysics, Computational Physics, Material Science, or Medical Physics. For students who complete an AOE, the physics program will consist of Physics and Math requirements, and the AoE, but excluding 3 PHYS and one MATH electives.
     
  • Physics students are required to complete two semesters of PHYS 341. Students wishing to earn one of the following Areas of Emphasis: Computational Physics, Biophysics, Medical Physics, and Applied Physics only need to complete one.
     
  • Benchmarks Expectations : For details, go to the Physics admissions tab.

Curriculum Requirements

University Requirements19
First Year Seminar
GEF Requirements (may vary depending on overlap)
ECAS B.S. Requirements4
Global Studies and Diversity Requirement
Math Requirement
Calculus 1a with Precalculus
and Calculus 1b with Precalculus
or
Calculus 1
Science Requirement: Please see the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences' Bachelor of Science (B.S.) tab.
Departmental Requirements
Foundation Courses16
Orientation to Physics
General Physics
General Physics
Introduction to Mathematical Physics
Introductory Modern Physics
Mathematics Requirement16
Calculus 2
Multivariable Calculus
Elementary Differential Equations
Math Elective (any Math, Computer Science, Statistics course at the 300- or 400-level)
Science Electives: 8 credits in BIOL, CHEM, CS, or GEOL at any level8
Physics Advanced Level Courses19
Theoretical Mechanics 1
Electricity and Magnetism 1
Theoretical Mechanics 2
Electricity and Magnetism
Advanced Laboratory *
Introductory Quantum Mechanics
Thermodynamics and Statistical Mechanics
Physics Electives **9
Select 3 from:
Any PHYS 300- or 400- level course
Astrophysics 1
Astrophysics 2
Observational Astronomy
General Relativity
Capstone Experience3
Senior Thesis
General Electives26
Number may vary depending on overlap
Total Hours120
*

Two semesters of two credits each are required. Students completing an Area of Emphasis in Computational Physics, Biophysics, Medical Physics, or Applied Physics only need to complete one class (two credits) of PHYS 341.

**

Students completing an Area of Emphasis do not need to complete any electives.

Suggested Plan of Study

First Year
FallHoursSpringHours
WVUE 1911ENGL 101 (GEF 1)3
GEF 43GEF 8 (B.S. First Area 2; PHYS Science Elective 2)4
GEF 2 (B.S. First Area 1; PHYS Science Elective 1)4MATH 156 (GEF 8; B.S. Second Area 1)4
PHYS 1991PHYS 111 (GEF 8; B.S. Third Area 1)4
MATH 155 (GEF 3)4 
General Elective1 
 14 15
Second Year
FallHoursSpringHours
ENGL 102 (GEF 1)3GEF 63
GEF 53PHYS 2113
MATH 251 (B.S. Second Area 2)4PHYS 3144
PHYS 112 (B.S. Third Area 2)4MATH 2614
General Elective1General Elective1
 15 15
Third Year
FallHoursSpringHours
PHYS 3313ECAS Global Studies and Diversity Requirement (GEF 7)3
PHYS 3333Advanced Theory Requirement3
PHYS 3412PHYS 341 (Writing Course)2
General Elective4Physics Elective 13
General Elective3General Elective4
 15 15
Fourth Year
FallHoursSpringHours
PHYS 4513PHYS 4613
Physics Elective 23PHYS 4963
Math Elective 4Physics or Astronomy Elective 33
General Elective3General Elective3
General Elective3General Elective3
 16 15
Total credit hours: 120

Areas of Emphasis

APPLIED PHYSICS

EE 221Introduction to Electrical Engineering3
EE 223Electrical Circuits3
EE 251
EE 252
Digital Electronics
and Digital Electronics Laboratory
4
MAE 241Statics3
MAE 242Dynamics3
MAE 331Fluid Mechanics3
MAE 423Heat Transfer3
Capstone should emphasize an applied physics topic
Total Hours22


ASTRO/SPACE PHYSICS

ASTR 367Astrophysics 13
EE 221Introduction to Electrical Engineering3
EE 223Electrical Circuits3
EE 465Introduction to Digital Image Processing3
GEOL 455Introduction to Remote Sensing3
MAE 331Fluid Mechanics3
PHYS 321Optics3
PHYS 481Plasma Physics3
Total Hours24

BIOPHYSICS

CHEM 115Fundamentals of Chemistry4
CHEM 116Fundamentals of Chemistry4
CHEM 233
CHEM 235
Organic Chemistry
and Organic Chemistry Laboratory
4
CHEM 234
CHEM 236
Organic Chemistry
and Organic Chemistry Laboratory
4
CHEM 346Physical Chemistry3
CHEM 348Physical Chemistry3
BIOL 115Principles of Biology4
BIOL 117Introductory Physiology4
BIOL 219The Living Cell4
BIOL 310Advanced Cellular/Molecular Biology3
BIOC 339Introduction to Biochemistry5
PHYS 225Medical Imaging Physics3
Total Hours45

COMPUTATIONAL PHYSICS

CS 110Introduction to Computer Science4
CS 111Introduction to Data Structures4
CS 210File and Data Structures4
CS 470Introduction to Computer Graphics3
MATH 420Numerical Analysis 13
One CS or PHYS electives at the 200 level or above3
Capstone should emphasize a computational physics topic
Total Hours21

MATERIALS SCIENCE

CHEM 115Fundamentals of Chemistry4
CHEM 116Fundamentals of Chemistry4
CHEM 341Physical Chemistry: Brief Course3
CHE 366Materials Science3
CHE 466Electronic Materials Processing3
EE 450Device Design and Integration3
PHYS 321Optics3
PHYS 471Solid State Physics3
Total Hours26

MEDICAL PHYSICS

BIOL 115Principles of Biology4
BIOL 117Introductory Physiology4
BIOL 310Advanced Cellular/Molecular Biology3
CHEM 115Fundamentals of Chemistry4
CHEM 116Fundamentals of Chemistry4
CHEM 233
CHEM 235
Organic Chemistry
and Organic Chemistry Laboratory
4
CHEM 234
CHEM 236
Organic Chemistry
and Organic Chemistry Laboratory
4
EE 425Bioengineering3
EE 465Introduction to Digital Image Processing3
PHYS 225Medical Imaging Physics3
Total Hours36