Physics B.S.

Click here to view the Suggested Plan of Study

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 (other options maybe available depending on AoE selected).
     
  • Writing and Communication Skills Requirement: Physics Bachelor of Science students fulfill the Writing and Communication Skills 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 496.
  • Calculation of the GPA in the Major: Students are required to maintain at least a minimum cumulative 2.2 GPA 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 completing a Bachelor of Science in Physics must complete an Area of Emphasis selected from Applied Physics, Biophysics, Computational Physics, Materials Science, Medical Physics, Physics Teaching, Professional Preparation, or Space Physics. The Professional Preparation Area of Emphasis is the typical plan of study for a B.S. degree in physics.
     
  • Course Requirement: Physics students completing the Materials Science, Professional Preparation, or  Space Physics Areas of Emphasis are required to complete two semesters of PHYS 341. Students completing Applied Physics, Biophysics, Computational Physics, or Medical Physics Areas of Emphasis only need to complete one semester of PHYS 341. Students completing the Physics Teaching Area of Emphasis are required to complete PHYS 376 in place of PHYS 341.
     
  • Benchmark Expectations: For details, go to the Physics admissions tab.

Curriculum Requirements

UNIVERSITY REQUIREMENTS23
Orientation to Physics
GEF Requirements (may vary depending on overlap)
ECAS B.S. REQUIREMENTS
Global Studies and Diversity Requirement
College Mathematics 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 Courses15
General Physics
General Physics
Introduction to Mathematical Physics
Introductory Modern Physics
Mathematics Requirement12
Calculus 2
Multivariable Calculus
Elementary Differential Equations
Science Electives: 8 credits in BIOL, CHEM, CS, or GEOL8
May overlap with Eberly B.S. Requirements
Physics Advanced Level Courses17
Theoretical Mechanics 1
Electricity and Magnetism 1
Theoretical Mechanics 2
Electricity and Magnetism
Advanced Laboratory *
Research Methods
Introductory Quantum Mechanics
Thermodynamics and Statistical Mechanics
Area of Emphasis18
Number of hours will vary, depending on Area of Emphasis.
General Electives27
Number may vary depending on overlap
Total Hours120
*

Please see individual AoE to select appropriate choice.

Suggested Plan of Study

First Year
FallHoursSpringHours
PHYS 1991ENGL 101 (F 1)3
GEF 2 (B.S. First Area 1)4Science Elective (B.S. First Area 2)4
F 43MATH 156 (B.S. Second Area 1; F 8)4
MATH 155 (F 3)4PHYS 111 (B.S. Third Area 1; F8 )4
General Elective3 
 15 15
Second Year
FallHoursSpringHours
ENGL 102 (F 1)3F 63
F 53MATH 2614
MATH 251 (B.S. Second Area 2)4PHYS 2113
PHYS 112 (B.S. Third Area 2; F8)4PHYS 3144
General Elective1General Elective1
 15 15
Third Year
FallHoursSpringHours
PHYS 3313ECAS Glo. St. & Div. Req. (F 7)3
PHYS 3333PHYS 332 or 3343
PHYS 3412PHYS 3412
AoE Course 14AoE Course 23
General Elective3General Elective4
 15 15
Fourth Year
FallHoursSpringHours
PHYS 4513PHYS 4613
AoE Course 33Capstone3
AoE Course 44AoE Course 53
General Elective3General Elective3
General Elective2General Elective3
 15 15
Total credit hours: 120

Areas of Emphasis

APPLIED PHYSICS

EE 221
EE 222
Introduction to Electrical Engineering
and Introduction to Electrical Engineering Laboratory
4
EE 223
EE 224
Electrical Circuits
and Electrical Circuits Laboratory
4
EE 251
EE 252
Digital Electronics
and Digital Electronics Laboratory
4
CPE 271Introduction to Digital Logic Design3
PHYS 496Senior Thesis3
or EE 481 Senior Design Project
Total Hours18

Suggested Plan of study

First Year
FallHoursSpringHours
PHYS 1991ENGL 101 (F1)3
F43CS 111 (B.S. First Area 2; F8)4
CS 110 (B.S. First Area 1; F2)4MATH 156 (B.S. Second Area 1; F8)4
MATH 1554PHYS 111 (B.S. Third Area 1; F8)4
General Elective3 
 15 15
Second Year
FallHoursSpringHours
ENGL 102 (F1)3F63
F53MATH 2614
MATH 251 (B.S. Second Area 2)4PHYS 2113
PHYS 112 (B.S. Third Area 2; F8)4PHYS 3144
General Elective1General Elective1
 15 15
Third Year
FallHoursSpringHours
PHYS 3313ECAS Glob. St. & Div. Req. (F7)3
PHYS 3333CPE 2713
PHYS 3413EE 223
EE 224
4
EE 221
EE 222
4PHYS 332 or 3343
General Elective2General Elective2
 15 15
Fourth Year
FallHoursSpringHours
EE 251
EE 252
4PHYS 4613
PHYS 4513PHYS 496 or EE 4813
General Elective3General Elective3
General Elective3General Elective3
General Elective2General Elective3
 15 15
Total credit hours: 120


SPACE PHYSICS

ASTR 367Astrophysics 13
EE 221
EE 222
Introduction to Electrical Engineering
and Introduction to Electrical Engineering Laboratory
4
PHYS 341Advanced Laboratory2
PHYS 321Optics3
Choose one of the following3
Plasma Physics
Astrophysics 2
PHYS 496Senior Thesis3
Total Hours18

Suggested Plan of Study

First Year
FallHoursSpringHours
PHYS 1991ENGL 101 (F1)3
F43CS 111 (B.S. First Area 2; F8)4
CS 110 (B.S. First Area 1; F2)4MATH 1564
MATH 1554PHYS 111 (B.S. Third Area 1)4
General Elective3 
 15 15
Second Year
FallHoursSpringHours
ENGL 102 (F1)3F63
F53MATH 2614
MATH 251 (B.S Second Area 1)4PHYS 2113
PHYS 112 (B.S. Third Area 2)4PHYS 3144
General Elective1General Elective1
 15 15
Third Year
FallHoursSpringHours
EE 221
EE 222
4ECAS Glob. Stu. & Div. Req. (F7)3
PHYS 3313PHYS 3213
PHYS 3333PHYS 332 or 3343
PHYS 3412PHYS 3412
General Elective3General Elective4
 15 15
Fourth Year
FallHoursSpringHours
ASTR 3673PHYS 4613
PHYS 4513PHYS 481 or ASTR 3683
MATH Elective3PHYS 4963
General Elective3General Elective3
General Elective3General Elective3
 15 15
Total credit hours: 120

BIOPHYSICS

BIOL 115Principles of Biology4
BIOC 339Introduction to Biochemistry4
CHEM 231Organic Chemistry: Brief Course4
or CHEM 233
CHEM 235
Organic Chemistry
and Organic Chemistry Laboratory
PHYS 496Senior Thesis3
Total Hours15

Suggested plan of study

First Year
FallHoursSpringHours
PHYS 1991ENGL 101 (F1)3
F 43CHEM 116 (B.S. First Area 2; F8)4
CHEM 115 (B.S. First Area 1; F2)4MATH 156 (B.S. Second Area 1; F8)4
MATH 155 (F3)4PHYS 111 (B.S. Third Area 1)4
General Elective3 
 15 15
Second Year
FallHoursSpringHours
ENGL 102 (F1)3F63
BIOL 1154MATH 2614
MATH 251 (B.S. Second Area 2)4PHYS 2113
PHYS 112 (B.S. Third Area 2; F8)4PHYS 3144
 General Elective1
 15 15
Third Year
FallHoursSpringHours
F53ECAS Glo. Stu. & Div. Req. (F7)3
PHYS 3313CHEM 233
CHEM 235
4
PHYS 3333PHYS 332 or 3343
PHYS 3413General Elective5
General Elective3 
 15 15
Fourth Year
FallHoursSpringHours
BIOC 3394PHYS 4613
PHYS 4513PHYS 4963
General Elective4General Elective3
Genaral Elective 4General Elective3
 General Elective3
 15 15
Total credit hours: 120

COMPUTATIONAL PHYSICS

CPE 271Introduction to Digital Logic Design3
CS 210File and Data Structures4
CS 220Discrete Mathematics3
PHYS 301Computational Physics3
PHYS 496Senior Thesis3
or CS 481 Senior Project
Total Hours16

suggested plan of study

First Year
FallHoursSpringHours
PHYS 1991ENGL 101 (F1)3
F43CS 111 (B.S. First Area 2; F8)4
CS 110 (B.S. First Area 1; F2)4MATH 156 (B.S. Second Area 1 (F8))4
MATH 155 (F3)4PHYS 111 (B.S. Third Area 1; F8)4
General Elective3 
 15 15
Second Year
FallHoursSpringHours
ENGL 102 (F1)3F63
F53MATH 2614
MATH 251 (B.S. Second Area 2)4PHYS 2113
PHYS 112 (B.S. Third Area 2; F8)4PHYS 3144
General Elective1General Elective1
 15 15
Third Year
FallHoursSpringHours
CPE 2713ECAS Glo. Stu. & Div. Req. (F7)3
PHYS 3313CS 2104
PHYS 3333PHYS 332 or 3343
PHYS 3413General Elective3
General Elective 3General Elective2
 15 15
Fourth Year
FallHoursSpringHours
CS 2203MATH Elective3
PHYS 3013PHYS 4613
PHYS 4513PHYS 496 or CS 4813
General Elective3General Elective3
General Elective3General Elective3
 15 15
Total credit hours: 120

MATERIALS SCIENCE

EE 221
EE 222
Introduction to Electrical Engineering
and Introduction to Electrical Engineering Laboratory
4
CHE 366Materials Science3
CHE 466Electronic Materials Processing3
PHYS 341Advanced Laboratory2
PHYS 471Solid State Physics3
PHYS 496Senior Thesis3
or CHE 456 Chemical Process Design 2
Total Hours18

Suggested plan of study

First Year
FallHoursSpringHours
PHYS 1991ENGL 101 (F1)3
F43CHEM 116 (B.S. First Area 1; F8)4
CHEM 115 (B.S. First Area 1; F2)4MATH 156 (B.S. Second Area 1; F8)4
MATH 155 (f3)4PHYS 111 (B.S. Third Area 1; F8)4
General Elective 3 
 15 15
Second Year
FallHoursSpringHours
ENGL 102 (F1)3F63
F53MATH 2614
MATH 251 (B.S. Second Area 2)4PHYS 2113
PHYS 112 (B.S. Third Area 2)4PHYS 3144
General Elective1General Elective 1
 15 15
Third Year
FallHoursSpringHours
EE 221
EE 222
4ECAS Glob. Stu. & Div. Req. (F7)3
PHYS 3313CHE 3663
PHYS 3333PHYS 332 or 3343
PHYS 3413PHYS 3412
General Elective2General Elective4
 15 15
Fourth Year
FallHoursSpringHours
CHE 4663PHYS 4613
PHYS 4513PHYS 4713
General Elective3PHYS 496 or CHE 4563
General Elective3General Elective3
General Elective3General Elective3
 15 15
Total credit hours: 120

MEDICAL PHYSICS

BIOL 115Principles of Biology4
BIOL 117Introductory Physiology4
CHEM 231Organic Chemistry: Brief Course *4
or CHEM 233
CHEM 235
Organic Chemistry
and Organic Chemistry Laboratory
PHYS 225Medical Imaging Physics3
PHYS 496Senior Thesis3
Total Hours18

suggested plan of study

First Year
FallHoursSpringHours
PHYS 1991ENGL 101 (F1)3
F43CHEM 116 (B.S. First Area 2; F8)4
CHEM 115 (B.S. First Area 1; F8)4MATH 156 (B.S. Second Area 1; F8)4
MATH 155 (F3)4PHYS 111 (B.S. Third Area; F8)4
General Elective3 
 15 15
Second Year
FallHoursSpringHours
ENGL 102 (F1)3F63
F53MATH 2614
MATH 251 (B.S. Second Area 2)4PHYS 2113
PHYS 112 (B.S. Third Area 2; F8)4PHYS 3144
General Elective 1General Elective1
 15 15
Third Year
FallHoursSpringHours
BIOL 1154ECAS Glo. Stu. & Div. Req. (F7)3
PHYS 3313BIOL 1174
PHYS 3333PHYS 332 or 3343
PHYS 3413General Elective4
General Elective3 
 16 14
Fourth Year
FallHoursSpringHours
CHEM 233
CHEM 235
4PHYS 2253
MATH Elective3PHYS 4613
PHYS 4513PHYS 4963
General Elective3General Elective3
General Elective2General Elective3
 15 15
Total credit hours: 120

Physics Teaching Area of Emphasis

PHYS 490Teaching Practicum3
Choose one of the following sets of courses6-8
Foundations, Functions and Regression Models
and Teaching Mathematics: Secondary School
Introductory Analytical Chemistry
and Organic Chemistry: Brief Course
Introductory Analytical Chemistry
and Physical Chemistry: Brief Course
and Experimental Physical Chemistry
Organic Chemistry: Brief Course
and Physical Chemistry: Brief Course
and Experimental Physical Chemistry
PHYS 496Senior Thesis3
Total Hours12-14

Suggested Plan of Study for the B.S. in Physics with an Area of Emphasis in Teaching

First Year
FallHoursSpringHours
F73ENGL 101 (F1)3
CHEM 115 (ECAS B.S. First Area 1; F2B)4CHEM 116 (ECAS B.S. First Area 2; F8)4
MATH 155 (F3)4MATH 156 (GEF 8; B.S. Second Area 1; F8)4
General Elective1PHYS 111 (ECAS B.S. Third Area 1; F8)4
PHYS 199 (First Year Experience)1 
General Elective2 
 15 15
Second Year
FallHoursSpringHours
F43ECAS Glob. & Div. Studies Req; F63
ENGL 102 (F1)3MATH 2614
MATH 251 (B.S. Second Area 2)4PHYS 2113
PHYS 112 (ECAS B.S. Third Area 2)4PHYS 3144
General Elective1General Elective1
 15 15
Third Year
FallHoursSpringHours
PHYS Teaching AoE Course 14PHYS Teaching AoE Course 24
PHYS 3313PHYS 3763
PHYS 3333PHYS 332 or 3343
General Elective3PHYS 4613
General Elective2General Elective2
 15 15
Fourth Year
FallHoursSpringHours
F53PHYS 4963
PHYS 4513General Elective4
PHYS 4903General Elective4
General Elective3General Elective4
General Elective3 
 15 15
Total credit hours: 120

 

Professional Preparation Area of Emphasis

PHYS 341Advanced Laboratory2
Physics Electives: Select 3 from any PHYS 300- or 400- level course** or the following ASTR courses9
Astrophysics 1
Astrophysics 2
Observational Astronomy
General Relativity
Math Elective: Any Math, Computer Science, Statistics course at the 300- or 400- level3
PHYS 496Senior Thesis3
Total Hours17

** No more than 6 hours combined of PHYS 490, 491, 494, 495, or 497 may be used to fulfill major requirements.

First Year
FallHoursSpringHours
PHYS 1991ENGL 1013
F43B.S. First Area 2; F84
B.S. First Area 1; F 24MATH 156 (B.S. Second Area 1; F8)4
MATH 155 (F 3)4PHYS 111 (Third Area 1; F8)4
General Elective3 
 15 15
Second Year
FallHoursSpringHours
ENGL 1023F63
F53MATH 2614
MATH 251 (B.S. Second Area 2)4PHYS 2113
PHYS 112 (B.S. Third Area 2; F8)4PHYS 3144
General Elective 1General Elective1
 15 15
Third Year
FallHoursSpringHours
PHYS 3313ECAS Glob. Stu. and Div. Req. (F7)3
PHYS 3333PHYS 332 or 3343
PHYS 3412PHYS 3412
General Elective4Physics Elective 13
General Elective3General Elective1
 General Elective3
 15 15
Fourth Year
FallHoursSpringHours
Math Elective4PHYS 4613
PHYS 4513PHYS 4963
Physics Elective 23Physics or Astronomy Elective 33
General Elective3General Elective 3
General Elective2General Elective3
 15 15
Total credit hours: 120