If you are interested in pursuing physics as a major, you should schedule an appointment to speak with a counselor as early as possible (even in your first year). In a face-to-face meeting we can much better provide you with the information you need. Since much of the physics curriculum is sequential, with one course building on another, it is a good idea to do some planning of your curriculum early on.
Prerequisites for the majors:
- Math courses up through MATH 216 (Differential Equations) or the equivalent
- One of the following introductory sequences and labs:
- PHYSICS 135/136 & 235/236 (Life Sciences)
- PHYSICS 140/141 & 240/241(Calculus Based; Recommended for Engineers)
- PHYSICS 160/161 & 260/261 (Honors — more in depth, using a modern perspective)
- PHYSICS 340: Waves, Heat, and Light
- PHYSICS 351: Methods of Theoretical Physics
Completing an undergraduate degree in physics will give you a rich understanding of how the world works. It will also prepare you either for continued study in graduate or professional school, or for careers in industry, education, medicine, and finance.
An Honors Concentration in Physics or Interdisciplinary Physics (IP) puts you in a distinguished category of individuals who are focused on becoming next generation leaders, in physics as well as in related scientific, technical and policy areas. The Physics/IP Honors Concentration provides first-year students with smaller introductory classes and offers all students the chance to develop their talents in a research-focused, community setting.
Students who minor in physics may do so out of general interest in the discipline, or may wish to complement their major in another field in ways that help integrate their cross-disciplinary interests in physics. An academic minor in physics is not open to students with a major in Engineering Physics.
Interdisciplinary Physics B.S.
The Interdisciplinary Physics concentration allows students the flexibility to supplement their core study of physics with courses in complementary fields. This concentration can be an effective preparation for graduate study in the sciences, for medical, law, and business schools, or for direct entry into the job market. Because students pursuing the Interdisciplinary Physics degree have a wide variety of career goals, advising from a Physics concentration advisor is especially important.
Teacher Certification in Physics
Students who wish to earn a secondary teaching certificate in physics must apply to the School of Education certification program and take specific Physics courses required for a Michigan Provisional Teaching Certificate. LSA students can remain in LSA to earn a BA or BS in Interdisciplinary Physics and include the education course component over three terms. If the application is made during the sophomore year, it might be possible to complete everything in four years.