Physics Major: Materials Science Option (B.S.)

This option combines courses from the Physics and other departments to provide training in physics and materials science, an area that has proven industrial demand. In addition to the core courses in classical and modern physics, the students will take six courses in which they will study materials synthesis and properties and get hands-on training in materials characterization techniques, such as diffraction, electron microscopy, scanning probe microscopy, and photoelectron spectroscopy. Two semesters of thesis work in a research lab complement the training in the classroom. Students completing this program will have a wide variety of career opportunities to pursue, for example, in microelectronics, advanced materials synthesis and design, and thin film engineering. Alternatively, they are qualified for postgraduate programs in condensed matter physics or materials science.

University Discovery requirements 1
Bachelor of Science requirements
Physics requirements:
PHYS 400Freshman Seminar1
PHYS 407General Physics I4
PHYS 408General Physics II4
PHYS 505
PHYS 506
General Physics III
and General Physics III Laboratory
PHYS 508Thermodynamics and Statistical Mechanics4
PHYS 605Experimental Physics I5
PHYS 615Classical Mechanics and Mathematical Physics I4
PHYS 616Classical Mechanics and Mathematical Physics II4
PHYS 701Quantum Mechanics I4
PHYS 703Electricity and Magnetism I4
PHYS 705Experimental Physics II4
Independent Study
and Thesis
Senior Project
Mechanical Engineering:
ME 561Introduction to Materials Science4
ME 730Mechanical Behavior of Materials4
ME #760Physical Metallurgy I4
MATH 425Calculus I4
MATH 426Calculus II4
Select one of the following options: 212
Option A:
Linearity I
Linearity II
Option B:
Multidimensional Calculus
Differential Equations with Linear Algebra
Introduction to Linear Algebra
Linear Algebra for Applications
Computer Programming:
CS 410PIntroduction to Scientific Programming/Python4
or IAM 550 Introduction to Engineering Computing
Electives in Option
Select three courses of the following:
Fracture and Fatigue Engineering Material
Diffraction and Imaging Methods in Materials Science
Special Topics
Condensed Matter Physics
CHEM 403General Chemistry I4
or CHEM 405 Chemical Principles for Engineers

 Note that no physics course can satisfy these requirements for a physics major. The rationale behind this is that a course in physics does not broaden the education of a physics major.


The Department generally recommends MATH 645 Linear Algebra for Applications over MATH 545 Introduction to Linear Algebra for physics majors, but the best option, when possible, is MATH 525 Linearity I-MATH 526 Linearity II.

By the end of the spring semester of the sophomore year, a student must have a minimum grade of C in each 400- or 500-level course specifically required for the B.S. degree and an overall grade-point average of at least 2.33 in these courses in order to continue in the B.S. program.