Carthage offers a major and minor in physics. To earn a Bachelor of Arts in Physics from Carthage, students must complete the Carthage Core, Distribution Requirements, and the physics major requirements listed below.

Required Courses (40 credits)
  • PHY 1200 Fundamental Physics* (4 credits)
  • PHY 2200 General Physics I (4 credits)
  • PHY 2210 General Physics II (4 credits)
  • PHY 2300 Modern Physics (4 credits)
  • PHY 2970 Portfolio Seminar A (1 credit)
  • PHY 3960 Portfolio Seminar B (1 credit)
  • PHY 3970 Portfolio Seminar C (1 credit)
  • PHY 4120 Experimental Physics (4 credits)
  • PHY 4960 Portfolio Seminar D (1 credit)
  • PHY 4970 Portfolio Approval (0 credits)
  • MTH 1120 Calculus I (4 credits)
  • MTH 1220 Calculus II (4 credits)
  • MTH 2020 Differential Equations (4 credits)
  • MTH 2120 Multivariate Calculus (4 credits)

*With departmental approval, students may substitute CHM 1020 or EGR 1100 for PHY 1200.

Electives (16 credits)

In addition, physics majors are required to take 16 credits of coursework at the 3000 level or higher. With approval of the department chair, up to 8 credits may be selected from an approved list of science courses outside the Physics and Astronomy Department. The physics major elective courses may be selected to accommodate a wide variety of interests and career objectives. Students are encouraged to develop individual plans in consultation with a faculty advisor.

Students with an interest in astrophysics or the space sciences may choose to pursue the astrophysics concentration within the physics major. This graduate school preparatory track is a variant of the physics major that includes the following upper-level elective classes:

Required Courses (12 credits)
  • PHY 3100 Optics and Waves (4 credits)
  • PHY 4100 Astrophysics (4 credits)
  • PHY 4110 Observational Astrophysics (4 credits)
Choose Two (8 credits)
  • PHY 3200 Mechanics (4 credits)
  • PHY 3300 Thermodynamics (4 credits)
  • PHY 4200 Quantum Mechanics (4 credits)
  • PHY 4300 Electricity and Magnetism (4 credits)

Learn more about space sciences at Carthage

Students intending to pursue advanced degrees in physics should take electives that cover the core material required for admission to graduate school. These include:

  • PHY 3200 Mechanics (4 credits)
  • PHY 3300 Thermodynamics (4 credits)
  • PHY 4200 Quantum Mechanics (4 credits)
  • PHY 4300 Electricity and Magnetism (4 credits)

Students planning to pursue graduate education in engineering should consult a faculty advisor to select course electives that support their intended engineering specialty. Carthage offers a major in engineering science and two engineering dual-degree opportunities.

Learn more about engineering at Carthage

Students planning to teach physics at a secondary level should include these recommended electives in their coursework for the physics major:

  • PHY 3120 Electronics (4 credits)
  • PHY 3200 Mechanics (4 credits)
  • PHY 4150 Science of Global Climate Change (4 credits)
Required Courses (16 credits)
  • PHY 1200 Fundamental Physics* (4 credits)
  • PHY 2200 General Physics I (4 credits)
  • PHY 2210 General Physics II (4 credits)
  • PHY 2300 Modern Physics (4 credits)

* With departmental approval, CHM 1020 may be substituted for PHY 1200.

Electives (8 credits)

Students must also take two additional courses (8 credits) of 3000 level or higher in the Physics and Astronomy Department.

Honors are awarded at the discretion of the Physics and Astronomy Department. Students are eligible for Honors in physics if they: maintain an overall GPA above 3.5 and a physics GPA above 3.3 at graduation, undertake scholarly physics research or a substantial engineering design project that is presented in public or published, complete an honors thesis, and receive the formal recommendation of the department.

Current students, remember: You should follow the official College Catalog from the year you entered Carthage and work with your advisors and the department chair to ensure all requirements are met.