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Undergraduate Program Overview

The Department of Physics offers the bachelor of science in physics and the accelerated B.S./M.S. physics program. The curriculum in physics prepares students for technical careers in physics or in an allied area; for careers in engineering, through either the double major in physics and engineering or the pre-engineering program; and for the teaching of physics in secondary schools. The curriculum also prepares students for graduate studies in physics or in a related area, and for graduate studies of a profession in fields such as business, medical science, environmental science, law, or science writing.

Physics majors interested in teaching careers in elementary, middle, secondary or special education can enter the Extended Teacher Preparation Program that results in the simultaneous awarding of a bachelor’s degree in physics and a master’s degree in teaching. For more information about this program jointly administered by the School of Education and the College of Humanities and Sciences, contact the School of Education’s Office of Academic Services.

Students interested in preparing for studies in engineering should refer to the School of Engineering.

The department also offers required and elective courses for students in other programs along with students majoring in physics.

Bachelor of Science in Physics

The Bachelor of Science in Physics requires a minimum of 120 credits, including 54 credits in physics and physics-related courses, as detailed in the course lists.

The curriculum in physics prepares students for technical careers in physics or an allied area, for careers in engineering and for the teaching of physics in secondary schools. The curriculum also prepares students for graduate studies in physics or a related area.

B.S. in Physics Degree Requirements

Double majors (B.S.) in Engineering and Physics (School of Engineering)

This program provides biomedical, chemical and life science, electrical, computer, and mechanical engineering majors the opportunity to earn a double major in physics, requiring an additional 13 to 19 credits beyond the hours required for the primary engineering major.

B.S. in Engineering and Physics Degree Requirements

Minor in Physics

Minor in Physics Requirements

Accelerated B.S./M.S. Physics Program

Students who are enrolled in the Bachelor of Science in Physics program may elect to take graduate courses that will count toward the Master of Science in Physics and Applied Physics degree. Up to six hours of graduate credit may be earned in this way without any special provision. In order to offer more than six hours of pre-admission graduate credit toward the graduate degree, a student must apply to the physics department Graduate Admission Committee for admission to the Accelerated B.S.-M.S. program.

More information is at the VCU Bulletins.