The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley

Physics (Pure and Applied Physics), Bachelor of Science

A Physicist has a solid understanding of fundamental laws, which in turn can be applied to a wide area of scientific and engineering fields. It is an exciting career that requires discipline and significant amount of work. It also requires development of mathematical, experimental, theoretical, and computational skills. As a result of the Physicist’s solid and broad background, Physicists can apply to a wide range of job opportunities, including National Laboratories and Research Centers, Industry, and Academia.

Core Curriculum - 42 Hours

The Core Curriculum serves as a broad foundation for the undergraduate degree. All candidates for a bachelor’s degree must achieve core student learning outcomes, including communication, critical thinking, empirical and quantitative skills, teamwork, personal responsibility and social responsibility, by completing courses within each category or component area of the Core Curriculum as outlined below.

The University has approved specific courses that satisfy Core Curriculum Requirements. Approved courses can be found on the Core Curriculum Page. Students seeking the most efficient way to complete the core curriculum and major or minor requirements are advised to take approved courses that can fulfill both requirements. Although core curriculum courses can also be used to fulfill major or minor requirements, earned credits hours are only applied once. The courses listed below fulfill core curriculum and major requirements. Students who have completed a core curriculum category with courses other than those listed below will still be required to take the listed course(s) to meet major requirements.

Mathematics – 3 hours

MATH 2413Calculus I

4

Life and Physical Sciences* – 6 hours

PHYS 2425Physics for Scientists and Engineers I

4

PHYS 2426Physics for Scientists and Engineers II

4

Note: *It is mandatory for students pursuing a BS in Physics to take face-to-face (onsite) lecture sections for PHYS 2425/2426.

090 Integrative and Experiential Learning – 6 hours

CSCI 1380Computer Science I

3

PHYS 2425Physics for Scientists and Engineers I

4

PHYS 2426Physics for Scientists and Engineers II

4

Complete any additional 1 credit hour course from 090 to satisfy the 6 credit hour requirement. Two credit hours from PHYS  2425 and PHYS 2426 applies. 

Major Requirements – 72 Hours (54 advanced minimum)

Required Courses - 45 hours

PHYS 2327Physics for Scientists and Engineers III

3

PHYS 3305Classical Mechanics

3

PHYS 3303Thermodynamics

3

PHYS 3304Optics

3

PHYS 3402Modern Physics

4

PHYS 3411Math Methods in Physics I

4

PHYS 3412Math Methods in Physics II

4

PHYS 4305Statistical Mechanics

3

PHYS 3301Electromagnetic Theory I

3

PHYS 3302Electromagnetic Theory II

3

PHYS 4303Quantum Mechanics I

3

PHYS 4304Quantum Mechanics II

3

PHYS 4300Undergraduate Research Project

3

 

PHYS 4101Laboratory Research

1

Or

PHYS 4306Advanced Physics Lab

3

 

Pure and Applied Physics Concentration - 18 hours

Advanced Physics Electives - 9 hours

Choose any advanced Physics (PHYS) courses.

Advanced Science Electives - 9 hours:

Science electives need to be accepted and approved to be suitable by the department chair of the physics department. Any courses with the prefix ASTR, BENG, BIOL, CSCI, CHEM, ELEE, EEMS, ENGR, ENGT, ENST, ENVR, GEOG, GEOL, MARS, MATE, MATH, MECE, PHYS, PSCISAFS, STAT can be used for this requirement. PHYS 1401/PHYS 1402 and PSCI 1421/PSCI 1422 cannot be used to satisfy this requirement.

Support Courses - 12 hours

MATH 2413Calculus I

4

MATH 2414Calculus II

4

MATH 2415Calculus III

4

MATH 3341Differential Equations

3

One credit hour from MATH 2413 applies.

Free Electives – 3 hours

Free electives credit hours required may vary to achieve the institutional minimum of 120 hours for a degree. 

Free elective credit hours at the advanced level may be needed to achieve the institutional minimum of 42 advanced hours. 

Total Credit Hours: 42

Total Credit Hours: 120