This is an archived copy of the 2017-18 catalog. To access the most recent version of the catalog, please visit

Physics and Computer Science

Since the dawn of the computer age, Computer Science and Physics have been closely intertwined disciplines. Computational physics is now an established branch of physics, complementing experiment and theory, that develops and applies computer modeling approaches to the solution of a wide range of physical problems. At the same time, software development (e.g., for graphics and data mining applications) is increasingly inspired by physics. Computer modeling, including simulation and numerical analysis, is an essential component of modern research and development. Correspondingly, the demand is growing for scientists with multidisciplinary training that combines fundamental knowledge of physics and computer science with practical skills in programming and computation. The Computer Science and Physics double major program is designed to allow students to complete the core requirements of both majors in a four-year degree. Graduates of the program will have a unique background qualifying them to work in industry or to pursue graduate studies in physics, computer science, engineering, or other technical fields.

Major Requirements

Major: Physics & Computer Science

Degree Type: B.A. or B.S.
Minimum Degree Credits to Graduate: 122

General Education Requirements for Baccalaureate Degree

  • A list of approved general education courses is available here .
  • General education courses may be used to satisfy requirements for both general education and the major, minor, and program emphases, where applicable. Students should carefully review the major, minor, and program emphases requirements for minimum grade restrictions, should they apply.
Communication (C)12
College Composition I
College Composition II
Fundamentals of Public Speaking
Upper Division Writing
Quantitative Reasoning (R) 3
Science and Technology (S) 10
Humanities and Fine Arts (A) 6
Social and Behavioral Sciences (B) 6
Wellness (W) 2
Cultural Diversity (D) *†
Global Perspectives (G) *†
Total Credits39

 May be satisfied by completing courses in another General Education category.

 May be satisfied with courses required in the major. Review major requirements to determine if a specific upper division writing course is required.

College Requirements

Bachelor of Arts (BA) Degree – An additional 12 credits Humanities and Social Sciences and proficiency at the second year level in a modern foreign language. *12
Bachelor of Science (BS) Degree – An additional 6 credits in Humanities or Social Sciences *6

 Humanities and Social Sciences may be fulfilled by any course having the following prefix: ADHM, ANTH, ARCH, ART, CJ, CLAS, COMM, ECON, ENGL, FREN, GEOG, GERM, HDFS, HIST, LA, LANG, MUSC, PHIL, POLS, PSYC, RELS, SOC, SPAN, THEA, WGS, or any course from the approved list of general education courses in humanities and social sciences (general education categories A and B). These credits must come from outside the department of the student’s major.

Major Requirements

A grade of ‘C’ or better is required for all CSCI, PHYS, and AST prefix courses.

Computer Science Major Requirements
CSCI 160Computer Science I4
CSCI 161Computer Science II4
CSCI 189Skills for Academic Success 11
CSCI 213Modern Software Development3
CSCI 336Theoretical Computer Science3
CSCI 366Database Systems3
CSCI 372Comparative Programming Languages3
CSCI 374Computer Organization and Architechure3
CSCI 467Algorithm Analysis3
CSCI 474Operating Systems Concepts3
CSCI ElectivesCSCI 313 and/or any 400-level CSCI course that is not already used.6
Physics Major Requirements:
PHYS 171Introductory Projects in Physics1
PHYS 251
University Physics I
and University Physics I Laboratory (May satisfy general education category S)
PHYS 251RUniversity Physics I Recitation1
PHYS 252
University Physics II
and University Physics II Laboratory (May satisfy general education category S)
PHYS 252RUniversity Physics II Recitation1
PHYS 350Modern Physics3
PHYS 360Modern Physics II3
PHYS 361Electromagnetic Theory (or PHY 370: Electromagnetic Theory at MSUM)3
PHYS 370Introduction to Computational Physics3
PHYS 355Classical Mechanics (or PHY 330: Internediate Mechanics at MSUM)3
PHYS 462Thermal and Statistical Physics3
PHYS 485Quantum Mechanics I3
PHYS 486Quantum Mechanics II3
Physics Electives: Select from the following:6
Research For Undergraduates
Optics for Scientists & Engineers
Lasers for Scientists and Engineers
Elements of Photonics
Statistical Mechanics
Condensed Matter Physics
Senior Project II (If not used to satisfy project requirement)
Astronomy courses (300/400-level) with departmental permissionsion
Related Required Courses
MATH 129Basic Linear Algebra3
or MATH 429 Linear Algebra
MATH 165Calculus I (May satisfy general education category R)4
MATH 166Calculus II4
MATH 265Calculus III4
MATH 266Introduction to Differential Equations3
MATH 270Introduction to Abstract Mathematics3
CSCI 445Software Projects Capstone3
or PHYS 489 Senior Project II
Total Credits103

 CSCI 189 is only required for first-time, first-year students--A first-time, first-year student is defined as a student who has not yet completed a college course as a college student.  Students that are not first-time, first-year students that either transfer into the university or change their major are not required to take CSCI 189.

Program Notes

  • Except for courses offered only as pass/fail grading, no course may be taken Pass/Fail.
PHYS 1711PHYS 2514
MATH 1654PHYS 251L1
CSCI 1604PHYS 251R1
CSCI 1891MATH 1293
ENGL 110credit automatically granted if you earn a "C" in ENGL 1204MATH 1664
ENGL 120can enroll in ENGL 120 if ACT score > 173CSCI 1614
Wellness Elective 2 
 19 17
PHYS 2524PHYS 3503
PHYS 252L1MATH 2663
PHYS 252R1COMM 1103
MATH 2654CSCI 3363
CSCI 2133Humanities/Fine Arts Elective3
MATH 2703Social/Behavioral Science Elective3
 16 18
PHYS 3603PHYS 3703
CSCI 3663ENGL 3243
PHYS 3553PHYS 3613
Humanities/Fine Arts Elective3CSCI 3723
 CSCI 3743
 12 15
PHYS 3613PHYS 4892
PHYS 4623CSCI 4673
Physics Elective3PHYS 4863
CSCI 4743CSCI 3133
CSCI 4XX Computer Science Elective3or CSCI 4XX Computer Science Elective 
Social/Behavioral Science Elective3Humanities/Fine Arts Elective3
PHYS 4853Social/Behavioral Science Elective3
PHYS 4881 
 22 17
Total Credits: 136