Major Requirements

Major: Physics (Standard & Optical Science and Engineering Options)

Degree Type: B.A. or B.S.
Minimum Degree Credits to Graduate: 120

University Degree Requirements

  1. Satisfactory completion of all requirements of the curriculum in which one is enrolled.
  2. Earn a minimum total of 120 credits in approved coursework.  Some academic programs exceed this minimum.
  3. Satisfactory completion of the general education requirements as specified by the university.
  4. A minimum institutional GPA of 2.00 based on work taken at NDSU.
  5. At least 30 credits must be NDSU resident credits.  Resident credits include credits registered and paid for at NDSU.
  6. At least 36 credits presented for graduation must be in courses numbered 300 or higher.
  7. Students presenting transfer credit must meet the NDSU residence credits and the minimum upper level credit. Of the 30 credits earned in residence, a minimum of 15 semester credits must be in courses numbered 300 or above, and 15 semester credits must be in the student’s curricula for their declared major.

For complete information, please refer to the Degree and Graduation Requirements section of this Bulletin.

University General Education Requirements

A list of university approved general education courses and administrative policies are available here.

Category C: Communication12
College Composition I
College Composition II
Fundamentals of Public Speaking
Upper Division Writing
Category R: Quantitative Reasoning 3
Category S: Science and Technology 10
Category A: Humanities and Fine Arts 6
Category B: Social and Behavioral Sciences 6
Category W: Wellness 2
Category D: Cultural Diversity *†
Category G: Global Perspectives *†
Total Credits39

Courses for category D & G are satisfied by completing D & G designated courses in another general education category.

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 major requirements to determine if specific courses can also satisfy these general education categories.

Physics Major Requirements

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

Major Core Requirements
PHYS 171Introductory Projects in Physics1
PHYS 251
University Physics I
and University Physics I Laboratory (May satisfy general education category S)
PHYS 252
University Physics II
and University Physics II Laboratory (May satisfy general education category S)
PHYS 350Modern Physics3
PHYS 355Classical Mechanics3
PHYS 360Modern Physics II3
PHYS 361Electromagnetic Theory (or PHY 370: Electromagnetic Theory from MSUM)3
PHYS 370Introduction to Computational Physics3
PHYS 411
Optics for Scientists & Engineers
and Optics for Scientists and Engineers Lab
PHYS 462Thermal and Statistical Physics3
PHYS 485Quantum Mechanics I3
PHYS 486Quantum Mechanics II3
PHYS 488Senior Project I1
PHYS 489Senior Project II2
CSCI 160Computer Science I4
or ECE 173 Introduction to Computing
MATH 129Basic Linear Algebra3
or MATH 329 Intermediate Linear Algebra
MATH 165Calculus I (May satisfy general education category R)4
MATH 166Calculus II4
MATH 265Calculus III4
MATH 266Introduction to Differential Equations3
MATH Electives - Select 6 credits from the following:6
Introduction to Abstract Mathematics
MATH 400 Level
Select one of the following chemistry sequences (150/160 is recommended):4
Principles of Chemistry I
and Principles of Chemistry Laboratory I
General Chemistry I
and General Chemistry I Laboratory
Select one of the following chemistry sequences (151/161 recommended):4
Principles of Chemistry II
and Principles of Chemistry Laboratory II
General Chemistry II
and General Chemistry II Laboratory
Option Requirement
Select either the Standard option or the Optical Science & Engineering option to complete this major (requirements below).10
Total Credits88
CSCI 161Computer Science II4
Physics Electives: Select two courses from the following:6
Research For Undergraduates
Lasers for Scientists and Engineers
Elements of Photonics
Materials Physics
Astronomy courses (300/400 level) with departmental approval
PHYS 357
Concordia College Astrophysics
PHYS 419
Concordia College Introduction to General Relativity
Total Credits10
PHYS 413Lasers for Scientists and Engineers3
PHYS 415Elements of Photonics3
EE 206Circuit Analysis I4
Total Credits10

Program Notes

  • Except for courses offered only as pass/fail grading, no course may be taken Pass/Fail. 

Minor Requirements

Minor: Physics

Required Credits: 19

Required Courses
PHYS 251University Physics I4
PHYS 252University Physics II4
PHYS 252LUniversity Physics II Laboratory1
PHYS 350Modern Physics3
Electives: Select 7 credits from the following:7
Introductory Projects in Physics
University Physics I Laboratory
Research For Undergraduates
Any 300-400 level Physics course
ME 221 and ME 222 may be substituted for PHYS 251 and PHYS 251L
Total Credits19

Minor Requirements and Notes

  • A minimum of 8 credits must be taken at NDSU.