College of Engineering, Forestry, and Natural Sciences

2012-2013 Undergraduate Catalog Progression Plans are for planning purposes
only; see the catalog for official details.

Physics and Astronomy, Bachelor of Science

4YR Progression Plan-Classic

Campus Availability

  • Flagstaff

Year 1

Course # Course Description Units Notes
1. MAT136 Calculus I 4 MAT136 Notes
Description: Calculus of one variable; basic concepts, interpretations, techniques, and applications of differentiation and integration. Letter grade only. Course fee required.
Prerequisite: (MAT 125 or MAT 125H with a grade of C or better) or Math Placement Test Results (ALEKS/MATHA 65+; MATHC 65+; PLACE 70+) or International Exchange Student Group
Requirement Designation: Science and Applied Science
Currently Scheduled: Fall 2014 Spring 2015 Summer 2015
Notes: * not required for this degree, but are pre-requisites for other courses
2. PHY103 First-year Seminar 1
Description: Introduces first-year majors to the academic content, degree programs, faculty, resources, facilities, and opportunities available in the Department of Physics and Astronomy. Pass-fail only. Prerequisite: declared major in physics, astronomy, merged physics and astronomy, engineering physics, or physical science.
Currently Scheduled: Fall 2014
3. LIBSTCOURSE Liberal Studies Course 3
4. LIBSTCOURSE Liberal Studies Course 3
5. DIVELECTIVE Diversity Elective 3
Course # Course Description Units Notes
1. Choose one of the options below:
-Option A-
PHY161 University Physics I 4
Description: First course in the three-semester, calculus-based, introductory physics sequence. Classical mechanics. 3 hrs. lecture, 3 hrs. lab. Letter grade only. Course fee required.
Prerequisite: MAT 136 or MAT 136H or higher with a grade of C or better
Requirement Designation: Lab Science
Currently Scheduled: Fall 2014 Spring 2015 Summer 2015
-Option B-
PHY171 Univ Physics I For Physicists 5 PHY171 Notes
Description: A calculus-based introductory physics course designed for physics majors. Classical Mechanics, Gravitation, Fluids. Credit will not be given for both PHY 161 and PHY 171. 4 hours lecture, 3 hours lab. Letter grade only.
Prerequisite: MAT 136 or MAT 136H
Requirement Designation: Lab Science
Currently Scheduled: Fall 2014
Notes: PHY 171 is highly recommended
2. MAT137 Calculus II 4 MAT137 Notes
Description: Concepts, techniques, and applications of integration, differential equations, Taylor polynomials, infinite series. Letter grade only. Course fee required.
Prerequisite: MAT 136 with a grade of C or better
Currently Scheduled: Fall 2014 Spring 2015 Summer 2015
Notes: * not required for this degree, but are pre-requisites for other courses
3. ENG105 Critical Read/Writng In Univ 4
Description: Writing skills for completing university coursework. Fulfills the liberal studies requirement for English composition. Letter grade only. Course fee required.
Prerequisite: ((English Placement Test Results (ACT 17+; Accuplacer WR 4-7; IELTS 6+; PLACE 30+; SATI 340+, TOEFL PB 525+/CB 193+/IB 70+)) or (Test Results (ACT < 7; AccuplacerWR < 4; PLACE 10; SATI < 340) and Corequisite: ENG 107))
Requirement Designation: Foundation Requirement
Currently Scheduled: Fall 2014 Spring 2015 Summer 2015
4. LIBSTCOURSE Liberal Studies Course 3

Year 2

Course # Course Description Units Notes
1. AST280 Introduction To Astrophysics 3
Description: Calculus-based introductory astrophysics course covering solar system mechanics, overview of planets, electromagnetic radiation, telescopes, stellar evolution, galactic structure, interstellar medium, galaxies, and cosmology. Letter grade only.
Prerequisite: PHY 161 and (MAT 136 or MAT 136H)
Currently Scheduled: Fall 2014
2. PHY262 University Physics II 3
Description: Second course in the three-semester, calculus-based, introductory physics sequence. Electricity, magnetism, and thermodynamics. Letter grade only.
Prerequisite: (PHY 161 or PHY 171) and Pre- or Corequisite: MAT 137 or higher
Requirement Designation: Science and Applied Science
Currently Scheduled: Fall 2014 Spring 2015 Summer 2015
3. PHY262L University Physics II Lab 1
Description: Letter grade only. Course fee required.
Prerequisite: PHY 161 and Prerequisite or Corequisite: MAT 137 or higher and PHY 262
Currently Scheduled: Fall 2014 Spring 2015
4. MAT238 Calculus III 4 MAT238 Notes
Description: Vector functions and multidimensional calculus; partial derivatives, gradients, optimization, multiple integrals, parametric curves and surfaces, vector calculus, line integrals, flux integral, and vector fields. Letter grade only.
Prerequisite: MAT 137 with a grade of C or better
Currently Scheduled: Fall 2014 Spring 2015 Summer 2015
Notes: * not required for this degree, but are pre-requisites for other courses
5. LIBSTCOURSE Liberal Studies Course 4 LIBSTCOURSE Notes
Notes: ** CHM 151/L and CHM 152/L are the recommended courses for the lab science/science block
Course # Course Description Units Notes
1. PHY263 University Physics III 3
Description: Final course in the three-semester, calculus-based, introductory physics sequence. Studies waves, optics, atomic, and nuclear structure. Letter grade only.
Prerequisite: PHY 262 or (PHY 112 and MAT 137)
Currently Scheduled: Fall 2014 Spring 2015
2. PHY264 Electronics For Science Stdnts 3
Description: Reviews basic electricity including network theorems. Introduces semiconductor electronics including bipolar and field effect devices and operational amplifiers. 2 hrs. lecture, 3 hrs. lab. Letter grade only. Course fee required.
Prerequisite: PHY 112 or PHY 262
Currently Scheduled: Spring 2015
3. PHY265 Intro To Computational Physics 3
Description: Introduction to numerical methods, visualization techniques, and data analysis. Students will also be introduced to scientific computing on the Linux/Unix platform and programming in that environment. Common software packages in current scientific computing routinely used in the discipline will be introduced. Letter grade only. Course fee required.
Prerequisite: PHY 161 and PHY 262
Currently Scheduled: Spring 2015
4. MAT239 Differential Equations 3 MAT239 Notes
Description: Solutions of first-order differential equations, nth-order linear equations, systems of linear differential equations, series solutions. Letter grade only.
Prerequisite: MAT 238 with a grade of C or better or Corequisite: MAT 238
Currently Scheduled: Fall 2014 Spring 2015 Summer 2015
Notes: * not required for this degree, but are pre-requisites for other courses
5. LIBSTCOURSE Liberal Studies Course 3

Year 3

Course # Course Description Units Notes
1. PHY301 Methods Of Analytical Physics 3
Description: Applications of mathematical methods of physics. Letter grade only.
Prerequisite: (PHY 265 or CS 122 or CS 123) Pre- or Corequisite: MAT 239 or higher
Currently Scheduled: Fall 2014
2. PHY321 Mechanics I 3
Description: Review of Newtonian mechanics, drag forces, computer simulation of dynamical systems, systems of particles, oscillators, non-inertial frames of reference, Lagrangian mechanics, orbital dynamics. Letter grade only.
Prerequisite: PHY 263 and (PHY 265 or CS 122 or CS 123) Pre- or Corequisite: MAT 239 or higher
Currently Scheduled: Fall 2014
3. Choose one of the options below:
-Option A-
AST401 Observational Astronomy 3
Description: Time and coordinates, spherical triangle, astrometry; photographic and electronic imaging; astronomical optics; orbital elements; photometry, spectroscopy. Co-convened with PHY 580. Letter grade only.
Prerequisite: AST 280 Corequisite: AST 401L
Currently Scheduled: Fall 2014
AST401L Observational Astronomy Lab 1
Description: Lab for AST 401. Letter grade only. Course fee required.
Prerequisite: (AST 181 or AST 280) and (MAT 125 or higher)
Currently Scheduled: Fall 2014
-Option B-
AST391 Astrophysics: Stars 3
Description: Stellar atmospheres and interiors; star formation and stellar evolution. Letter grade only.
Prerequisite: PHY 263 and AST 280
Currently Scheduled: Fall 2014
4. LIBSTCOURSE Liberal Studies Course 3
5. DIVELECTIVE Diversity Elective 3
Course # Course Description Units Notes
1. PHY331 Electricity And Magnetism I 3
Description: Electrostatics, magnetostatics, Lorentz force, fields in matter, electromagnetic induction. Letter grade only.
Prerequisite: PHY 263 and (PHY 265 or CS 122 or CS 123) and (MAT 238 or higher)
Currently Scheduled: Spring 2015
2. PHY333W Advanced Lab 3
Description: Advanced lab problems and associated writing techniques in physics. Involves acquiring and analyzing experimental data and submitting journal reports based on the results. This course fulfills NAU's junior-level writing requirement. 1 hr. lecture, 6 hrs. lab. Letter grade only. May be repeated for up to 6 units of credit. Course fee required.
Prerequisite: PHY 263 and (ENG 105 or HON 190 or English Placement Test Results (PLACE 60+))
Requirement Designation: Junior Writing Requirement
Currently Scheduled: Spring 2015
3. PHY361 Modern Physics 3
Description: Special relativity, atomic and nuclear physics, quantum mechanics. Letter grade only.
Prerequisite: PHY 263 and (MAT 238 or higher)
Currently Scheduled: Spring 2015
4. Choose one of the options below:
-Option A-
AST390 Astrophysics: The Solar System 3
Description: Physical processes governing the origin and evolution of the solar system and the objects within it. Letter grade only.
Prerequisite: AST 280 and PHY 263 and (MAT 137 or Math Placement Test Results (ALEKS/MATHA 65+; MATHC 65+; PLACE 70+))
Currently Scheduled: Spring 2015
-Option B-
AST392 Astrophysics: Galaxies & Cosmo 3
Description: Structure of the Milky Way and other galaxies; interstellar medium; quasars; cosmology. Letter grade only.
Prerequisite: PHY 263 and AST 280
5. GECOURSE General Elective Course 3

Year 4

Course # Course Description Units Notes
1. PHY332 Electricity And Magnetism II 3
Description: Maxwell's equations, scalar and vector potentials, Laplace's equation, boundary value problems, plane waves, and radiation. Letter grade only.
Prerequisite: PHY 331
Currently Scheduled: Fall 2014
2. PHY471 Quantum Mechanics 3
Description: Wave mechanics, Schrodinger's equation, barrier problems, harmonic oscillator, hydrogen atom and matrix methods. Letter grade only.
Prerequisite: PHY 301 and PHY 321 and PHY 361
Currently Scheduled: Fall 2014
3. CAPSTONECOURSE Capstone Course 3 CAPSTONECOURSE Notes
Notes: *** Complete 3 units of PHY 498C OR 1 unit of PHY 498C and 2 units of PHY 485C.
4. Choose one of the options below:
-Option A-
AST401 Observational Astronomy 3
Description: Time and coordinates, spherical triangle, astrometry; photographic and electronic imaging; astronomical optics; orbital elements; photometry, spectroscopy. Co-convened with PHY 580. Letter grade only.
Prerequisite: AST 280 Corequisite: AST 401L
Currently Scheduled: Fall 2014
AST401L Observational Astronomy Lab 1
Description: Lab for AST 401. Letter grade only. Course fee required.
Prerequisite: (AST 181 or AST 280) and (MAT 125 or higher)
Currently Scheduled: Fall 2014
-Option B-
AST391 Astrophysics: Stars 3
Description: Stellar atmospheres and interiors; star formation and stellar evolution. Letter grade only.
Prerequisite: PHY 263 and AST 280
Currently Scheduled: Fall 2014
5. GECOURSE General Elective Course 2
Submit graduation application this term.
Course # Course Description Units Notes
1. PHY441 Thermal & Statistical Physics 3
Description: Thermodynamics, heat transfer, kinetic theory, and quantum statistics. Letter grade only.
Prerequisite: (PHY 265 or CS 122 or CS 122H) and PHY 361
Currently Scheduled: Spring 2015
2. LIBSTCOURSE Liberal Studies Course 3
3. LIBSTCOURSE Liberal Studies Course 3
4. GECOURSE General Elective Course 3
5. GECOURSE General Elective Course 4 GECOURSE Notes
Notes: General electives are needed to reach the 120 unit total. You may need more or less than 4 units depending on previously taken courses.

University Requirements Specified by Major

University requirements includes 35 units of liberal studies and 6 units of diversity coursework. The courses listed below are required for the major, but may also be used to satisfy liberal studies and/or diversity. Know that if a course is used to satisfy more than one requirement it is only counted once in the cumulative totals. The sections that are blank can be satisfied with any course from the approved list of liberal studies or diversity.
Foundation Requirements:English (FNRQ:ENG) (4 units) ENG 105 (4)
Foundation Requirements:Math (FNRQ:MAT) (3 units) MAT 137 (4)
Aesthetic and Humanistic Inquiry (AHI) (6 units) Student Choice (6)
Social and Political Worlds (SPW) (6 units) Student Choice (6)
Cultural Understanding (CU) (6 units) Student Choice (6)
Science/Applied Science (SAS/LAB) (7 units) Student Choice (7)
Liberal Studies Elective (3 units) MAT 136 (4)
Diversity:U.S. Ethnic (DIV:ETHN) (3 units) Student Choice (3)
Diversity:Global (DIV:GLBL) (3 units) Student Choice (3)

Program Information

PROGRAM INFORMATION

A minimum of 120 units are required for this degree.
You may count only one physics or astronomy course with a grade of D toward the major requirements for this degree.

* MAT 136, MAT 137, MAT 238, & MAT 239 are not required for this degree, but are pre-requisites for other courses.

**CHM 151/L and CHM 152/L are the recommended courses for the lab science/science block

*** Capstone Course includes one of the following:

  • 3 units of PHY 498C or
  • 1 unit of PHY 498C and 2 units of PHY 485C.
Advanced Physics and Astronomy courses are usually offered only once per year; 300 level astronomy courses are usually offered once every other year.  Typical sequencing is as follows:

Every fall semester: AST 280, PHY 301, PHY 321, PHY 332, PHY 471, PHY 498C, plus elective
Every spring semester: PHY 264, PHY 265, PHY 331, PHY 361, PHY 333W, and PHY 441
Fall of even-numbered years: AST 401/401L
Fall of odd-numbered years: AST 391
Spring of even-numbered years: AST 392
Spring of odd-numbered years: AST 390

CONTACT INFORMATION

Department of Physics and Astronomy
Building 19, Room 209
Phone: 928-523-2661
http://www.physics.nau.edu/

Debbie Wildermuth
Academic Services Coordinator
College of Engineering, Forestry & Natural Sciences
Building 21, Room 132
Phone: 928-523-3842
EMAIL: cefnsacademic@nau.edu

General Information

Progression Plans are intended to provide a general road map related to the sequencing of courses. 

For a full description of degree requirements, review the Academic Catalog.  To determine what requirements you may have already met through transfer credits, AP/IB courses, or test credits review your Academic Requirements, advisement report.

Some courses may have prerequisites and/or require appropriate placement scores in Mathematics and English.  If you do not have the appropriate placement or prerequisite courses, you may have to take more courses than are presented on the Progression Plan. 

Not all classes are offered every term so use caution when changing the sequencing of courses.

For further clarification, refer to the catalog (link provided at the top of this page) or speak with an academic advisor.