Physics, Bachelor of Science
Department of Applied Physics and Materials Science
College of Engineering, Informatics, and Applied Sciences

To receive a bachelor's degree at Northern Arizona University, you must complete at least 120 units of credit that minimally includes a major, the liberal studies requirements, and university requirements as listed below.
 All of Northern Arizona University's liberal studies, diversity, juniorlevel writing, and capstone requirements.
 All requirements for your specific academic plan(s).
 At least 30 units of upperdivision courses, which may include transfer work.
 At least 30 units of coursework taken through Northern Arizona University, of which at least 18 must be upperdivision courses (300level or above). This requirement is not met by creditbyexam, retrocredits, transfer coursework, etc.
 A cumulative grade point average of at least 2.0 on all work attempted at Northern Arizona University.
In addition to University Requirements:
 At least 47 units of major requirements
 Elective courses, if needed, to reach an overall total of at least 120 units
Please note that students may be able to use some courses to meet more than one requirement. Contact your advisor for details.
 Up to 9 units of major prefix courses may be used to satisfy Liberal Studies requirements; these same courses may also be used to satisfy major requirements
Minimum Units for Completion  120 
Highest Mathematics Required  MAT 239 
Research  Optional 
University Honors Program  Optional 
AZ Transfer Students complete AGECS  Recommended 
Progression Plan Link  View Progression Plan 
Student Learning Outcomes
The B.S. in Physics program is designed to prepare students for a career in a technical field or for graduate studies in physics.
Physics Content
Students will have an understanding of the laws of physics in the areas of:
 classical mechanics
 electricity and magnetism
 special relativity
 waves
 optics
 atomic physics
 nuclear physics
 quantum mechanics
 thermodynamics
 statistical mechanics
Laboratory Skills
Students will :
 understand how to take good data with increasingly sophisticated equipment in introductory, intermediate, and advanced physics laboratories
 know how to identify random and systematic errors, and propagate errors
 be able to synthesize an appropriate conclusion from an experiment
Computational Skills
Students will:
 be able to apply mathematical tools such as elementary probability theory, algebra, geometry, trigonometry, differential and integral calculus, vector calculus, ordinary differential equations, partial differential equations, and linear algebra to solve physics problems
 become proficient in a computing language such as MATLAB
 be able to write code in a computing language in order to explain or predict the behavior of a complex physical system
Problem Solving Skills
Students will develop problemsolving capacities. In particular, a student will be able to:
 ascertain the known and unknown aspects of a problem
 describe the fundamental physical principles in the problem
 articulate a pathway toward solving the problem
 successfully follow the path and solve the problem
Communication Skills
Students will be able to:
 clearly communicate and defend their work in verbal, written, and visual formats to scientific and nonscientific audiences
Major Requirements

Take the following 47  49 units:
 (PHY 161 or PHY 171)* (45 units)
 (PHY 262 and PHY 262L) or PHY 172* (45 units)
 PHY 263, PHY 264, PHY 265, PHY 301, PHY 321, PHY 331, PHY 332, PHY 361, PHY 441, PHY 471 (30 units)
 PHY 333W (3 units)
 PHY 498C
 Additional units of upperdivision physics and astronomy courses (3 units)
*PHY 171 and PHY 172 are recommended in consultation with your advisor.
Physics B.S. majors may not pursue a dual major in Astronomy B.S., nor the Physics and Astronomy B.S. merged major.
General Electives

Additional coursework is required, if, after you have met the previously described requirements, you have not yet completed a total of 120 units of credit.
You may take these remaining courses from any academic areas, using these courses to pursue your specific interests and goals. We encourage you to consult with your advisor to select the courses that will be most advantageous to you. (Please note that you may also use prerequisites or transfer credits as electives if they weren't used to meet major, minor, or liberal studies requirements.)
Additional Information
 MAT 136, MAT 137, MAT 238, MAT 239 are not required for this degree, but are prerequisites for other courses. (You may be able to count these prerequisites toward your liberal studies or general elective credit.)

Be aware that some courses may have prerequisites that you must also take. For prerequisite information click on the course or see your advisor.