About the Program
Purdue physics is an internationally recognized department for excellence in forefront research and undergraduate and graduate education. Our undergraduate classes for physics majors average 30 or fewer students and are taught by professors actively engaged in forefront research. Undergraduate research is strongly encouraged and opportunities exist as early as the second semester to work in a research group. These groups include experimental and theoretical condensed matter physics, high energy physics, nano-physics, nuclear physics, astrophysics, biological physics, geophysics, relativity, and interdisciplinary areas of material science, engineering, or computational science.
The department also helps undergraduates with external internships, particularly for the summers. Upon graduation our students are accepted for graduate programs at many of the top universities and are also sought after for positions in industry, particularly high-tech positions. Our graduates have an exceptional record of career accomplishment in a wide variety of settings, including academia and major industrial and government labs.
The specialties under the applied physics curriculum can range from different areas. Individually tailored specialties may be chosen by the student in consultation with an advisor. Currently available specialties include:
- Geophysics and Atmospheric Sciences
- Computational Physics
- Nuclear Physics
- Material Science & Engineering
- Electrical and Computer Engineering
- Medical Physics
In addition, many physics majors manage to complete dual or multiple major programs within the College of Science. This is possible because of a considerable overlap of the College of Science requirements. Popular dual majors with physics are: mathematics, computer science and chemistry.
The following stipulations need to be met in order to be in, stay in and graduate in the Honors or Applied Honors Program:
- No D+ or worse grade is allowed in any course for a student to stay in the Honors Programs.
- No more than one C range grade is allowed in all physics courses taken for a student to graduate with Honor. Note that a course can be re-taken for the purpose of satisfying this guideline.
- Both the physics AND overall GPAs of 3.0 or better are required for a student to graduate with Honor.
- All the core courses (PHYS 17200, 27200, 30600, 30700, 34400, 34000, and 42200) be complete with a B or better.
- Students need to petition to Undergraduate Committee for exceptions or requests.
Physics Major Change (CODO) Requirements (Students must CODO into Physics before Honors.)
120 Credits Required
Curriculum and Degree Requirements for College of Science
A College of Science degree is conferred when a student successfully completes all requirements in their degree program. Students will complete coursework or approved experiential learning activities to meet the following three degree components:
- Science Core Curriculum
Students may use any of the following options to meet College of Science degree requirements:
- Purdue Coursework
- AP, IB, and CLEP credit. The use of AP and IB coursework varies between College of Science degree plans.
- Transfer Credit. Students should consult the Admissions Transfer Credit Resource page for all available transfer options.
College of Science degree programs vary widely in their approval and use of the proceeding options and thus students are strongly encouraged to work closely with their academic advisors and to regularly consult their MyPurduePlan to view the use of each option in their degree plan.
Most College of Science degree programs contain elective credits students may use to pursue courses that relate to their interests or which support their major area of study. The elective area of a degree plan may also be used to complete minors, second majors and certificates such as the Entrepreneurial Certificate. With the exception of courses on the No Count List, any Purdue course may be used to meet the elective area of a student’s degree plan.
College of Science Core Requirements
All Students starting Purdue University Fall semester, 2007 or later are required to pursue the 2007 Science Core curriculum.
The College of Science Core Curriculum requires the completion of approved coursework and/or experiential learning opportunities in the following academic areas:
Earning Core Curricular Requirements through Experience
Students may meet selected core curriculum requirements through approved experiential learning opportunities. Interested students should contact their academic advisor for more information on this option and incorporating experiential learning into their four-year program of study. For more information on earning requirements through experience, please click here.
Applied Physics Honors Major Courses (68-69 credits)
Required Major Courses (44-45 credits)
Physics majors are required to take the Honors sections of PHYS 17200 in the fall and PHYS 27200 in the spring.
Major Selective* - 24 credits
- Must be in chosen applied area(s) approved by the Physics and Astronomy Department
- Any >30000 level course taken for letter grade option (pass/no-pass option not approved) in the following course subjects:
- AAE, BIOL, CE, CHM, CS, EAPS, ECE, ME, MSE
Other Departmental/Program Course Requirements (37-66 credits)
COLLEGE OF SCIENCE CORE REQUIREMENTS
^ - Labeled as a Science Core Selection in the four year plan of study
* - Requirement may be met with a zero credit experiential learning option. See your advisor for more information.
Composition & Presentation
First-Year Composition (3-4 credits)
Choose one course from this list . (satisfies Written Communication and Information Literacy for core)
Technical Writing And Presentation* (0-6 credits)
Choose one or two from this list ; COM 21700 is strongly recommended to satisfy Oral Communication for core.
Cultural Diversity (Language & Culture)^* (0-9 credits)
Choose courses from this list to fulfill each Option below (select courses COULD satisfy Humanities for core).
- Language & Culture Option I
- Language & Culture Option II
- Language & Culture Option III
General Education^ (9 credits)
Choose courses from this list to fulfill each Option below (select courses COULD satisfy Behavioral/Social Science for core).
- General Education Option I
- General Education Option II
- General Education Option III
Great Issues In Science (3 credits)
Choose one from this list .
Laboratory Science (8 credits)
(satisfies Science for core)
Mathematics (8-10 credits)
(satisfies Quantitative Reasoning for core)
Multidisciplinary Experience^* (0-3 credits)
Choose one from this list (select courses COULD satisfy Science, Technology, Society for core).
Team-Building and Collaboration
Met with required major coursework (PHYS 17200 ).
University Core Requirements
For a complete listing of University Core Course Selectives, visit the Provost’s Website.
- Human Cultures: Behavioral/Social Science (BSS)
- Human Cultures: Humanities (HUM)
- Information Literacy (IL)
- Oral Communication (OC)
- Quantitative Reasoning (QR)
- Science #1 (SCI)
- Science #2 (SCI)
- Science, Technology, and Society (STS)
- Written Communication (WC)
Civics Literacy Proficiency Requirement:
The Civics Literacy Proficiency activities are designed to develop civic knowledge of Purdue students in an effort to graduate a more informed citizenry.
Students will complete the Proficiency by passing a test of civic knowledge, and completing one of three paths:
- Attending six approved civics-related events and completing an assessment for each; or
- Completing 12 podcasts created by the Purdue Center for C-SPAN Scholarship and Engagement that use C-SPAN material and completing an assessment for each; or
- Earning a passing grade for one of these approved courses (or transferring in approved AP or departmental credit in lieu of taking a course)
For more information visit the Civics Literacy Proficiency website.
For current pre-requisites for courses, click here.
Spring 4th Year
- Major Selective - Credit Hours: 3.00
- Major Selective - Credit Hours: 3.00
- Major Selective - Credit Hours: 3.00
- Science Core Selection - Credit Hours: 3.00
- Elective - Credit Hours: 2.00
- * Could Satisfies a University Core Requirement
- 3.0 Graduation GPA required for Bachelor of Science degree.
- 3.0 average in PHYS/ASTR classes required to graduate.
- No more than one C grade (i.e., C+, C, or C-) is allowed in all physics courses taken
- No grade of D+ or worse is allowed in any course.
- ♦ Identified as a critical course. Students should earn minimum of a B- see advisor for further details
College of Science Pass/No Pass Option Policy
- Only free electives and courses at the 50000-level general education requirement may be taken under the pass/not-pass option.
- The pass/not-pass grade mode may be entered for courses which are not required by a student’s major(s), minor(s) or science core curriculum.
- Grade mode Passing is equivalent to at a minimum grade of C- had a letter grade been awarded.
- Students may elect to use the pass/not-pass option for no more than 20% of the 124/120 credit requirement for graduation and for no more than two courses per academic year (Fall-Summer).
- The pass/not-pass option cannot be elected for a course that has already been completed with a letter grade. University Regulation.
- Students may take elective credit while abroad using the P/NP mode. In the case of universities which only post P/NP, the University will apply a calculation process to determine a letter grade.
- Department of Languages and Cultures P/NP policy and Language Placement results. Students must take advanced coursework for a letter grade to receive credit for lower-level language courses.
World Language Courses
World Language proficiency requirements vary by program. The following list is inclusive of all world languages PWL offers for credit; for acceptable languages and proficiency levels, see your advisor.
|ASL-American Sign Language
The ♦ course is considered critical.
In alignment with the Degree Map Guidance for Indiana’s Public Colleges and Universities, published by the Commission for Higher Education (pursuant to HEA 1348-2013), a Critical Course is identified as “one that a student must be able to pass to persist and succeed in a particular major. Students who want to be nurses, for example, should know that they are expected to be proficient in courses like biology in order to be successful. These would be identified by the institutions for each degree program”.
The student is ultimately responsible for knowing and completing all degree requirements.
The myPurduePlan powered by DegreeWorks is the knowledge source for specific requirements and completion.