# Majors & Minors in Physics & Astronomy

## The Department of Physics offers a major in Physics, major in Physics with an Emphasis in Astronomy, major in Integrated Computer Science/Physics, and a minor in Physics.

The content on this page is for informational purposes only. Official degree requirements can be found in the Whittier College Catalog.

**Maximum Credits in Physics Courses**

Physics majors should be aware that a maximum of 48 credits of physics courses can be counted toward the 120 units required for graduation. Physics majors are welcome to take more than 48 credits of physics courses, but doing so will necessitate completion of more than 120 credits in order to receive a B.A. from Whittier College.

**Preparation for Graduate Programs**

Students planning on enrolling in graduate school in Physics should take all three courses from the "theory" group of PHYS 315, PHYS 330, and PHYS 350.

### Guidelines for a Major in Physics

To receive a B.A. in Physics from Whittier College, students must complete 22 credits of required physics courses, 15 credits of required math and computer science courses, and either Option I or Option II below.

**Required Physics Courses**

Complete 22 credits

**PHYS 150** Calculus-Based Physics I (Mechanics) (4 credits)

**PHYS 180** Calculus-Based Physics II (Electricity, Magnetism) (4 credits)

**PHYS 185 **Calculus-Based Physics III Optics, Waves, and Thermodynamics (3 credits)

**PHYS 275** Modern Physics (3 credits)

**PHYS 310** Mechanics (3 credits)

**PHYS 380** Experimental Physics (3 credits)

**PHYS 499** Senior Seminar in Physics (2 credits)

**Required Math Courses**

Complete 15 credits

**MATH 141 **Calculus and Analytical Geometry I (4 credits)

**MATH 142** Calculus and Analytical Geometry II (4 credits)

**MATH 241** Calculus and Analytical Geometry III (4 credits)

**COSC 120** Computer Science I (3 credits)

**Option I**

Complete 15 credits from the following list (at least 12 must be in Physics). At least one course must be from the “theory” group of PHYS 315, 330, or 350. At least one course must be from the “topics” group of PHYS 320, 360, or 375. At least one course must be from the "mathematical methods" group of MATH 242, 345A, OR PHYS 325.

**PHYS 305** Robotics with Arduino (3 credits)

**PHYS 306** Computer Logic and Circuit Design (3 credits)

**PHYS 315** Statistical Physics (3 credits)

**PHYS 320** Optics (3 credits)

**PHYS 325 **Computational Physics (3 credits)

**PHYS 330** Electromagnetic Theory (3 credits)

**PHYS 350** Quantum Mechanics (3 credits)

**PHYS 360** Astrophysics (3 credits)

**PHYS 375** Solid State Physics (3 credits)

**PHYS 390** Selected Topics (1 to 4 credits)

**PHYS 396** Physics Research (1 to 3 credits)

**PHYS 490** Selected Topics (1 to 4 credits)

**MATH 242** Introduction to Applied Elementary Linear Algebra (3 credits)

**MATH 345A **Differential Equations (3 credits)

**Option II**

Complete 12 credits from the list above (at least 9 must be in Physics). At least one course must be from the “theory” group of PHYS 315, 330, or 350. At least one course must be from the “topics” group of PHYS 320, 360, or 375. At least one course must be from the "mathematical methods" group of MATH 242, 345A, or PHYS 325. In addition, complete two semesters in another science approved by the department:

**CHEM 110A** General Chemistry I (4 credits) and **CHEM 110B** General Chemistry II (4 credits)

or

**BIOL 151 **Cell & Molecular Biology (4 credits) and **BIOL 152** Biology of Organisms (4 credits)

or

**ENVS 100** Introduction to Environmental Science (4 credits) and **ENVS 251** Ecology & Evolution of Organisms (4 credits)

or

**PHYS 100** Astronomy of the Solar System (3 credits) and **PHYS 101** Astronomy of Stars, Galaxies and the Universe (3 credits)

### Guidelines for the Major in Physics with an Emphasis in Astronomy

To receive a B.A. in Physics with an emphasis in Astronomy from Whittier College, students must complete 41 credits of required physics courses, and 15 credits of required math and computer science courses.

**Required Physics Courses**

Complete 41 credits

**PHYS 100** Astronomy of the Solar System (3 credits)

**PHYS 101** Astronomy of Stars, Galaxies and the Universe (3 credits)

**PHYS 150** Calculus-Based Physics I (Mechanics) (4 credits)

**PHYS 180** Calculus-Based Physics II (Electricity, Magnetism) (4 credits)

**PHYS 185** Calculus-Based Physics III (Optics,Waves, and Thermodynamics) (3 credits)

**PHYS 260** Search for Extraterrestrial Life (4 credits)

**PHYS 275** Modern Physics (3 credits)

**PHYS 310** Mechanics (3 credits)

**PHYS 320** Optics (3 credits)

**PHYS 330** Electromagnetic Theory (3 credits)

**PHYS 360** Astrophysics (3 credits)

**PHYS 380** Experimental Physics (3 credits)

**PHYS 499 **Senior Seminar in Physics (2 credit)

**Required Mathematics and Computer Science Courses**

Complete 15 credits

**MATH 141** Calculus & Analytical Geometry I (4 credits)

**MATH 142** Calculus & Analytical Geometry II (4 credits)

**MATH 241 **Calculus & Analytical Geometry III (4 credits)

**COSC 120** Computer Science I (3 credits)

**Guidelines for a Minor in Physics**

To receive a minor in Physics from Whittier College, students must complete 20 credits of required physics courses, and 12 credits of required math courses.

**Required Physics Courses**

Complete 20 credits

**PHYS 150** Calculus-based Physics I (Mechanics) (4 credits)

**PHYS 180** Calculus-based Physics II (Electricity, Magnetism) (4 credits)

**PHYS 185** Calculus-based Physics III (Optics, Waves, and Thermodynamics) (3 credits)

**PHYS 275** Modern Physics (3 credits)

Two upper division physics courses approved by the Physics Department (6 credits)

**Required Math Courses**

Complete 12 credits

**MATH 141** Calculus & Analytical Geometry I (4 credits)

**MATH 142** Calculus & Analytical Geometry II (4 credits)

**MATH 241 **Calculus & Analytical Geometry III (4 credits)