Physics Minor

1309 Physics Building
Phone: 301-405-5979

Program Director: Carter Hall, Ph.D.

This minor provides a rigorous foundation in physics for students who choose not to complete the entire physics major.

Students interested in earning a minor in physics should contact the undergraduate advisor for the Physics Department.

The minor begins with a set of two introductory courses (6 credits) in electromagnetic fields PHYS260 or PHYS272) and waves (PHYS270 or PHYS273). As part of this introduction to Physics, the minor also requires a one-credit introductory physics laboratory (PHYS174, PHYS261, or PHYS271) involving techniques of data gathering and analysis. To obtain a deeper understanding of physics, the minor requires three additional upper-level courses (3-4 credits each), which students can select from the list below.

  • Other upper level Physics courses can be substituted only with approval from the Department's undergraduate director and the Faculty Minor Advisor.
  • All courses must be completed with a grade of "C-" or better to be counted towards the minor.
  • No more than 7 credits in this minor can count toward major requirements. Students with more than 7 credits of overlap must substitute non-overlapping 300 or 400 level courses from the above list to reduce the overlap to no more than 7 credits.
  • Physics majors and students majoring in Astronomy are not eligible to complete the Physics Minor due to the large number of overlapping course requirements.

Courses Required for the Minor     

Course Title Credits
Select one of the following:1
Physics Laboratory Introduction
General Physics: Mechanics, Vibrations, Waves, Heat (Laboratory)
General Physics: Electrodynamics, Light, Relativity and Modern Physics (Laboratory)
PHYS272Introductory Physics: Fields3
or PHYS260 General Physics: Electricity, Magnetism and Thermodynamics
PHYS273Introductory Physics: Oscillations and Waves3
or PHYS270 General Physics: Waves, Optics, Relativity and Modern Physics
Select three of the following:9-12
Modern Physics
Mathematical Methods for Physics II
Experimental Physics III: Electromagnetic Waves, Optics and Modern Physics
Quantum Physics I
Quantum Physics II
Introduction to Statistical Thermodynamics
Classical Mechanics
Intermediate Electricity and Magnetism
Computational Physics
Total Credits16-19


MATH140, MATH141, MATH241, MATH240, MATH246, PHYS171 are prerequisites for some of the courses in this program.