Physics, the most fundamental of the natural sciences, forms the basis of study upon which the other branches of science are founded. Physics is concerned with the fundamental behavior of matter and energy. Classical physics encompasses the fields of mechanics, heat and thermodynamics, electricity and magnetism, acoustics and optics. Modern physics is concerned with the study of atoms and molecules, atomic nuclei, elementary particles and the properties of liquids, crystalline solids, and other materials, as well as the areas of relativity, cosmology, and the large-scale structure of the universe. The undergraduate Physics curricula provide students with a strong background in the classical areas of physics, as well as an introduction to the more important aspects of modern physics.
The BS curriculum is directed toward preparing students for graduate study ultimately leading to the PhD degree or toward research and development work in industrial or governmental laboratories. It also provides a good background for graduate study or industrial work in many areas or engineering physics and applied science.
Combined Bachelor’s/Master’s Plan
Under this plan, students may reduce the time necessary to earn both degrees by applying graduate credits to both undergraduate and graduate program requirements. Both BS/MS (Master of Science) and BS/MAT (Master of Arts in Teaching) plans are available. Students are encouraged to obtain the specific requirements for pursuing the combined degree from the Department of Physics and Astronomy (https://www.clemson.edu/science/departments/physics-astro/) as early as possible in their undergraduate program. Enrollment guidelines and procedures can be found under Academic Regulations in this catalog.
1 See General Education Requirements . Three of these credit hours must also satisfy the Science and Technology in Society Requirement.
2 Students must complete through 1020 in a modern language. See Modern Languages Requirement at Clemson University statement in Academic Regulations .
3 Select from the emphasis areas below. Twelve credits in one of these areas, with at least six at the 3000-4000 level, are required. Note: Requirements for a minor in one of these areas might be satisfied with three additional credits at the 3000-4000 level.
- Chemistry Emphasis Area: Six credits selected from 3000-4000-level CH courses; and six additional credits of CH courses at any level (except CH 1050 or CH 1060 )
- Computer Science Emphasis Area: Six credits selected from 3000-4000-level CPSC courses; and six additional credits of CPSC courses at any level
- Engineering Emphasis Area: Six credits selected from 3000-4000-level courses in BE, BIOE, CE, CHE, ECE, EES, EM, ENGR, ME; or CRP 4120 , FOR 4510 , PES 4080 ; and six credits selected from FOR 4510 , PES 4080 or any course in BE, BIOE, CE, CHE, ECE, EES, EM, ENGR or ME
- Environmental Engineering Emphasis Area: Six credits selected from 3000-4000-level EES courses; and six additional credits of EES courses at any level
- Geology Emphasis Area: Six credits selected from 3000-4000-level GEOL courses; and six additiional credits selected from ASTR 2200 or GEOL courses at any level
- Mathematical Sciences Emphasis Area: Six credits selected from 3000-4000-level MATH courses; and six additional credits of MATH courses at any level (except MATH 1010 , MATH 1020 , MATH 1040 , MATH 1050 , MATH 1070 , MATH 1150 , MATH 1160 , MATH 1170 , MATH 1180 )
- Physics and Astronomy Emphasis Area: Six credits selected from ASTR 2200 , ASTR 3020 , ASTR 3030 , ASTR 4750 , PHYS 2400 , PHYS 2450 , PHYS 2800 , PHYS 2900 , PHYS 3990 , PHYS 4170 , PHYS 4200 , PHYS 4320 , PHYS 4450 , PHYS 4460 , PHYS 4520 , PHYS 4750 , PHYS 4810 , PHYS 4820 , PHYS 4990 ; and six additional credits selected from ASTR, GEOL or PHYS courses at any level (except PHYS 2000 , PHYS 2070 , PHYS 2080 , PHYS 2090 )
4 ENGL 3040 , ENGL 3120 , ENGL 3140 , ENGL 3150 , ENGL 3450 , ENGL 3460 , ENGL 3480 , ML 4020 or THEA 3470
5 Select any 2000-4000-level course in ASTR, BIOL, CH, ENSP, GEOL, PHYS or STS