Jun 28, 2022  
2020-2021 Undergraduate Catalog 
2020-2021 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Physics, BS

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Program Description

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.

Program Requirements

Freshman Year

Sophomore Year

Junior Year

First Semester

Credit Hours: 15

Second Semester

Credit Hours: 15

Senior Year

First Semester

Credit Hours: 15

Second Semester

Credit Hours: 12

Total Credits: 120


1 See General Education Requirements . Six of these credits must also satisfy the Cross Cultural Awareness and the Science and Technology in Society General Education Requirements.

2 Or select from ASTR 1050 , BIOL 1030 , BIOL 1100 , CPSC 1010 , CPSC 1060 , CPSC 1110 , or GEOL 1010 . If a three-credit course is chosen, an additional elective may be needed to fulfill the total program requirement.

3 Select from CPSC 1010 , CPSC 1060 , or CPSC 1110 , or select from CPSC 1020  or CPSC 1070  to complete a sequence.

4 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.

5 ENGL 3040 , ENGL 3120 , ENGL 3140 , ENGL 3150 , ENGL 3450 , ENGL 3460 , ENGL 3480 , ML 4020  or THEA 3470  

6 Select any 2000-4000-level course in ASTR, BIOL, CH, ENSP, GEOL, PHYS or STS

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