Major Requirements

Listed below are the requirements for the Physics major with an astronomy emphasis. In addition to the requirements for the major, students must also satisfy all of the university general education requirements and the College of Letters & Science breadth and other degree requirements. Degree requirements will vary depending on when you took your first college class. You are strongly advised to consult your advisor to ensure you stay on track towards a degree. Read more about the degree requirements on the L&S Degree Requirements web pages.

Requirements

Total Physics credits

55 credits

Two semesters of calculus-based introductory physics (10 credits)

For requirement, Physics 219 and 220 are recommended strongly; however, the Physics 209/214 and 210/215 courses may be taken with the consent of the undergraduate advisor.

  • Physics 219 - Physics I: CalculusBased, Studio Format, 5 credits
  • Physics 220 - Physics II: CalculusBased, Studio Format, 5 credits
    or
  • Physics 209 - Physics I (Calculus Treatment), 4 credits
  • Physics 214 - Lab Physics I (Calculus Treatment), 1 credit
  • Physics 210 - Physics II (Calculus Treatment), 4 credits
  • Physics 215 - Lab Physics II (Calculus Treatment), 1 credit


The following courses are required (36 credits)
  • Physics 270 - Introduction to Computational Physics, 3 credits
    or
    Physics 370 - Computational Physics, 3 credits
  • Astron 400 - Astrophysics I, 3 credits
  • Astron 401 - Astrophysics II, 3 credits
  • Physics 309 - Physics III: Modern Physics, 3 credits
  • Physics 317 - Thermodynamics, 3 credits
  • Physics 325 - Optics, 4 credits
  • Physics 411 - Mechanics, 4 credits
  • Physics 420 - Electricity and Magnetism I, 3 credits
  • Physics 422 - Electricity and Magentism II, 3 credits
  • Physics 441 - Introduction to Quantum Mechanics I, 4 credits
  • Physics 442 - Introduction to Quantum Mechanics II, 3 credits
One of the following laboratory courses (3 credits)
(satisfies L&S research requirement)
  • Physics 406 - Introduction to Infrared Microspectroscopy, 3 credits
  • Physics 408 - Experiments in Linear Electronics, 3 credits
  • Physics 409 - Modern Physics Laboratory, 3 credits
  • Physics 670 - Electron Microscopy Laboratory, 3 credits
    or
    Physics 391 - Undergraduate Research Participation
Electives (6 credits)
  • Astron 103 - Survey of Astronomy 3 credits
    or
    Astron 211 - Principles of Astronomy, 3 credits
  • Atm Sci 110 - The Origin, Composition, and Structure of Planetary Atmospheres, 3 credits
  • Geo Sci 120 - Geology of the Planets
  • Physics 391 - Undergraduate Research Participation, 1-6 credits
  • Physics 517 - Special Relativity, 3 credits
  • Physics 541 - Elementary Particles, 3 credits
  • Or another course approved by the undergraduate advisor.
Additional Requirements

The Physics Astronomy option requires that students take at least 15 credits in upper-level (numbered 300 and above) courses in residence at UWM.

GPA Requirements

The College requires that students attain at least a 2.5 GPA on all credits in the major attempted at UWM. In addition, students must attain a 2.5 GPA on all major credits attempted, including any transfer work.