Physics Major

Students are strongly encouraged to consult with the Physics advisor, meet physics faculty engaged in Pure & Applied Physics research, attend departmental seminars, and explore ways that Physics relates to research undertaken by faculty in other disciplines.

For more information, contact:     

Bodhi Rogers (Physics advisor)     

Office:North Classroom 3123B

These degree requirements are subject to periodic revision by the academic department, and the College reserves the right to make exceptions and substitutions as judged necessary in individual cases. Therefore, the College strongly urges students to consult regularly with their major advisor and CLAS advisor to confirm the best plans of study before finalizing them.

Program Delivery

This is an on-campus program.

Declaring This Major

Click here to go to information about declaring a major.

General Requirements

To earn a degree, students must satisfy all requirements in each of the three areas below, in addition to their individual major requirements.

  • CU Denver General Graduation Requirements  
  • CU Denver Core Curriculum  
  • College of Liberal Arts & Sciences Graduation Requirements  

Click here for information about Academic Policies.

Program Requirements

  • Students must complete a total of 63 credits, including a minimum of 47 PHYS credit hours and 16 credit hours in ancillary coursework.
  • Students must complete a minimum of 16 PHYS upper-division (3000-level and above) credit hours in the major.
  • Students must earn a minimum grade of C-(1.7) in all major courses taken at CU Denver and must achieve a minimum cumulative major GPA of 2.0. All graded attempts in required and elective courses are calculated in the major GPA. Students cannot complete major or ancillary course requirements as pass/fail.
  • Students must complete a minimum of 12 PHYS credit hours with CU Denver faculty.

Program Restrictions, Allowances and Recommendations

Students must declare their intention to major in Physics by the time they have completed 60 semester hours

The introductory labs, PHYS 2351 and PHYS 2361, are required for all physics majors. If the department is unable to offer one or both of these labs then PHYS 2321 may be substituted for PHYS 2351 and PHYS 2341 may be substituted for PHYS 2361, upon prior advisor approval.

Students earning a Physics major cannot earn a Physics minor. A senior thesis is required for all students wishing to graduate with departmental honors. For all other students, the faculty encourages a senior thesis or project.

Required Courses

Physics majors are required to take all of the following courses, and in addition, must take six 3000-level or above PHYS credit hours, including up to 3 semester hours of directed research or independent study (or a course in Computational Physics approved by the advisor).

Primary Physics Courses

PHYS 2311 - General Physics I: Calculus-Based

PHYS 2351 - Applied Physics Lab I

PHYS 2331 - General Physics II: Calculus-Based

PHYS 2361 - Applied Physics Lab II

PHYS 2711 - Vibrations and Waves

PHYS 2811 - Modern Physics I

PHYS 3120 - Methods of Mathematical Physics

PHYS 3711 - Junior Laboratory I

PHYS 3811 - Quantum Mechanics

Ancillary Courses

MATH 1401 - Calculus I

MATH 2411 - Calculus II

MATH 2421 - Calculus III

MATH 3195 - Linear Algebra and Differential Equations OR

MATH 3191 - Applied Linear Algebra and

MATH 3200 - Elementary Differential Equations

Pure and Applied Physics Track Courses

PHYS 3211 - Analytical Mechanics

PHYS 3411 - Thermal Physics

PHYS 3721 - Junior Laboratory II

PHYS 4331 - Principles of Electricity and Magnetism

PHYS 4711 - Senior Laboratory I