Majors & Minor
B.S. Physics
The Physics Major is a 4year program with a strong emphasis on fundamental physics concepts and handson experience in stateoftheart teaching laboratories. Students will learn how to analyze complex problems and will gain a strong quantitative background that can be applied in any technical field. Our graduates follow a wide range of career tracks, including graduate studies in physics and engineering, direct entry into the technology sector, and other careers that benefit from sharp analytical and problem solving skills.
Physics B.S. majors are required to complete coursework in physics as well as corequisite coursework in mathematics and an additional approved science.
Among these courses, the following are required
 PHYS2200 (or PHYS2100*) & PHYS2050 Introductory Physics I with Lab
 PHYS2201 (or PHYS2101*) & PHYS2051 Introductory Physics II with Lab
 PHYS3100 Vibrations and Waves with Lab
 PHYS3300 Intro to Modern Physics
 PHYS4100 Mechanics
 PHYS4200 Electricity and Magnetism
 PHYS4400 Quantum Physics I
 PHYS4401 Quantum Physics II
 PHYS4600 Statistical Mechanics & Thermodynamics
* Physics majors are strongly recommended to take the PHYS22002201 sequence. PHYS21002101 is typically for Biology, Premed, and students fulfilling science requirements.
Choose one of the following
 PHYS4300 Numerical Methods and Scientific Computing
 PHYS4350 Experiments in Physics
 PHYS4951 Senior Thesis*
* Senior Thesis is recommended for students planning graduate work in Physics.
Choose at least two elective courses (course offerings vary from year to year)
 PHYS4407 Optical Spectroscopy
 PHYS4515 Physics of Conventional and Alternative Energy
 PHYS4535 Nano Integrated Science
 PHYS4545 Introduction to Condensed Matter Physics
 PHYS4565 Cosmology and Astrophysic
 PHYS4570 Topics in High Energy Astrophysics
 PHYS5540 General Relativity
 MATH4440 Dynamical Systems
The following courses are required
 PHYS4500 Applied Math for Physical Scientists (or MATH2210 Linear Algebra and MATH4410 Diff. Eq.)
 MATH2202 Multivariable Calculus
 CSCI2227 Intro. to Scientific Computation
Students without advanced math placement will need to take introductory calculus courses, such as MATH1103 or MATH1105, that are prerequisites for MATH2202.
Choose two additional science courses with lab
 CHEM1109 & 1111 General Chemistry I with Lab
 CHEM1110 & 1112 General Chemistry II with Lab
 Other Approved Science I with Lab
 Other Approved Science II with Lab
Advanced undergraduate Physics majors may, with departmental approval, enroll in firstyear graduate courses, such as PHYS7711, 7732, or 7741.
Year  Fall  Spring 

First 


Second 


Third 


Fourth 
* Students planning to take PHYS4300 need to take CSCI2227 Introduction to Scientific Computation in preparation for this course. ** Students need prior approval from a faculty mentor. 
B.S. Applied Physics
The Applied Physics major provides a flexible platform for students to combine a strong interest in the concepts and analytical tools of physics with the any one of the varied applications of those tools to societal problems. In consultation with our Undergraduate Program Director, students will tailor an interdisciplinary program of study to focus on topical areas such as quantum computation, materials science, energy and the environment, biophysics, mathematical physics, financial modeling, and more. The curriculum will culminate in a research project with a physics faculty member, or jointly supervised by faculty members from multiple departments. This track is recommended for students planning to enter the workforce after graduation rather than applying to graduate school in physics or related disciplines.
Requirements for the Applied Physics major.
Course  Credits 

Introductory Physics I & II PHYS2200/1 + labs PHYS2050/1  10 
Vibrations & Waves PHYS3100  4 
Modern Physics PHYS3300  4 
Intro. to Scientific Computation CSCI2227^{ a}  3 
Survey of Applied Physics PHYS4700  3 
Advanced Physics Courses (2 of 5): Classical Mechanics PHYS4100 Electricity & Magnetism PHYS4200 Quantum Mechanics I PHYS4400 Quantum Mechanics II PHYS4401 (QM I prerequisite) Statistical Physics PHYS4600  6 to 8 
Electives ^{b} (3 courses) Physics 4000 level or above, may include courses from Advanced Physics Course list above  9 to12 
Applied Physics Capstone Project PHYS4950  3 
Two introductory science courses ^{c} outside of physics^{ d}  6 to 8 
Mathematics Multivariable Calculus^{ e} MATH2202 Applied Math for Physical Scientists^{ f} PHYS4500  8 
Total  60 + 
 ^{a} Students who have taken Computer Science I & II may request a waiver of this requirement.
 ^{b} One approved elective course from another department is possible and encouraged.
 ^{c} Introductory courses required for that major, e.g., General Chemistry I&II plus labs or Computer Science I & II
 ^{d} A variety of introductory STEM and social science courses are possible with departmental approval
 ^{e} Students must have taken Calculus I & II or have equivalent AP credit.
 ^{f} Students may replace with both Linear Algebra MATH2210 and Differential Equations MATH4410
Department of Physics Rev. July 10, 2022 Applied Physics Major
Typical sequence for a student with AP credit for Calculus I.
Year  Fall  Spring 

First 


Second 


Third 


Fourth 


Possible elective courses inside the Department of Physics
Course Number  Course 

PHYS4300  Numerical Methods & Scientific Computing 
PHYS4407  Optical Spectroscopy of 2 Dimensional Systems 
PHYS4515  Physics of Conventional and Alternative Energy 
PHYS4545  Condensed Matter Physics 
PHYS4595  Intro. To Quantum Computing 
PHYS4535  Nanoscale Integrated Science 
PHYS5110  Biophysics 
Possible elective courses outside the Department of Physics
Course Number  Course  Listed Prerequisites 

BIOL3090  Microbiology  
BIOL4090  Virology  
BIOL4540  Neuroscience  
CHEM4475  Physical Chemistry  PHYS2200/1, MATH2202 
CSCI2271  Computer Systems  CSCI1102 
CSCI2291  Intro. to Data Science  
CSCI3340  Intro. to Machine Learning w/Applications  CSCI1102 
EESC3350  Alternative Energy  
EESC3391  Introduction to Geophysics  
MATH4470  Mathematical Modeling  MATH2202, MATH2210 
PSYC2285  Behavioral Neuroscience  
PSYC4472  fMRI  
ECON2228  Econometric Methods  
ECON2229  Economic and Business Forecasting 
Physics Minor
The minimum requirements for a minor in physics include the following courses:
 The following introductory courses:
 PHYS2200, PHYS2201 and accompanying labs PHYS2050 and PHYS2051.
 The following intermediate level courses:
 PHYS3100 and PHYS3300.
 Two upperlevel courses (PHYS4000 and above) of 3 or more credits each.
Many of these courses have prerequisites. Students are advised to consult with the Undergraduate Program Director (physics@bc.edu) when selecting these courses.
Substitutions: PHYS2100 and PHYS2101 may be substituted for PHYS2200 and PHYS2201, respectively, but the latter are preferred. Students must consult with the Undergraduate Program Director if they wish to substitute other equivalent courses for required courses or the corequisites.
Corequisites: MATH1102 and MATH1103 are required. MATH2202 may be required as a prerequisite for some of the upperlevel physics courses. Students should consult with the Undergraduate Program Director to determine whether they will need to take these additional mathematics courses.