General university degree requirements stipulate that 1) at least four units of the major or three units of the minor be taken in residence at Puget Sound; 2) students earn at least a cumulative GPA of 2.0 in courses taken for the major or the minor; and 3) all courses taken for a major or minor must be taken for graded credit. Any exceptions to these stipulations are indicated in the major and minor degree requirements listed below.
Requirements for the Major
Before declaring a physics major, students should schedule an appointment with the department chairperson. This will usually be held no later than a student’s fourth semester.
Requirements for the Major in Physics (BS)
- PHYS 121, 122, 221, 222, 305, 351, 352, and 411, and one elective at the 200 level or higher and one elective at the 300 level or higher from: 209, 231, 299, 310, 322, 363, 412, 493;
- MATH 180, 181, 280, 290, and 301.
Requirements for the Major in Physics (Pre-Engineering) (BA)
Degree is awarded upon completion of Baccalaureate in Engineering.
- PHYS 121, 122, 221, 305, 351, and two additional upper-division (209 or higher) courses;
- MATH 180, 181, 280, 290, and 301, or equivalent;
- CHEM 110/120 or 115/230; and
- CSCI 161, or equivalent.
Notes for the major
For students pursuing the BS in Physics, there are two grade level requirements in the first two years of course work. The department chair may waive these requirements under appropriate circumstances. Students pursuing the BA in Physics for the Dual Degree Engineering program and other students interested in upper level physics courses are not subject to these requirements.
- A minimum grade of C- is required in Physics 122 to continue on to Physics 221, and a minimum grade of C- in Physics 221 is required to continue on to Physics 222.
- To pursue the major with 300 level courses and higher, a GPA of at least 2.0 is required for all 100 and 200 level physics courses required for the major, and a GPA of 2.0 is required for all 100 and 200 level math courses required for the major.
Requirements for the Minor in Physics
PHYS 121/122 (or 111/112); three additional units at least one of which must be at the 300 level or higher. (Ordinarily PHYS 109 will not satisfy this requirement.)
Requirements for the Minor in Biophysics
Completion of five units to include:
- BIOL 111 (Unity of Life: Cells, Molecules, and Systems)
- PHYS 111/112 or 121/122 (Introductory Physics Sequence)
- BIOL/PHYS 363 (Biophysics). This course has a prerequisite of Math 180 or instructor permission.
- An additional elective course chosen from: BIOL 112, 212, 362, NRSC 201, PHYS 310, CSCI 161, EXSC 336, and CHEM 460.
In addition to the courses above, students must satisfy one of the following:
- At least one of the courses used to satisfy the minor must be from outside the course requirements of the student’s major.
- Completion of an internship, research experience, or outreach experience in biophysics which must be approved in advance. Students must meet with a biophysics advisor and submit an application for internship/research/outreach prior to the end of the second semester of their junior year.
Notes for the major and minor
The Physics Department does not restrict the applicability of courses to major or minor requirements based on the age of the course.