Academic Catalog 2021-2022

Slippery Rock University

Physics, Bachelor of Arts (BA)

Program Learning Outcomes

Upon graduation, students in the Physics Program at SRU will be:

  • Proficient in the basic and advanced concepts of classical and modern physics.
  • Accomplished problem solvers capable of applying inductive and deductive logic, mathematical modeling, computational tools, and principles of physics to novel situations.
  • Skilled at constructing and assembling experimental apparatuses, conducting and analyzing measurements of physical phenomena, and drawing valid conclusions from experimental data.
  • Effective communicators, capable of presenting scientific results effectively to diverse audiences.
  • Prepared for a career in science, industry, and education or to pursue a graduate program in physics or related areas.

Related Links

Physics, BA Program Page

Physics and Engineering Department Page

Professional Licensure/Certification Page

Curriculum Guide

GPA Requirement

Major GPA: 2.00 or higher
Overall GPA: 2.00 or higher


Rock Studies Requirements45
Modern Language Requirements0-9
Other Basic Requirements0-3
Computer Competency0-3
Major Requirements39
Natural Science and Math College-Wide Requirements12

* All undergraduate degree programs require a minimum of 120 credits.  Some courses meet multiple requirements, but are only counted once toward the 120 credit total required to graduate.

Rock Studies Requirements

The Rock
SUBJ 139University Seminar 13
ENGL 102Critical Writing3
ENGL 104Critical Reading3
MATH 225Calculus I4
Select one of the following:3
Civil Discourse: Theory & Practice
Ethics and Civil Discourse
Civil Discourse and Democracy
Integrated Inquiry
Creative and Aesthetic Inquiry
Select 3 Credits3
Humanities Inquiry
Select 3 Credits3
Social Science Inquiry
Select 3 Credits3
Natural Sciences Inquiry
CHEM 107General Chemistry I3
CHEM 111General Chemistry I Lab1
Physical Sciences Inquiry
PHYS 211General Physics I with Lab4
Thematic Thread
Select 12 Credits 212
Total Hours45

BA Modern Language Requirement

BA degree requires language proficiency at the 103 class level. Exemption by placement or examination is possible.

Complete 0-9 credits0-9
Total Hours0-9

Basic Math Requirement

Check with your adviser or a current degree audit report to see if you have been exempted from this course. The credit earned in this course will not be counted toward the 120 credit hour minimum needed to earn a degree.

Complete one of the following:0-3
Meet required minimum SAT or ACT math score OR
Beginning Algebra
Total Hours0-3

Computer Competency

Demonstrate "computer competency" by one of the following:0-3
Pass Computer Competency Exam OR
Select one of the following at SRU or another post-secondary institution:
Introduction to Computing for Liberal Arts
Computer Concepts
Introduction to Computing and Programming
Technology for Wellness
Total Hours0-3

Major Requirements 

  • 20 major credits must be taken at SRU or PASSHE
  • 20 major credits must be taken at the 300 level or above
Required Physics Courses
PHYS 212General Physics II with Lab 13
PHYS 213General Physics III/ Lab 14
PHYS 312Modern Physics 1 13
PHYS 314Statics 13
Select one of the following:3
Mathematical Methods of Physics 1
Mathematical Methods of Physics 1
Select one of the following:2
Advanced Physics Laboratory 1
Optics Laboratory 1
PHYS 412Modern Physics 2 11
Required Physics Electives
Select two of the following:6
Dynamics 1
Thermal Physics 1
Computational Physics 1
Electricity and Magnetism 1
Quantum 1
Related Field Work
CPSC 146Programming Principles 13
MATH 230Calculus II 1,24
MATH 231Calculus III 14
MATH 240Linear Algebra and Differential Equations 13
Total Hours39

Natural Science and Math College-Wide Requirements

Students must take the following four courses:
CHEM 107General Chemistry I 13
CHEM 111General Chemistry I Lab 11
MATH 225Calculus I 14
PHYS 211General Physics I with Lab 14
Total Hours12

PHYSICS - BA (6 64)
This program is effective as of Fall 2019.
Revised 07-2019
UCC 2.5.2019 

Important Curriculum Guide Notes

This Curriculum Guide is provided to help SRU students and prospective students better understand their intended major curriculum. Enrolled SRU students should note that the My Rock Audit may place already-earned and/or in progress courses in different, yet valid, curriculum categories. Enrolled SRU students should use the My Rock Audit Report and materials and information provided by their faculty advisers to ensure accurate progress towards degree completion. The information on this guide is current as of the date listed. Students are responsible for curriculum requirements at the time of enrollment at the University.

PASSHE - Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education Institutions

Recommended Four-Year Plan

Plan of Study Grid
First Year
ENGL 102 Critical Writing 3
MATH 225 Calculus I 4
PHYS 211 General Physics I with Lab 4
SUBJ 139University Seminar 1 3
INDS 101 FYRST Seminar 1
ENGL 104 Critical Reading 3
PHYS 213 General Physics III/ Lab 4
MATH 230 Calculus II 4
Second Year
Civil Discourse 3
MATH 231 Calculus III 4
PHYS 213 General Physics III/ Lab 4
CHEM 107
CHEM 111
General Chemistry I
and General Chemistry I Lab
Free Elective 3
Declare a Thematic Thread 2  
CHEM 108
CHEM 112
General Chemistry II
and General Chemistry II Lab
MATH 240 Linear Algebra and Differential Equations 3
CPSC 146 Programming Principles 3
Free Elective 3
Third Year
PHYS 314 Statics 3
PHYS 312 Modern Physics 1 3
Free Elective 3
Free Elective 3
Physics Elective 3
Free Elective 3
PHYS 412 Modern Physics 2 1
Free Elective 3
Fourth Year
PHYS 331 Mathematical Methods of Physics 3
Physics Elective 3
Free Elective 3
Free Elective 3
PHYS 381
Advanced Physics Laboratory
or Optics Laboratory
Free Elective 3
Free Elective 3
Technical Elective 3
 Total Hours**123

Major Code: 6 64
Revised: 09.2019

** This document is meant to serve as a guide. Some planners may show more than 120 credits because faculty have created flexibility in choosing courses.  However, only 120 credits are required to obtain a degree. Please consult with your academic adviser and refer to your curriculum guide prior to registering for courses. This plan should be reviewed, and verified, by you and your academic adviser at least once each academic year.