Bachelor's Degree Options & Requirements
Prepare for a myriad of career options—physics, computer science, teaching, medicine, law—with a major in physics through the College of Arts and Sciences. If you're interested in teaching, the VolsTeach program allows you to earn your bachelor's in physics and your teaching certification simultaneously.
The undergraduate physics major provides a thorough introduction to all core areas of physics. Students pursuing the Bachelor of Science (BS) degree must meet requirements from the College of Arts and Sciences and may choose from one of two concentrations: academic or astronomy. We also offer minors in physics and astronomy, as well as honors concentrations. For those students looking for flexibility in their course options for junior and senior year, we offer a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree option, as well.
The BS offers two different concentrations. The academic concentration is especially well-suited interested in pursuing graduate studies in physics. The astronomy concentrations prepares students for Ph.D. programs in astronomy, as well. For those students interested in research, the honors concentration is also an option.
The BA degree program has the same foundational courses as the Bachelor of Science, but offers more flexibility in the junior and senior years. For more information, see BA details.
Students who complete all requirements for either the BA or the BS degree (any concentration) will be awarded a degree with honors if their cumulative GPA is at least 3.25, their GPA in 300- and 400-level mathematics and physics courses is at least 3.5, they complete a minimum of 12 hours in honors courses, and they complete a written senior thesis reporting results of research conducted under faculty supervision and defended before a committee of three physics faculty members. This must be done via successful completoin of:
If all of this sounds interesting to you, you may declare a major or minor!