The total major requirement consists of 39 credits and should begin no later than the second year: 27 credits from section A (below and 12 credits from section B (below). While not required, the one credit course, PHYS 196, senior Thesis, is strongly recommended for all students.
In addition to the physics requirements, there are other suggested courses in the program. CHEM 003 and 004 are strongly suggested. Prerequisites for all of the upper-level physics courses are Math 156, 157, 158 and 159 ( Calculus I, II, & III and Differential Equations). If students are not ready to take calculus on entering the University, they should take MATH 007. Advanced Calculus I & II or two semesters of upper level mathematics courses are strongly recommended.
The college language requirement may be satisfied with French, German, or Russian. Substitution of any other language will require department approval.
Courses listed with two or more numbers must be taken in the sequence indicated. The student should consult the "Undergraduate Bulletin" for additional University and College of Arts and Sciences requirements.
A. Required Courses
3-semester introductory sequence and five upper-division courses.
a. PHYS 013/023 General Physics for Science and Engineering Students I (Lecture/Lab) (3 credits/ 1 credit)
b. PHYS 014/24 General Physics for Science and Engineering Students II (Lecture/Lab) (3 credits/ 1 credit)
c. PHYS 015/025 Introduction to Modern Physics (Lecture/Lab) (3 credits/ 1 credit)
d. PHYS 175 Thermodynamics (3 credits)
e. PHYS 178 Electricity and Magnetism I (3 credits)
f. PHYS 182 Physical Mechanics I (3 credits)
g. PHYS 190 Quantum Physics I (3 credits)
h. PHYS 194 Experimental Physics I* (3 credits)
*WRTG 702 is the same as PHYS 194, but satisfies the College's third writing requirement.
B. Elective courses
Four more courses are required to complete the physics major. These courses must be coherent and satisfy one of the following areas of concentration: (1) Professional Physics, or (2) Applied Physics. Applied Physics has several tracks for the student to choose from. See concentrations for further information.
Senior Comprehensive Exam
The physics senior comprehensive exam is a departmental graduation requirement for undergraduate physics majors at Howard University. The exam covers topics from the introductory physics courses 013, 014, 105 and the upper division courses 175, 178, 182, 190, and 194. Students who earn an A grade in a senior thesis approved by the Department and in the senior comprehensive exam and who maintain the grade point average designated by the College of Arts and Sciences, are eligible for departmental honors.