Majors and Minors

Our department offers a B.A. Degree with a Major in Physics and Minor in Physics. Students who elect to major in Physics find that the foundation in fundamental principles and experimental techniques is an excellent preparation for graduate work in the pure or applied sciences, engineering, other professional fields, or for direct entry into the job market.

A major in Physics is achieved by completion of the following requirements, in addition to the General Education and electives required for a degree:

Required Core Courses

  • PHY 221 Intro Physics I with Calculus
  • PHY 222 Intro Physics II with Calculus
  • PHY 320 Modern Physics
  • PHY 365 Thermal Physics
  • PHY 460 Electromagnetic Theory
  • PHY 481 Classical Mechanics

Required Distribution Courses

Three (3) PHY course credits selected from program offerings at the 200-300-400 level. See catalog for a complete description.

Required Collateral Courses

  • MAT 135 Calculus I
  • MAT 225 Calculus II
  • MAT 330 Calculus III

Exploring the Major

First-year prospective Physics majors will be placed in the introductory Physics courses, depending on the student’s mathematics preparation. Students should follow either: 1) MAT 115 with PHY 127/PHY 128; or 2) MAT 125 and MAT 135 with PHY 221/ PHY 222, as described in Course Sequencing below.

Admission to the Major

Students should earn a grade of C or higher in PHY 221, PHY 222, and MAT 135 (or waiver) in order to be admitted into the major.

Course Sequencing Considerations (in order to complete degree requirements within eight terms)

Students interested in Physics as a major, who have completed or waived MAT 115 should register for PHY 127 in Fall Term and PHY 128 in Spring Term of their first year. Prospective Physics majors who have completed or waived MAT 125 or MAT 135 (or are simultaneously taking MAT 135) should register for PHY 130 in Fall Term and PHY 221 in Spring Term of their first year.

Additional Considerations or Recommendations

The physics program strongly recommends that students who are interested in majoring in Physics talk with one of the Physics Program faculty as early as possible.

Dual Degree Program

Berea College does not offer an engineering major, but many Berea graduates enjoy rewarding careers in engineering, applied science, and technical management. Successful engineers need to be able to communicate effectively, reason logically, and understand both the technical and the social dimensions of a problem. Berea offers opportunities to acquire a strong grounding in science and mathematics, while also studying broadly in the humanities and social sciences. This well-rounded liberal arts education enables Berea graduates to succeed in engineering graduate study and in their careers. See the Dual Degree Program for more information.