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Bachelor of Arts Degree in Physics

The Bachelor of Arts degree in Physics provides opportunities for careers in several professional fields. It is not recommended for students planning to pursue graduate studies in physics or related fields.

The minimum number of semester credit hours required for this degree, including the Core Curriculum requirements, is 120. Thirty-nine of the total semester credit hours required for the degree must be at the upper-division level.

All majors in physics are required to complete all required and elective physics courses with a grade of “C-” or better.

All candidates seeking this degree must fulfill the Core Curriculum requirements and the degree requirements, which are listed below.

Core Curriculum Requirements (42 semester credit hours)
Students seeking the Bachelor of Arts degree in Physics must fulfill University Core Curriculum requirements in the same manner as other students. The courses listed below satisfy both degree requirements and Core Curriculum requirements; however, if these courses are taken to satisfy both requirements, then students may need to take additional courses in order to meet the minimum number of semester credit hours required for this degree. For a complete listing of courses that satisfy the Core Curriculum requirements, see pages 3-5 of this catalog.

MAT 1214 may be used to satisfy the core requirement in Mathematics as well as a major requirement. Two of the following courses may be used to satisfy the core requirement in Natural Sciences as well as major requirements: CHE 1103, CHE 1113, PHY 1943, or PHY 1963.

Degree Requirements

  1. 33 semester credit hours of physics and astronomy courses:

    1. 27 semester credit hours of required courses completed with a grade of “C-” or better:

      PHY  1943, 1951  Physics for Scientists I and Laboratory
      PHY  1963, 1971  Physics for Scientists II and Laboratory
      PHY  2103, 2111  Modern Physics and Laboratory
      PHY  2823           Mathematical Physics I
      PHY  3203           Classical Mechanics I
      PHY  3293           Thermal Physics
      PHY  3343           Advanced Physics Laboratory
      PHY  3423           Electricity and Magnetism

    2. 6 additional semester credit hours selected from the following:

      AST  3013  Fundamentals of Astronomy
      AST  3023  Introduction to Astrophysics
      PHY  3143  Introduction to Computational Physics
      PHY  3313  Materials Physics
      PHY  3443  Modern Optics
      PHY  3603  Cosmology
      PHY  4013  Relativity: Special and General
      PHY  4133  Numerical Methods for Physicists
      PHY  4263  Quantum Mechanics I
      PHY  4843  Condensed Matter Theory

  2. 54 semester credit hours required in the College of Sciences:

    1. 22 semester credit hours of required courses (excluding physics):

      CHE  1103   General Chemistry I
      CHE  1113   General Chemistry II
      CHE  1121   General Chemistry I Laboratory
      CS    1073   Introductory Computer Programming for Scientific Applications
      MAT  1214  Calculus I
      MAT  1224  Calculus II
      MAT  2214  Calculus III

    2. 32 additional approved semester credit hours from the College of Sciences including 18 upper-division hours

Course Sequence Guide for B.A. Degree in Physics

This course sequence guide is designed to assist students in completing their UTSA undergraduate Physics degree requirements. This is merely a guide and students must satisfy other requirements of this catalog and meet with advisors in the College of Sciences Undergraduate Advising Center for individualized degree plans. Progress within this guide depends upon such factors as course availability, individual student academic preparation, student time management, work obligations, and individual financial considerations. Students may choose to take courses during Summer terms to reduce course loads during long semesters.

B.A. in Physics - Recommended Four-Year Academic Plan

FIRST YEAR
Fall Spring
CHE 1103 or CHE 1143 (core and major) 3 CHE 1113 or CHE 1153 (core and major) 3
CHE 1121* 1 MAT 1224 4
CS 1073 3 PHY 1943/1951 3/1
MAT 1214 (core and major) 4 WRC 1023 (core) 3
WRC 1013 (core) 3 College of Sciences elective** 2
Total semester hours 14 Total semester hours 16
SECOND YEAR
Fall Spring
MAT 2214 4 PHY 2103/2111 3/1
PHY 1963/1971 3/1 PHY 2823 3
Social & Behavioral Science core 3 PHY 3203 3
U.S. History & Diversity core 3 U.S. History & Diversity core 3
    World Society & Issues core 3
Total semester hours 14 Total semester hours 16
THIRD YEAR
Fall Spring
PHY 3293 3 PHY 3343 3
PHY 3423 3 POL 1133 or 1213 (core) 3
College of Sciences elective** 3 College of Sciences elective** 3
College of Sciences elective** 3 College of Sciences elective** 3
Literature core 3 Economics core 3
Total semester hours 15 Total semester hours 15
FOURTH YEAR
Fall Spring
POL 1013 (core) 3 College of Sciences elective** 3
College of Sciences elective** 3 College of Sciences elective** 3
College of Sciences elective** 3 College of Sciences elective** 3
College of Sciences elective** 3 Upper-division AST or PHY elective† 3
Upper-division AST or PHY elective† 3 Visual & Performing Arts core 3
Total semester hours 15 Total semester hours 15

* These laboratory courses include a lecture component as indicated on the University Schedule of Classes.

** At least 18 semester credit hours of College of Sciences electives must be at the upper-division level.

† From section A.2. of degree requirements.

Note: Some courses are only offered once a year; Fall or Spring. Check with the Department of Physics and Astronomy for scheduling of courses.

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