In addition to a physics major, a 3-2 engineering program is available, described in the engineering physics major. Teacher certification for grades 5-12 is also available in physical science or physics.

Major in physics

52 credit hours

  • Phys 105, Physics and Engineering 2
  • Phys 203-204, General Physics 8
  • Phys 302, Analytical Mechanics 3
  • Phys 303, Classical Field Theory 3
  • Phys 310, Thermodynamics 4
  • Phys 313, Quantum Theory 3
  • Phys 410, Senior Seminar 3
  • Physics electives 3
  • Chem 111-112, General Chemistry 8
  • Math 211-212, Calculus I & II 8
  • Math 213, Multivariate Calculus 4
  • Math 321, Differential Equations 3

Student learning outcomes

Graduates in physics will:

  1. Apply principles from primary physical theories: mechanics, electricity and magnetism, thermodynamics, and quantum mechanics.
  2. Demonstrate facility with mathematical and computational tools of a physicist: calculus, differential equations, programming languages, computational environments, and spreadsheets.
  3. Demonstrate facility with laboratory equipment and ability to analyze and visualize data using tools such as graphing, curve fitting, and statistical analysis.
  4. Carry out independent projects and research, both individually and collaboratively.
  5. Demonstrate oral and written communication skills to present technical matters to a variety of audiences.
  6. Exhibit thoughtful awareness of basic issues and questions in the relations between science, religion, and ethics.

Planning guide for physics major

First year Goshen Core
Calculus I & II
General Physics I & II
Physics and Engineering (first year seminar)
Programming I*
Multivariate Calculus
Second year Goshen Core
General Chemistry I & II
Differential Equations
SST (spring or summer)
Third year Goshen Core
Analytical Mechanics
Optics and Holography*
Classical Field Theory
Fourth year Thermodynamics
Quantum Theory
Research Project
Senior Seminar

Planning and advising notes

The starred courses, while not required, are very useful for most physics majors.
Physics department advisors will assist each student in creating a suitable four-year plan. The choice of SST unit has more freedom than suggested above.

Teacher certification in physics or physical science is available for grades 5-12 in two related areas. Courses needed in addition to, or as part of, the physics major are:
Physics – Phys 208, Phys 210
Physical Science – Chem 200, Chem 303, Phys 210
Also required are 36 credits of education courses, including a semester of student teaching. The first education class, Educ 201, should be taken in May term of the first year or spring of the sophomore year. See the education catalog and web pages for more details about requirements.