Physics Minor

The physics minor at UW Bothell gives students a strong background in the quantitative analysis of nature and is a natural extension to many of the current and upcoming majors on campus, to include Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Mathematics, Chemistry, and others. A physics minor will strengthen your fundamental knowledge and give you a leg up as you pursue future career opportunities!

The physics minor includes courses on thermodynamics and statistical mechanics, quantum theory, the physics of solids, and astrophysics.  Mathematical physics will be of interest to students who seek to expand on their math skills and learn how physicists use math to solve problems. Solid state and condensed matter physics will be particularly useful for Mechanical Engineering and Electrical Engineering majors.


Figure-Particle tracks from a subatomic collision.

To take quantum mechanics is to learn the secrets of the atom, and is quite a jarring experience for many. It's unintuitive nature and bizarre results never cease to amaze the instructors, as well as the students! It can then be applied to many systems to include solid state, chemical, and others.

For many there is a natural awe and curiosity about the universe around us. We offer astronomy, astrophysics, and cosmology courses for those interested. The last few decades have been called the "Golden Age" of cosmology, and many of the results are startling.


Figure-Black hole jets.

For future teachers there is much need for knowledge of introductory physics.  The physics minor is a great path towards becoming a physics teacher and attaining a physics endorsement. One can pick and choose courses to suit your desires and needs as a future educator.


Introductory Courses:

For those interested in the biological or social sciences you should take the BPHYS 11x series. These require only college algebra:

  • BPHYS 114, 115, 116 [4 cr each]
  • BPHYS 117, 118, 119 [1 cr each] are the corresponding labs.

For the BPHYS 11x series you are not required to take the lab simultaneously with the lecture, but it is strongly recommended.

For those interested in the physics minor, you should take the 12x series:

  • BPHYS 121, 122, 123 [5 cr each] labs are with the course.

These require Calculus I for BPHYS 121, Calculus II for BPHYS 122, and Calculus III for BPHYS 123.

Advanced Courses:

20 credits from below are required for the minor, while BPHYS 224 Thermal Physics is required and counts towards those 20 credits.

Course prerequisites are below the bold courses, and course descriptions can be found here.

  • BPHYS 224 Thermal Physics [5 cr]
  • BPHYS 221 Classical Mechanics [5 cr]
    • STMATH 307 Introduction to Differential Equations
  • BPHYS 222 Modern Physics [5 cr]
    • STMATH 307 Introduction to Differential Equations          
  • BPHYS 227 Mathematical Physics [5 cr]
    • STMATH 307 Introduction to Differential Equations
    • STMATH 308 Matrix Algebra with Applications
  • BPHYS 229 Biophysics I [5 cr]
    • BPHYS 224 Thermal Physics   
  • BPHYS 311 Introduction to Astrophysics I [5 cr]
    • BPHYS 221 Classical Mechanics
  • BPHYS 314 Introduction to Cosmology [5 cr]
    • BPHYS 221 Classical Mechanics
    • BPHYS 222 Modern Physics 
  • BPHYS 321 Electricity and Magnetism I [5 cr]
    • STMATH 307 Introduction to Differential Equations
    • STMATH 324 Multivariable Calculus
  • BPHYS 324 Quantum Mechanics I [5 cr]
    • BPHYS 221 Classical Mechanics
    • BPHYS 222 Modern Physics        
  • BPHYS 328 Statistical Mechanics [5 cr]
    • BPHYS 224 Thermal Physics
  • BPHYS 423 Condensed Matter Physics [5 cr]
    • BPHYS 324 Quantum Mechanics I
  • BPHYS 429 Biophysics II [5 cr]
    • BPHYS 229 Biophysics I

Faculty Contacts:

Dr. Warren Buck, WBuck@uw.edu

Dr. Matt DePies, MRDepies@uw.edu

Student Resources:

Quantitative Skills Center, Dr. Erin Hill, EHill07@uw.edu

Student Advising, Christopher Shaeffer, shaefc@uw.edu