Physics

Degree Requirements

students in physics lab

 

All UW Bothell Physics majors must complete the following requirements to earn their degree:

Course descriptions

To see descriptions and prerequisites for each course, visit the time schedule's Physics course descriptions page.

Downloadable resources

For a visual representation of the information on this page, download the following PDF resources:

Overlapping coursework

A single course cannot satisfy more than one departmental requirement. For example, B PHYS 431 (Experimental Physics Lab I) can fulfill a core requirement, but not the upper-division Physics elective requirement.

Petitioning coursework

Physics coursework that is not included on the lists below is considered on a case-by-case basis. Submit a petition to have your course considered for a requirement.

 

Admission Prerequisites

Applicants must complete all of the following coursework (or equivalent) prior to entry into their program. Visit our Admissions page for more information.

  • STMATH 124: Calculus I (5 credits)
  • STMATH 125: Calculus II (5 credits)
  • B PHYS 121: Calculus-based Physics I (Mechanics; 5 credits)
  • B PHYS 122: Calculus-based Physics II (Electromagnetism & Oscillatory Motion; 5 credits)

Physics Major Requirements

Physics students in all programs must complete all of the following coursework. We strongly recommend completing all of the mathematics and lower-division physics coursework before moving on to the upper-division (300- and 400-level) coursework.

Mathematics

  • STMATH 124: Calculus I (5 credits)
  • STMATH 125: Calculus II (5 credits)
  • STMATH 126: Calculus III (5 credits)
  • STMATH 307: Differential Equations (5 credits)
  • STMATH 308: Matrix Algebra (5 credits)
  • STMATH 324: Multivariable Calculus (5 credits)

Lower-Division Physics

  • B PHYS 121: Mechanics + Lab (5 credits)
  • B PHYS 122: Electromagnetism and Oscillatory Motion + Lab (5 credits)
  • B PHYS 123: Waves + Lab (5 credits)
  • BPHYS 221: Classical Mechanics (5 credits)
  • BPHYS 222: Modern Physics (5 credits)
  • BPHYS 224: Thermal Physics (5 credits)
  • BPHYS 231: Introduction to Experimental Physics (3 credits)

Upper-Division Physics Core

  • BPHYS 317: Mathematical Physics (5 credits)
  • BPHYS 321: Electricity and Magnetism I (5 credits)
  • BPHYS 322: Electricity and Magnetism II (5 credits)
  • BPHYS 324: Quantum Mechanics I (5 credits)
  • BPHYS 431: Experimental Physics Lab I (5 credits)
  • BPHYS 433: Senior Project (5 credits)
  • BPHYS 484: Physics, Society, and Industry (5 credits)
  • BPHYS 494: Physics Seminar (1 credit)

Physics Electives

(choose any four courses, 20 credits)

  • BPHYS 293: Special Topics in Physics  (5 credits)
  • BPHYS 311: Astrophysics I  (5 credits)
  • BPHYS 312: Astrophysics II  (5 credits)
  • BPHYS 314: Introduction to Cosmology  (5 credits)
  • BPHYS 323: Electricity and Magnetism III  (5 credits)
  • BPHYS 325: Quantum Mechanics II  (5 credits)
  • BPHYS 328: Statistical Physics  (5 credits)
  • BPHYS 432: Experimental Physics Lab II  (5 credits)
  • BPHYS 441: Condensed Matter Physics I  (5 credits)
  • BPHYS 442: Condensed Matter Physics II  (5 credits)
  • BPHYS 450: Computational Physics & Theoretical Modeling  (5 credits)
  • BPHYS 493: Advanced Topics in Physics (5 credits)
  • BPHYS 498: Independent Study (1-5 credits, maximum of 10)
  • BPHYS 499: Research (1-5 credits, maximum of 10)
  • Coursework from other programs considered on a case-by-case basis

University-Level Requirements

In addition to the degree-specific requirements above, all University of Washington students must complete the following requirements to earn a bachelor's degree.

General Education Requirements

The following courses are allowed to overlap with your departmental requirements or with your Areas of Knowledge requirements but not with each other. Click the links below for detailed descriptions.

  1. English Composition (C) (5 credits)
  2. Additional Writing (W) (10 credits)
  3. Quantitative and Symbolic Reasoning (QSR) (5 credits). Physics students complete this requirement automatically via their departmental requirements.
  4. Diversity (DIV) (3 credits). Almost all DIV courses also fulfill Areas of Knowledge requirements for I&S or sometimes VLPA (see below).

Areas of Knowledge Requirements

The following courses are allowed to overlap with your departmental requirements or with your general education requirements but not with each other. Visit the Areas of Knowledge page for detailed descriptions.

  1. Visual, Literary, and Performing Arts (VLPA) (15 credits)
  2. Individuals & Societies (I&S) (15 credits)
  3. The Natural World (NW) (15 credits). Physics students complete this requirement automatically via their departmental requirements.

University Graduation Requirements

In addition to all requirements outlined above, you must also meet the following baccalaureate-level requirements. Visit the graduation requirements page for detailed descriptions.

  1. 180 credit minimum. You must earn a minimum of 180 credits. This includes your transfer coursework and any coursework taken at the University of Washington.
  2. Matriculated credit minimum. You must earn a minimum of 45 credits at the University of Washington.
  3. Senior residency. Of your last 60 credits that count towards any degree requirements, a minimum of 45 must be completed at your home campus (UW Bothell).
  4. Minimum GPA. You must earn a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.00 for all of your coursework taken at the University of Washington.