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Physics

Bachelor of Arts

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The objective of physics is to discover the basic components of matter and the nature of the physical world, and to formulate a mathematical description of the laws that govern their behavior. Physics encompasses concepts applied to problems in geology, biology, chemistry, and other disciplines. A teaching major is also offered, leading to certification to teach in Arizona public schools. A new BA option is designed for students who want to pursue careers in other fields. It allows students to double-major in physics and an unrelated field.

Major Details

College: College of Science
Admissions Requirements:

No Additional Requirements

Website: http://www.physics.arizona.edu/physics/
Math Required:

Substantial

    This strand involves skill and facility with calculus. The S-strand begins at one of two calculus options - MATH 124 (Calculus I with Applications) or MATH 125 (Calculus I). Students who successfully complete the S-strand may continue on to MATH 129 (Calculus II), MATH 223 (Vector Calculus), or beyond. Those who choose but are not ready to begin the S-strand will be required to take preparatory work.
Substantial
Second Language Required:

4 Semesters

  • Scoring the equivalent of fourth-semester skill level on an entrance or placement examination administered by The University of Arizona.
  • Completion of a two-course sequence beyond the second semester of post-secondary language instruction.
  • Completion with a C or higher of a 300- or 400-level language course at the post-secondary level.
  • Completion of one course beyond the third semester in combination with an AP (Advanced Placement) score, IB (International Baccalaureate) score or a CLEP (College Level Entrance Program) score determined by the individual language department.
  • An AP, IB, or CLEP language score determined by individual language departments.
  • A minimum of one semester study abroad in a language program approved by the appropriate language department as the equivalent of fourth-semester skill level.
4 Semesters
Fees: No
Pre-Major: No
Available at:
  • Main Campus

Four-Year Plan

Archived plans are available on Degree Search 2011-2016 for many degree plans. These are sample plans. Please work with your academic advisor for more specific and up-to-date requirements.

Select a year:

UA Course Requirements Units
1st Semester
CHEM 151 General Chemistry I 4
MATH 122A Functions of Calculus 1
MATH 122B First-Semester Calculus 4
ENGL 101 First Year Composition 3
Tier I General Education 3
Third Semester Second Language 4
2nd Semester
PHYS 161H Honors Intro Mechanics or 4
MATH 129 Calculus II 3
ENGL 102 First Year Composition 3
Fourth Semester Second Language 4
Tier I General Education 3
3rd Semester
PHYS 162H Honors Introductory Optics and Thermodynamics 4
MATH 254 Intro to Ordinary Differential Equations 3
MATH 223 Vector Calc 4
Tier I General Education 3
Minor 3
4th Semester
PHYS 261H Honors Introductory Electricity and Magnetism 4
PHYS 105A Introduction to Scientific Computing 1
PHYS 204 Mathematical Techniques in Physics 3
Elective 3
Tier I General Education 3
5th Semester
PHYS 321 Theoretical Mechanics I 3
PHYS 263H Honors Introductory Relativity and Quantum Physics 3
Tier II General Education 3
Science Elective 3
Minor 3
6th Semester
PHYS 381 Methods in Experimental Physics I 2
PHYS 331 Electricity and Magnetism I 3
PHYS 305 Computational Physics 3
Minor 3
Tier II General Education 3
7th Semester
PHYS 382 Methods of Experimental Physics II 2
PHYS 371 Quantum Theory I 3
Tier II General Education 3
Minor 3
Minor 3
8th Semester
Elective 3
Elective 3
PHYS elective 3
PHYS elective 3
Minor 3

AZ Transfer Pathways

This page is designed for in-state transfer students who plan to attend the University of Arizona. The information presented lists the most accurate course equivalencies and may not include all possible requirements. Transfer students are strongly encouraged to use this site for reference only and not for self-advising.

Transfer students should work with their community colleges and UA advisors to develop an individualized plan for transfer, and visit aztransfer.com

  • All posted Pathways (except for Bachelor of Applied Science Pathways) fulfill an AGEC and most also fulfill an Associate Degree
  • Following a Pathway does not guarantee admission to the UA nor admission to a college/major/program at the UA
  • Use Pathways in consultation with advisors from your community college and the UA
  • Pathways are subject to change at any time

Which college/university do you attend?

Career Planning

The knowledge of thermodynamics, optics, mechanics, magnetism, and other topics in physics, as well as advanced mathematics, research methods, analysis, language, and culture gained from a Bachelor of Arts in Physics forms a valuable career foundation. BA graduates in Physics might pursue careers in teaching, research, consulting, and outreach with schools and universities, government agencies, and private industry.  A  Physics major is also excellent preparation for graduate study in physics, hydrology, astronomy, and other fields.A teaching major is also offered, leading to certification to teach in Arizona public schools. Many of the career fields most closely related to this major require an advanced degree or certificate.

Potential Career Areas

  • Primary and secondary science education
  • Postsecondary education
  • Research
  • Consulting
  • Industrial design
  • Hydrology
  • Astronomy
  • Electronics production

Sample Employers

  • Colleges and universities
  • Schools
  • Energy companies
  • Aerospace firms
  • Auto industry
  • Consulting firms
  • Engineering firms
  • Government
  • Research agencies
  • Self-employment (consulting)
  • Mining

Sample Job Titles and National Salary Range

Job Title Salary Range
Physicist $55,150 - $110,110
Hydrologist $42,080 - $98,320
Science Teacher (Secondary) $36,930 - $55,950
College/University Instructor $35,670 - $78,540
Astronomer $33,151 - $51,670
Renewable Energy Scientist $18,440 - $53,360
Astrophysicist $51,670 - $110,110
Geophysical Data Technician $25,000 - $60,000
Biophysicist $40,820 - $129,510