Bachelor of Science with a Major in Physics

The following requirements must be fulfilled:

The general requirements stated under Columbian College of Arts and Sciences, Undergraduate Programs.

Program-specific curriculum:

Required introductory courses (36 credits):
PHYS 1021University Physics I
or PHYS 1025 University Physics I with Biological Applications
PHYS 1022University Physics II
or PHYS 1026 University Physics II with Biological Applications
PHYS 2023Modern Physics
MATH 1231Single-Variable Calculus I
MATH 1232Single-Variable Calculus II
MATH 2233Multivariable Calculus
MATH 2184Linear Algebra I
MATH 3342Ordinary Differential Equations
MATH 3343Partial Differential Equations
CSCI 1111Introduction to Software Development
or CSCI 1041 Introduction to FORTRAN Programming
or CSCI 1121 Introduction to C Programming
or CSCI 1131 Introduction to Programming with C
CHEM 1111General Chemistry I
or CHEM 1112 General Chemistry II
or BISC 1111 Introductory Biology: Cells and Molecules
or BISC 1112 Introductory Biology: The Biology of Organisms
PHYS 2151Intermediate Laboratory I: Techniques and Methods
or PHYS 2151W Intermediate Laboratory I: Techniques and Methods
PHYS 3161Mechanics
PHYS 3164Thermal and Statistical Physics
PHYS 3165Electromagnetic Theory I
PHYS 3167Principles of Quantum Physics
PHYS 3181Computational Physics
PHYS 4195Physics Capstone
or PHYS 4195W Physics Capstone
PHYS 4196Undergraduate Research in Biophysics
or PHYS 4197 Undergraduate Research in Nuclear Physics
or ASTR 4195 Undergraduate Research in Astrophysics
PHYS 4200Physics Symposium
Two additional physics (PHYS) courses (6 credits) numbered 3000 or above or ASTR course numbered 2000 or above

In addition to the University General Education Requirement, undergraduate students in Columbian College must complete a further, College-specific general education curriculum—Perspective, Analysis, Communication, or G-PAC. Together with the University General Education Requirement, G-PAC engages students in active intellectual inquiry across the liberal arts. Students achieve a set of learning outcomes that enhance their analytical skills, develop their communication competencies, and invite them to participate as responsible citizens who are attentive to issues of culture, diversity, and privilege.

G-PAC approved courses, Dean's Seminars, and Sophomore Colloquia that may be available for registration are listed on the CCAS Advising website.

Coursework for the University General Education Requirement is distributed as follows:

  • Writing—one approved course in university writing and two approved writing in the disciplines (WID) courses.
  • Humanities—one approved course in the humanities that involves critical or creative thinking skills.
  • Mathematics or Statistics—one approved course in either mathematics or statistics.
  • Natural or Physical Science—one approved laboratory course that employs the process of scientific inquiry.
  • Social Sciences—two approved courses in the social sciences.

Coursework for the Columbian College general education curriculum is distributed as follows:

  • Arts—one approved course in the arts that involves the study or creation of artwork based on an understanding or interpretation of artistic traditions or knowledge of art in a contemporary context.
  • Global or Cross-Cultural Perspective—one approved course that analyzes the ways in which institutions, practices, and problems transcend national and regional boundaries.
  • Humanities—one approved course in the humanities that involves critical thinking skills (in addition to the one course in this category required by the University General Education Requirement).
  • Local or Civic Engagement—one approved course that develops the values, ethics, disciplines, and commitment to pursue responsible public action.
  • Natural or Physical Science—one approved laboratory course that employs the process of scientific inquiry (in addition to the one course in this category required by the University General Education Requirement.
  • Oral Communication—one course in oral communication.

Certain courses are approved to fulfill the requirement in more than one of these categories.

Courses taken in fulfillment of G-PAC also may be counted toward majors or minors. Transfer courses taken prior to, but not after, admission to George Washington University may count toward the University General Education Requirement and G-PAC, if those transfer courses are equivalent to GW courses that have been approved by the University and the College.

In addition to the general requirements stated under University Regulations, in order to be considered for graduation with Special Honors, a student must submit for departmental approval an honors thesis based on a two-semester research project. In addition, the student must have a cumulative grade-point average of at least 3.5 in physics courses and 3.5 overall.