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Butler University Bulletin

Physics and Astronomy Requirements

View the Physics and Astronomy Course Catalog

Requirements for the Physics Major

  • PH201, PH202, Introduction to Analytical Physics I and II
  • PH301, Modern Physics
  • PH303, Electromagnetic Waves and Optics
  • PH311, Experimental Modern Physics
  • PH321, Intermediate Classical Mechanics**
  • PH325, Thermodynamics and Statistical Physics**
  • PH331, Electromagnetic Theory**
  • PH421, Quantum Theory
  • PH490, Colloquium***
  • PH495, Senior Seminar
  • PH/AS, Physics Electives*

* Students must choose two physics electives from AS301, AS311, AS312, AS340, PH315, PH351, PH422, PH427, PH461, or PH480.

** Mechanical engineering students in the Engineering Dual Degree Program may substitute an appropriate engineering mechanics and thermodynamics course. Electrical engineering students in the Engineering Dual Degree Program may substitute an appropriate engineering electromagnetic theory course.

Note that many of the upper-level courses will require MA106, MA107, MA208, MA310, or MA334. A student who intends to pursue graduate studies in physics should also consider AS311, PH315, PH422, and/or PH461. Butler University requires that students take at least 40 hours of credit at a 300 level or higher to graduate. All students in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences must complete a foreign language requirement. For a bachelor of science degree a student must take a minimum of 60 hours in the natural sciences and mathematics.

*** Physics majors must enroll in the colloquium course every semester they enroll as majors unless enrolled in PH495 or the Department approves an exemption for study abroad. This is a zero-credit-hour pass/fail course.

Requirements for the Astronomy and Astrophysics Major

  • AS102, Modern Astronomy (same as NW263)
  • AS301, Modern Astronomical Techniques
  • AS311, Stellar Astrophysics
  • AS312, Galaxies and Cosmology
  • AS340, Cosmology
  • PH201/PH202, Introduction to Analytical Physics I and II
  • PH301, Modern Physics
  • PH303, Electromagnetic Waves and Optics
  • PH321, Intermediate Classical Mechanics
  • PH331, Electromagnetic Theory
  • PH490, Colloquium*
  • PH495, Senior Seminar

* Astronomy-Astrophysics majors must enroll in the colloquium course every semester they enroll as majors, unless enrolled in PH495 or unless the Department approves an exemption for study abroad. This is a zero-credit-hour pass/fail course.

Particular regard should be given to the mathematics and physics prerequisites for all 300-level courses. Note that many of the upper-level courses will require MA106, MA107, MA208, MA310, or MA334. Students should also take at least one computer science course that involves programming, typically CS141. The College of Liberal Arts and Science requires that students take at least 40 hours of credit at the 300 level or higher to graduate. For a bachelor of science degree a student must take a minimum of 60 hours in the natural sciences. Physics majors cannot count Physics electives towards an Astronomy-Astrophysics major.

Recommended

  • PH311, Experimental Modern Physics
  • PH325, Thermodynamics and Statistical Physics
  • PH421, Quantum Theory
  • PH461, Computational Physics

Requirements for the Physics Minor

  • PH201 and PH202, Introduction to Analytical Physics
  • PH301, Modern Physics
  • PH303, Electromagnetic Waves and Optics
  • PH311, Experimental Modern Physics
  • PH321, Intermediate Classical Mechanics

Astronomy-Astrophysics majors cannot get a minor in Physics.

Requirements for the Astronomy Minor

  • AS102, Modern Astronomy (same as NW263)
  • PH201, PH202, Introduction to Analytical Physics
  • AS301, Modern Astronomical Techniques
  • AS311, Stellar Astrophysics
  • AS312, Galaxies and Cosmology

Note that MA106 and MA107 are prerequisites to the upper-division astronomy courses. Physics majors cannot count Physics electives towards an Astronomy-Astrophysics minor.

NOTE: The information found on this website with respect to major/minor/program requirements is primarily directed at providing prospective students a general roadmap of the curriculum. Current Butler students are expected to review their degree audit report at my.butler.edu and speak with their advisor regularly for detailed information regarding their specific degree requirements and their progress toward degree completion.