May 28, 2024  
Undergraduate Catalog 2023 - 2024 
Undergraduate Catalog 2023 - 2024

Physics, B.S.

Department of Physics

Science Building 112
(216) 687-2425

Petru S. Fodor, Chair
Kiril Streletzky, Undergraduate Program Director


The study of physics provides a crucial understanding of the world around us though the study of the fundamental laws governing matter and energy. The field of physics has been instrumental in the development of advanced materials, electronic and optical devices, and medical equipment, impacting every aspect of our way of life. Studying physics fosters critical thinking, quantitative proficiency, and the ability to research and organize information, and infer new ideas.

What careers can this major prepare you for?

The ability to think critically, solve complex problems, develop effective models, and use a broad array of technical tools, makes physicists attractive to employers in the both the private as well as the government sectors. Physicists typically pursue careers in research and development (R&D), science, engineering, medicine, education, law, and finances. Some typical job titles are: R&D/Science/Engineering: Research Scientist/Associate, Material Scientist/Researcher, Optical Physicist/Engineer, Automotive Engineer, Solar Engineer, Robotics Engineer, Test Engineer, Design Engineer, Laboratory Technician; Nuclear Technician, Application Engineer, Laser Engineer, Environmental Scientist, Geophysicist, Meteorologist, Technical Specialist; Medicine/Education/Law/Finance: Medical Physicist, Radiation Health Officer Teacher/College Professor, Patent Law, Data Analyst, Quantitative Analyst, System Analyst, IT Consultant

What skills are developed within this major?

Skills developed within this major include: extensive analytical capabilities to solve quantitative problems involving complex data sets; ability to conduct experiments, analyze data and develop theories; broad knowledge of natural laws and technical expertise relevant to all other sciences: biology, chemistry, geology, environmental science and all branches of engineering; proficiency in using computer technology and mathematical modeling; ability to prepare technical reports.


The BS prepares students for graduate programs in Science and Engineering and for a career in technical professions. Many of our students have continued at prestigious research institutions across the country. We also offer our BS for honors and scholars students.

Admission to Major

Minimum hours required for B.S. major: 68

Minimum hours required for B.S. Honors major: 75

Minimum hours required for B.S. Scholars major: 71

College Requirements

See college page  for college requirements.

Major-Field Requirements

Major-Field Requirements for B.S. Honors in Physics

Required Mathematics Courses (3 Course - 12 Hours)

Required honors contract courses (10 credits)


PHY 493  Research requires a written and oral presentation at the completion of the project.

In order to graduate with the B.S. Honors in Physics, students must have a cumulative grade point average, upon graduation, of 3.20 or higher in PHY and MTH courses. A student who does not achieve this, but meets all the requirements for the B.S. degree in Physics, will receive that degree instead.

Approved by Honors Council: April 2, 2014

Major-Field Requirements for B.S. Scholars in Physics

Accelerated 4+1 Program

See the Physics, Accelerated 4+1 BS/MS  page.