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New Mexico State University
Department of Physics
Current Students

BA in Physics

A bachelorís degree in physics provides the basis for careers in industry, teaching, the military, government, or for study toward advanced degrees in physics or engineering. It should also provide the skills that recipients of physics degrees have listed as among the most important in obtaining their current positions, including problem solving ability, computer skills, mathematical skills, and laboratory skills, as well as knowledge of physics.


Physics Courses Required by the Department

PHYS 150 Elementary Computational Physics
3 cr.
PHYS 213/213L Mechanics, and Experimental Mechanics
4 cr.
PHYS 214/214L Electricity and Magnetism, and Experimental Electricity and Magnetism
4 cr.
PHYS 217/217L Heat, Light, and Sound, and Experimental Heat, Light, and Sound
4 cr.
PHYS 315 Modern Physics
3 cr.
PHYS 315L Experimental Modern Physics
3 cr.
PHYS 395 Intermediate Mathematical Method for Physics
3 cr.
PHYS 451 Intermediate Mechanics I
3 cr.
PHYS 454 Intermediate Modern Physics I
3 cr.
PHYS 455 Intermediate Modern Physics II
3 cr.
PHYS 461 Intermediate Electricity and Magnetism I
3 cr.
PHYS 462 Intermediate Electricity and Magnetism II
3 cr.
PHYS 480 Thermodynamics
3 cr.

Mathematics Courses Required (Nondepartmental Requirements)

MATH 191G Calculus and Analytic Geometry I
4 cr.
MATH 192G Calculus and Analytic Geometry II
4 cr.
MATH 291G Calculus and Analytic Geometry III
3 cr.
MATH 392 Introduction to Ordinary Differential Equations
3 cr.


The BA program in physics requires a minor (18 credits) from another department chosen by the student in consultation with an advisor.

Viewing the Wider World Courses

Students at NMSU are required to take prior to graduating two courses from the Viewing a Wider World list in the Undergraduate Catalog. These courses are upper-division (300-400 level) General Education Courses, which you can recognize in the course listings by the "G" that follows the course number.

  • One of the courses must be in a college other than your own.
  • The other course may be taken within your home college, but this course
    • must be in a different department than your major's department
    • cannot be cross-listed with a course in your home-department
    • cannot be counted as one of the requirements for your major

Other Requirements

  • Some knowledge of a foreign language.
    This can be demonstrated e.g. with two years of one language in high school with a C or better or taking a foreign language course sequence, 111 and 112, for any language taught at NMSU. For other forms of certification please see the Undergraduate Catalog.
  • The total number of credits needs to be 128, including 48 upper-division courses.

For more information refer to the online Undergraduate Catalog.

BA in Physics - Possible Program of Study

BA in Physics with Minor in another discipline - possible course schedule
Sem. MATH PHYS General Education VWW Lang  Free  Credits
213, 213L
203, 150
English Comp. Level 1 (4 cr).
214, 214L
English Comp. Level 2 (3 cr)
Common Core Areas IV/V (6 cr.)
217, 217L
SI for 217
Common Core Areas IV/V (3 cr.)
7 cr.
315, 315L
SI for 315
Oral Communication (3 cr.)
3 cr,
451, 461
3 cr.
4 cr.
Common Core Areas IV/V (3 cr.)
3 cr.
4 cr.
Common Core Areas IV/V (3 cr.)
9 cr.
13 cr.


  • The introductory physics courses need to be taken in the sequence PHYS 213, PHYS 214, PHYS 217, PHYS 315. Please also note the co- or pre-requisites in mathematics.
  • PHYS 150 is only offered in Fall semesters, but can be taken any year.
  • 400-level physics courses can taken in a different order than shown here;
    note that PHYS 461/462 is a 2-semester sequence in Electricity & Magnetism and
    that PHYS 454/455 is a 2-semester sequence in Quantum Mechanics.
  • It is recommended that PHYS395 is taken before or at the same time as PHYS 461 or PHYS 454.
  • The General Education, VWW, Language, and Free electives can be rearranged in many ways; the order shown here is only a suggestion.
  • The minor in another discipline should be done using the "free" electives.
  • For information about the astronomy minor visit Astronomy - Undergraduate Studies.