Degree Requirements

Core Sequence

Students who started at NU in 2015 or earlier may follow either the old or the new requirements. For the old requirements, please click here.

Prerequisites (6 or 7 units)

MATH 220 AND 224 (Calculus)---self-placement exams are here

     Or MATH 212, 213 AND 214

PHYSICS 135-1, 2, 3 (Introductory Physics) and 136-1, 2, 3 (Introductory Physics Lab)

     Or PHYSICS 125-1, 2, 3 (ISP Physics) AND 126-1, 2, 3 (ISP Physics Lab)

*see below for AP/IB credit options

Core Courses (13 or 14 units)

MATH 230 (Multivariable Differential Calculus)

MATH 234 (Multivariable Integral and Vector Calculus)

PHYSICS 311-1, 2 (Mathematical Tools for Physical Sciences)

     Or MATH 240 (Linear Algebra), MATH 250 (Differential Equations) and MATH 351 (Fourier Analysis), or equivalent courses

PHYSICS 239-0 (Foundations of Modern Physics)

PHYSICS 330-1, 2 (Classical Mechanics)

PHYSICS 332-0 (Statistical Mechanics)

PHYSICS 333-1, 2 (Electricity & Magnetism)

PHYSICS 339-1, 2 (Quantum Mechanics)

ONE LAB COURSE, FOR EXAMPLE:

   PHYSICS 357 (Optics Lab)

   PHYSICS 358 (Nanolithography)

   PHYSICS 359 (Electronics Lab)

   PHYSICS 360 (General Physics Lab)


Concentrations (2 or 3 units)

Advanced Physics (3 units)

ONE ADDITIONAL LAB COURSE FROM:

   ASTRON 321 (Observational Astrophysics)

   PHYSICS 357 (Optics Lab)

   PHYSICS 358 (Nanolithography)

   PHYSICS 359 (Electronics Lab)

   PHYSICS 360 (General Physics Lab)

TWO ELECTIVES FROM:

   ASTRON 314 (Planetary Astrophysics)

   ASTRON 321 (Observational Astrophysics)

   ASTRON 325 (Stellar Astrophysics)

   ASTRON 329 (Extragalactic Astro & Cosmology)

   ASTRON 390 (Current Topics in Astronomy)

   PHYSICS 337 (Condensed Matter)

   PHYSICS 339-3 (Particle and Nuclear Physics)

   PHYSICS 345 (General Relativity)

   PHYSICS 352 (Computational Physics)

   PHYSICS 361 (Classical Optics and Special Relativity)

   PHYSICS 371 (Nonlinear Dynamics and Chaos)

Other 300-level Physics or Astronomy courses, except for Physics 311-1, 2, 335, 398, 399 and Astro 398, 399, may also qualify as electives; check with the Director of Undergraduate Studies.

Astrophysics (3 units)

ASTRON 220-0 (Introduction to Astrophysics)

TWO ELECTIVES FROM:

   ASTRON 314 (Planetary Astrophysics)

   ASTRON 321 (Observational Astrophysics)

   ASTRON 325 (Stellar Astrophysics)

   ASTRON 329 (Extragalactic Astro & Cosmology)

   ASTRON 390 (Current Topics in Astronomy)

Other 300-level Astronomy courses, except for Astro 398 and 399, may also qualify as electives; check with the Director of Undergraduate Studies.

Flexible (2 units)

*PHYSICS 330-2, 339-2, and/or 333-2 can be replaced with electives from list below*

TWO ELECTIVES FROM:

   APPM 322 (Applied Dynamical Systems)

   ASTRON 314 (Planetary Astrophysics)

   ASTRON 321 (Observational Astrophysics)

   ASTRON 325 (Stellar Astrophysics)

   ASTRON 329 (Extragalactic Astro & Cosmology)

   ASTRON 390 (Current Topics in Astronomy)

   BME 305 (Biomedical Signals and Imaging)

   BME 327 (Magnetic Resonance Imaging)

   CHEM 307 (Materials and Nanochemistry)

   EECS 360 (Introduction to Feedback Systems)

   EECS 381 (Electronic Properties of Materials)

   MAT_SCI 315 (Phase Equilibria and Diffusion of Materials)

   MAT_SCI 331 (Soft Materials)

   MAT_SCI 351-1 (Introductory Physics of Materials 1)

   MAT_SCI 351-2 (Introductory Physics of Materials 2)

   MAT_SCI 361 (Crystallography and Diffraction)

   MAT_SCI 376 (Nanomaterials)

   MATH 354-1, 2 (Chaotic Dynamical Systems)

   MECH_ENG 346 (Introduction to Tribology)

   MECH_ENG 385 (Nanotechnology)

   PHYSICS 337 (Condensed Matter)

   PHYSICS 339-3 (Particle and Nuclear Physics)

   PHYSICS 345 (General Relativity)

   PHYSICS 352 (Computational Physics)

   PHYSICS 357 (Optics Lab)

   PHYSICS 358 (Nanolithography)

   PHYSICS 359 (Electronics Lab)

   PHYSICS 360 (General Physics Lab)

   PHYSICS 361 (Classical Optics and Special Relativity)

   PHYSICS 371 (Nonlinear Dynamics and Chaos)

Other 300-level courses, except for Physics 311-1,2, 335, 398, 399 and Astro 398, 399, may also qualify as electives; check with the Director of Undergraduate Studies.


*AP/IB Credits

Math:

  • A score of 4 or 5 on the AB Calculus (or AB sub score) exam yields credit for Math 220.
  • A score of 4 or 5 on the BC Calculus exam yields credit for Math 220 and Math 224.
  • A score of 5 or 6 in IB Mathematics yields credit for Math 220.
  • A score of 7 in IB Mathematics yields credit for Math 220 and Math 224.

Physics:

  • A score of 5 on the AP Physics C Mechanics exam yields credit for Physics 135-1 and 136-1.
  • A score of 5 on the AP Physics C E&M exam yields credit for Physics 135-2 and 136-2.

For Departmental Research Opportunities, click here.

For more information, email the Director of Undergraduate Studies at dusphysics@northwestern.edu

For advice from current/former Physics majors, join the Facebook Group.