All University of South Carolina system institutions will be closed through the end of the spring semester. Columbia campus virtual instruction will continue through the conclusion of final exams in May. Details can be found on the coronavirus landing page.
The undergraduate program in physics is designed to provide a fundamental understanding
of both experimental and theoretical physics. All of the majors provide a strong basis
for graduate study in physics. The applied major is designed for students seeking
employment by industrial or governmental laboratories upon completing their B.S. By
a suitable choice of electives students will also be prepared for graduate study in
the other sciences, mathematics, medicine, or engineering or to enter the University’s
special teacher education program that leads to a master’s degree and teacher certification.
In addition to the traditional physics and astronomy courses of study, we also offer
two interdisciplinary options.
This track, known as engineering physics, is a distinctive interdisciplinary program
specifically designed to mesh the science with the engineering in order to produce
graduates that are not only trained in fundamental physics but who are also trained
in the practical pursuits of engineering. It's designed to appeal to physics students
whose interests lie more in applications of physics and to engineering students whose
interests are more in the fundamental science.
There are three options: a computer option, an electrical option, and a mechanical
option. Each option was developed with the support and advice of the respective partner
colleges or schools.
These applied tracks add a coherent program of engineering courses to the basic physics
degree requirements. These requirements immerse physics students in the engineering
culture and confront them with practical problems of the type encountered by engineers.
Graduates of the engineering physics program will be uniquely prepared to compete
successfully in the job market upon completion of their bachelor's degree. Moreover,
they will be well prepared to pursue graduate studies in either physics or engineering
should they so choose.
The College of Arts and Sciences offers an interdisciplinary studies program for students who want to pursue a more diverse course of study. With a strong
base in physics or astronomy, this major will position you to pursue many different
career or graduate study options.
Our department also offers minors in physics and astronomy. Both minors are great
enhancements to any major.