2023-2024 Academic Catalog 
    May 30, 2024  
2023-2024 Academic Catalog

Physics, BS

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About the Program

Apply NowPhysics is the study of matter, what it’s made of and how it moves through space and time, and the fundamental forces that dictate how everything in the Universe works. A bachelor’s degree in physics prepares you for a career in a variety of technical and computational fields or continued work towards an advanced degree.

Degree Requirements

  • 120 Credit Hours
  • Minimum grade of C- required for all College of Engineering and Sciences courses
  • Minimum GPA of 2.0 required for graduation
  • Certain courses may only be available at one campus location

PNW General Education Core (32 Credits Minimum)

Other Required Courses (22 Credits)

  • at least 9 credits must be additional PHYS or ASTR courses 30000 or higher - typically one PHYS/ASTR elective will be offered per semester
  • at least an additional 6 credits must be CES courses not in major or gen ed cores (see list below)

CES Electives (9 Credits): ASTR (any course), BIOL (any course excluding BIOL 10008 , BIOL 10700 ), CHM (any course excluding CHM 10000 CHM 10300  , CHM 10600 , CHM 11100 , CHM 11200 , CHM 19400 ), CE (any course), CS (any course excluding CS 10000 ), EAS (any course), ECE (any course), ENGR (any course excluding ENGR 18600 ), FIS (any course 20000 or higher), MSE (any course), MA (any course 30000 or higher), ME (any course), PHYS (any course 30000 or higher), SCI (any course excluding SCI 10300 , SCI 10400 , SCI 10500 , SCI 11200 , SCI 11300 , SCI 11400 , SCI 20200  and SCI 31500 ), and STAT (any course 30000 or higher)

Civics Literacy Proficiency

The Civics Literacy Proficiency activities are designed to develop civic knowledge of Purdue Northwest students in an effort to graduate a more informed citizenry.

Students will complete the Proficiency by passing a test of civic knowledge, and completing one of three paths:

  • Attending six approved civics-related events and completing an assessment for each; or
  • Completing 12 podcasts created by the Purdue Center for C-SPAN Scholarship and Engagement that use C-SPAN material and completing an assessment for each; or
  • Earning a passing grade for one of the approved courses (or transferring in approved AP or departmental credit in lieu of taking a course)

For more information visit the Civics Literacy Proficiency website.

Total 120 Credits Required

Degree Map


Minimum Grade and Grade Point Average (GPA):  Minimum grade of C- required for all College of Engineering and Sciences courses; 2.0 GPA

Experiential Learning (EL):  One EL course required.  EL courses are noted by (e) next to the course title.

General Education Core:  General Education notations can be found within the course description.  Please click on a course to see if it meets a Gen Ed requirement.

Milestone Courses noted by (m) next to the course title have been identified as being critical to your success in this field of study. 

Courses that are only offered on one campus will be noted by an (H) for Hammond, or (W) for Westville.

Please see the Additional Information and Guidelines section below for more information.

Semester 3 (15 Credits)

Semester 4 (14 Credits)

Semester 5 (15 Credits)

Semester 6 (16 Credits)

Semester 7 (14 Credits)

Semester 8 (15 Credits)

Additional Information and Guidelines

Upper division physics courses are offered on a two year rotation. Contact an academic advisor to determine the specific semester a particular course will be offered. Degree map as listed assumes semester 5 is an even-year fall - see advisor for odd-year plan. Certain courses may only be available at one campus location.

Any individual course within CES must be a C- or better, but the average GPA for all disciplinary courses (ASTR, CHM or PHYS courses) must be at least 2.50.

At least 6 credit hours of PHYS, CES, or Free Electives must be 30000 level or higher.

Note 1: CES Elective: ASTR (any course); BIOL (any course excluding 10008, 10700); CHM (any course excluding 10000, 10300, 10600, 11100, 11200, 19400); CE (any course); CS (any course excluding 10000); EAS (any course): ECE (any course): ENGR (any course excluding 18600); MSE (any course); MA (any course 30000 or higher); ME (any course); PHYS (any course 30000 or higher); SCI (any course excluding 10300, 10400, 10500, 11200, 11300, 11400, 20200, and 31500); FIS (any course 20000 or higher);  and STAT (any course 30000 or higher).

Note 2: CES Elective – Secondary Education Attribute: Also allowed with permission are EDCI 30900, 34600, 35500, or 36600.

Note 3: PHYS Elective – Choose from PHYS or ASTR courses 30000 or higher. Typically one PHYS/ASTR 30000+ elective will be effered per semester

Note 4: PHYS Elective – Pre-health Attribute: Also allowed with permission are BIOL 10100, 10200, and any other 4 credit hour Biology class. PHYS Elective – Secondary Education Attribute: Also allowed with permission is EDCI 49700.

Note 5: Also allowed: ECE 15200, CIS 26300, CIS 26600, or CNIT 26700


The 8 semester plan of study is a recommended sequence of classes designed to show how this program can be completed within four years.

Visit the 15 to Finish website for information and resources.

For career information, click here to visit the Careers and Employment Trends page.

For Financial Aid eligibility, click here. Annual FAFSA filing deadline is March 10. Financial Aid recipients are required to complete 30 credits per calendar year to stay eligible for the standard financial aid award.

Financial Guarantee: If you follow the degree map and find a course unavailable, you may be able to take the course for free in a future semester.  Certain exclusions apply. 

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