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Undergraduate Program

The laws of physics are the starting point for most scientific research and engineering applications. Students majoring in physics obtain broad-based knowledge and experience in applying these laws, as well as hands-on experience in building electronic equipment and in performing experiments.

A degree in physics from the University of Florida provides a wide range of career options. Many of our students go on to graduate study in top ranked physics programs, but an equal number pursue advanced degrees in other science disciplines, all branches of engineering, and medical school.

Degrees Offered

The Department of Physics offers both a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) and Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree in physics, as well as a physics minor.

Advanced undergraduate students may also be eligible to enroll in certain graduate courses, thereby accelerating their education. Physics majors are urged to confer with a department advisor as early as possible and especially as their educational goals evolve.

The combined B.A. or B.S. /M.S. degree program allows students to graduate in five years with a bachelor’s and master’s degree. This program is ideal for students who intend to stay for graduate school in the UF Physics Department or who plan to pursue graduate school in a discipline other than physics.

All undergraduate students must take the Academic Learning Compact (ALC), a field test on selected topics created by faculty in the department. An individual score of > 50% is considered passing, although this score does not affect graduation. The student scores are used for review of the physics program. We expect an average score > 70% for all students.

Transfer Students

All students who want to transfer to UF should read carefully UF Transfer Admission Requirements. Additional information for transfer students is available from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Academic Advising.

The minimum requirements for admission to the physics major are the courses equivalent to Physics with Calculus 1 and 2 (PHY2048/L and PHY2049/L), General Chemistry 1 and 2 (CHM2045/L and CHM 2046), Calculus 1 – 3 (MAC2311, MAC2312, and MAC2313).

We strongly encourage all transfer students to take the mathematics course Differential Equations (MAP2302) before their first semester at UF.

Residency Requirement: Transfer students must take a minimum of 15 credit hours of the required physics courses at the University of Florida.

Society of Physics Students (SPS)

The Society of Physics Students (SPS) is a student organization designed to promote an interest in physics to the UF and the community. The UF chapter of SPS provides an opportunity for students to participate in professional development, outreach, and social activities.

Senior Thesis

Seniors participating in research within the department are encouraged to submit a senior thesis. This allows seniors with a minimum 3.50 major GPA to graduate with High Honors (magna cum laude) or Highest Honors (summa cum laude). In addition, each year, the Physics Department recognizes the best thesis with the Outstanding Undergraduate Senior Thesis Award. Previous theses and award winners can be found at the Physics Department Senior Thesis webpage. Students should submit their thesis in printed and electronic form to the Undergraduate Coordinator typically about 3 weeks before the end of the semester. The thesis is then presented in front of a committee of physics faculty and fellow students during a 20-30 min presentation. For submission deadlines and farther instructions please consult the latest Newsletter.

When submitting a thesis, please download and use the Senior Thesis Submission Form as a cover page.

UF Teach

The Physics Department participates in “UFTeach”, a program designed to develop the next generation of Florida’s math and science teachers. Additional information regarding this program can be found at the College of Education UFTeach.