An undergraduate degree in physics at the University of Florida is a gateway to a wide range of career paths. Many of the graduates from our program go on to pursue graduate studies in physics, and attend graduate school at premiere programs in the country. However, the majority of our graduates pursue studies and employment in fields outside of physics, which is a testament to the versatility of a physics degree. Our undergraduate majors are equipped to tackle complex and technical problems.
The UF Physics Department offers several degree options: Bachelor of Science (B.S.), Bachelor of Arts (B.A.), combined B.A. or B.S./M.S., as well as a physics minor. Detailed descriptions of each degree and sample schedules are available below.
Several of the core courses in the undergraduate curriculum include an enriched version. For example, PHY2048: Physics with Calculus 1 and PHY2060: Enriched Physics with Calculus 1 cover the same material except PHY2060 includes selected advanced topics. Both courses prepare students for upper-level physics courses. Students are encouraged to make an appointment with an advisor to determine which course is appropriate for them.
Additional details regarding degrees in physics and coursework requirements are in the UF Undergraduate Catalog.
Bachelor of Science Degree (B.S.)
Students in the Bachelor of Science (B.S.) Degree Program plan to pursue employment opportunities or graduate school in physics or a closely related discipline. The curriculum provides a rigorous training in all areas of undergraduate physics. The students completing their B.S. degrees are well prepared for employment or graduate studies in physics at any institution.
Bachelor of Arts Degree (B.A.)
Students in the Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) Degree Program want to major in physics but are not presently contemplating physics graduate studies. The curriculum provides a strong foundation in the fundamentals while offering increased flexibility through fewer required courses and more electives. Many of our B.A. students pursue parallel degrees in another discipline or take pre-professional courses (e.g., those required for medical school admissions).
The physics minor is appropriate for students in other majors who enjoy taking physics courses. Many of our physics minors are majoring in fields such as engineering, mathematics, and chemistry. A physics minor will cover the fundamental 20th century developments and the ability to solve intermediate-level problems.
Students who intend to pursue a minor in physics should consult a physics advisor to obtain approval by the beginning of the junior year. Additional information is available in the Undergraduate Catalog. The physics minor requires 17 credit hours and all courses must be completed with a grade of C or higher. Students must take all 3000- and 4000-level courses at UF.
- PHY2048/L: Physics with Calculus 1 and Laboratory
- PHY2049/L: Physics with Calculus 2 and Laboratory
- PHY3101: Intro to Modern Physics
- Two additional 3000 or 4000 level courses from the physics major course sequence
Note: Course substitutions from disciplines outside of physics are not permitted for the minor. However, enriched versions of these courses may be substituted as appropriate.
The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences restricts certain major/minor combinations due to significant overlap between the curricula. For example, students majoring in Astronomy must complete 6 credits in physics that are exclusive to the minor, beyond what is required for their major, before seeking approval for a minor in physics. Additional information is available from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Academic Advising.
Combined B.A or B.S./M.S. program
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 by taking 12 graduate level credits as an undergraduate. For academic requirements and application process, please consult the UF undergraduate catalog.
Although, students will earn an M.S. degree from the University of Florida, the Physics Department typically does not provide financial support (i.e., a graduate stipend in the form of a research or teaching assistantship) to these students.
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. We recommend that students who intend to pursue graduate level studies elsewhere do so as soon as possible after graduation in order to be integrated into a research group.
Qualified undergraduates can take graduate courses regardless of their participation in this program.