This is an archived copy of the 2015-16 catalog. To access the most recent version of the catalog, please visit

Physics and Computer Science

Computer Science and Physics Double Major

Since the dawn of the computer age, Computer Science and Physics have been closely intertwined disciplines. Computational physics is now an established branch of physics, complementing experiment and theory, that develops and applies computer modeling approaches to the solution of a wide range of physical problems. At the same time, software development (e.g., for graphics and data mining applications) is increasingly inspired by physics. Computer modeling, including simulation and numerical analysis, is an essential component of modern research and development. Correspondingly, the demand is growing for scientists with multidisciplinary training that combines fundamental knowledge of physics and computer science with practical skills in programming and computation. The Computer Science and Physics double major program is designed to allow students to complete the core requirements of both majors in a four-year degree. Graduates of the program will have a unique background qualifying them to work in industry or to pursue graduate studies in physics, computer science, engineering, or other technical fields.

Major Requirements

Major: Computer Science & Physics

Degree Type: B.A. or B.S.
Required Degree Credits to Graduate: 134

General Education Requirements

First Year Experience (F):
UNIV 189Skills For Academic Success (Students transferring in 24 or more credits do not need to take UNIV 189.)1
Communication (C):
ENGL 110College Composition I3
ENGL 120College Composition II3
One Course in Upper Level Writing: Select from current general education list3
COMM 110Fundamentals of Public Speaking3
Quantitative Reasoning (R):
MATH 165Calculus I4
Science & Technology (S):
PHYS 251
University Physics I
and University Physics I Laboratory
PHYS 252
University Physics II
and University Physics II Laboratory
Humanities & Fine Arts (A): Select from current general education list6
Social & Behavioral Sciences (B): Select from current general education list6
Wellness (W): Select from current general education list2
Cultural Diversity (D): Select from current general education list
Global Perspectives (G): Select from current general education list
Total Credits41

College Requirements

Bachelor of Science (BS) Degree – An additional 6 credits in Humanities or Social Sciences*

Bachelor of Arts (BA) Degree – An additional 12 credits Humanities and Social Sciences* and proficiency at the second year level in a modern foreign language.

* Humanities and Social Sciences may be fulfilled by any course having the following prefix: ADHM, ANTH, ARCH, ART, CJ, CLAS, COMM, ECON, ENGL, FREN, GEOG, GERM, HDFS, HIST, LA, LANG, MUSC, PHIL, POLS, PSYC, RELS, SOC, SPAN, THEA, WGS, or any course from the approved list of general education courses in humanities and social sciences (general education categories A and B). These credits must come from outside the department of the student’s major.

Major Requirements

A grade of ‘C’ or better is required for all CSCI, PHYS, and AST prefix courses.

General Education Requirements40
College of Science and Mathematics Requirements6-12
Computer Science Major Requirements
CSCI 160Computer Science I4
CSCI 161Computer Science II4
CSCI 213Modern Software Development3
CSCI 336Theoretical Computer Science II3
CSCI 366Database Systems3
CSCI 372Comparative Programming Languages3
CSCI 374Computer Organization and Architechure3
CSCI 467Algorithm Analysis3
CSCI 474Operating Systems Concepts3
CSCI ElectivesCSCI 313 and/or any 400-level CSCI course that is not already used.6
Physics Major Requirements:
PHYS 171Introductory Projects in Physics1
PHYS 251RUniversity Physics I Recitation1
PHYS 252RUniversity Physics II Recitation1
PHYS 350Modern Physics3
PHYS 360Modern Physics II3
PHYS 361Electromagnetic Theory (or PHYS 370: Electromagnetic Theory - MSUM)3-4
PHYS 370Introduction to Computational Physics3
Select one of the following:3-4
Classical Mechanics
PHYS 330
Intermediate Mechanics (MSUM)
PHYS 462Heat & Thermodynamics3
PHYS 485Quantum Mechanics I3
PHYS 486Quantum Mechanics II3
Physics Electives: Select from the following:6
Research For Undergraduates
Optics for Scientists & Engineers
Lasers for Scientists and Engineers
Elements of Photonics
Statistical Mechanics
Introduction to Solid State Physics
Physics Projects (If not used to satisfy project requirement)
Astronomy courses (300/400-level) with departmental permissionsion
Related Required Courses
MATH 129Basic Linear Algebra2-3
or MATH 429 Linear Algebra
MATH 166Calculus II4
MATH 265Calculus III4
MATH 266Introduction to Differential Equations3
MATH 270Introduction to Abstract Mathematics3
CSCI 445Software Projects Capstone3
or PHYS 489 Physics Projects
Total Credits134-143

Program Notes

  • Except for courses offered only as pass/fail grading, no course may be taken Pass/Fail.