Because a physics major can take you in many different directions, and students come to the subject with a wide range of backgrounds, interests and goals, we have designed our requirements for maximum flexibility. The material below describes the requirements and outlines some possible courses of study, but each student should work closely with his/her advisor to design the curriculum that is best for the student. Please note that the authoritative requirements are given in the Tufts Bulletin.

I. College of Liberal Arts Students

Minimum grade policy: A minimum GPA of 2.0 in the courses applied to a major and no more than one course with a grade less than C-. This policy applies to all majors offered by the department for students entering September 2013 or later.

Major in Physics*: 

Eight courses in physics more advanced than Physics 2 or 12 and including Physics 13 and 64; two courses in mathematics more advanced than Mathematics 42 and 44 (previously 13 and 18). With the exception of Physics 13 and 64, two of the physics courses and one mathematics course may be replaced by approved advanced courses in related fields (such as astronomy, biology, chemistry, computer science, engineering, or mathematics). The ten courses required for the major must include two courses in advanced laboratory training. One of these courses must be Physics 64; the other may be Physics 31 or 41.

Sample Programs of Study for a Major in Physics

Major in Applied Physics*:

Five courses in physics more advanced than Physics 2 or 12, including Physics 13 and 64; two courses in mathematics more advanced than Mathematics 42 and 44 (previously 13 and 18); three courses from the concentration requirements of one of the engineering departments. With the exception of Physics 13 and 64, one of the five physics courses may be replaced by an approved course in a related field.

Sample Programs of Study for a Major in Applied Physics

Major in Chemical Physics*:

Effective for Students accepted prior to 09/01/11:

Four courses in physics more advanced than Physics 2 or 12, including Physics 13; two courses in mathematics more advanced than Mathematics 42 and 44 (previously 13 and 18); four courses in chemistry more advanced than Chemistry 2 and 12 and 16. The ten courses required for the major must include one course in advanced laboratory training, either Physics 64 or Chemistry 33 and 34. One mathematics course may be replaced by approved advanced course in a related field. Faculty advisers in the chemistry and physics departments are available for consultation on the chemical physics program.

Effective for students accepted starting 09/01/11:

Foundation: Chemistry 1, 11, or 16; Chemistry 2 or 12; Physics 1 or 11; Physics 2 or 12. Concentration: Ten credits of more advanced, one credit courses – four credits in Chemistry (with a prerequisite of Chem 2 or 12), four credits in Physics (with a prerequisite of Phys 2 or 12), and two credits in mathematics (Math 70 or courses with a prerequisite of Math 42, 44, or 70 – previously 13, 18, or 46, respectively). The courses must include the following: Physics 13; one credit in advanced laboratory training, either Physics 64 (counts as one advanced physics course) or both Chemistry 33 and 34 (counts as one advanced chemistry course); either Chemistry 31 or Physics 52; either Chemistry 32 or Physics 61; and either Chemistry 51 or Chemistry 61.

Faculty advisers in the chemistry and physics departments are available for consultation on the chemical physics program.

Sample Programs of Study for a Major in Chemical Physics

Major in Astrophysics*:

Four courses in physics more advanced than Physics 2 or 12, including Physics 13 and either Physics 31 or 64; two courses in mathematics more advanced than Mathematics 42 and 44 (previously 13 and 18); four courses in astronomy more advanced than Astronomy 9 and 10. One mathematics course, and either one physics course or one astronomy course, may be replaced by an approved advanced course in a related field. Research experience is strongly recommended.

Sample Programs of Study for a Major in Astrophysics

Requirements for Pre-medical or Pre-dental Students*:

Students interested in entering medical, dental, or veterinary school after graduation may take advantage of the following replacement option to complete the corresponding entrance requirements as part of the physics major. With the exception of Physics 13 and 64, two of the physics courses and one mathematics course may be replaced by Chemistry 51 and 53 and 52 and 54, and one other advanced elective. Chemistry 53 and 54 will also fulfill one term of the advanced laboratory training requirement for the physics major.

Sample Programs of Study for a Major in Pre-Med or Pre-Dental

II. School of Engineering Students

Bachelor of Science in Engineering Physics*:

A minimum of 38 credits is required: Introductory (10 credits), humanities/arts/social science (6 credits), free elective (2 credits) foundation (8 credits), and a physics/engineering concentration requirement (12 credits). The introductory requirement includes Physics 11 and 12.

The foundation requirement comprises Physics13, Physics 32, Physics 52, Physics 41 (or ES 3 and ES 4); two courses from Engineering Science 3, 4, 5, 8, or 9; plus two other courses satisfying the foundation requirements of the School of Engineering.

Concentration requirement: four courses in physics and astronomy at the intermediate or advanced levels, which must include Physics 64; four courses from the concentration requirements of one of the engineering departments; four approved elective courses in computer science, engineering, mathematics, or science.

*Authoritative requirements can be found in the Tufts Bulletin.

Learning Objectives - Department of Physics and Astronomy (May 18, 2010)
1. Ability to use mathematics to model, describe and analyze physical phenomena.
2. Ability to use the experimental method to test theoretical predictions and investigate physical phenomena.
3. Ability to communicate scientific information and ideas to both technical and general audiences.
4. Ability to apply scientific concepts and principles in new contexts.
5. Knowledge of the fundamental areas of physics: Mechanics Electricity and Magnetism Quantum Mechanics Thermal Physics.