The Catholic University of America

Undergraduate Programs - Suggested Sequence of Courses

B.S. Degree

Freshman Year

  • PHYS 215 - University Physics I: An introduction to mechanics.
  • PHYS 225 - Introductory Mechanics Lab: Usually taken with PHYS 215. Students complete labs that provide them with hands-on experience of the concepts they are discussing in PHYS 215.
  • MATH 121 - Calculus I
  • MATH 122 - Calculus II
  • One program elective

Sophomore Year

  • PHYS 216 - University Physics II: An introduction to electricity and magnetism.
  • PHYS 226 - Introductory Electricity Lab: Usually taken with PHYS 216. Students complete labs that provide them with hands-on experience of the concepts they are discussing in PHYS 216.
  • PHYS 506 - Modern Physics: An introduction to advanced physics, looks at relativity, and some of the beginnings of quantum mechanics.
  • MATH 221 - Calculus III
  • MATH 222 - Calculus IV Differential Equations
  • Two program electives

Junior/Senior Year

  • PHYS 511 - Mathematical Methods in Physics I: A more physics based view of the important mathematical methods required for advance study in physics.
  • PHYS 512 - Mathematical Methods in Physics II: the second half of the PHYS 511.
  • PHYS 525 - Thermodynamics & Statistical Physics: Classical thermodynamics and its relationship to the statistical description of macroscopic systems; basic probability notions, the Boltzmann distribution, elementary kinetic theory.
  • PHYS 531 - Quantum Mechanics I: Origin of quantum theory, Schrödinger theory of wave mechanics in one dimension, time-independent perturbation theory, application to one electron atom.
  • PHYS 532 - Quantum Mechanics II: Application of Schrödinger wave mechanics to single and multi-electron atoms. Angular momentum and spin; identical particles; time-dependent perturbation theory.
  • PHYS 535 - Analytical Mechanics: An intermediate course in particle dynamics.
  • PHYS 536 - Electricity and Magnetism: An intermediate course in electromagnetic theory with stress on physical concepts.
  • Five program electives

Senior Year

  • PHYS 451 - Senior Seminar I: Meets once a week over pizza and serves to help seniors prepare for their comprehensive exams, taken in the fall of ones senior year.
  • PHYS 452 - Senior Seminar II: The second half of the first seminar, taken in the spring of ones senior year.

Additional courses include courses on nanotechnology, basic nuclear physics, solid state physics, and material science, as well as courses from the Math and Chemistry Departments and the School of Engineering.