This is the preliminary (or launch) version of the 2023-2024 VCU Bulletin. This edition includes all programs and courses approved by the publication deadline; however we may receive notification of additional program approvals after the launch. The final edition and full PDF version will include these updates and will be available in August prior to the beginning of the fall semester.

The Bachelor of Science in Physics requires a minimum of 120 credits, including 54 credits in physics and physics-related courses, as detailed in the course lists.

The curriculum in physics prepares students for technical careers in physics or an allied area, for careers in engineering and for the teaching of physics in secondary schools. The curriculum also prepares students for graduate studies in physics or a related area.

Student learning outcomes

Upon completing this program, students will know how to do the following:

  • Perform scientific reasoning and complex problem-solving
    Physics majors will receive a fundamental understanding of the main areas of physics so that they are prepared for jobs that use physics-based technologies. They are expected to have mastered the analytical approach to solving technical problems by identifying simple subsystems that obey known physical laws and using these laws to approximate the behavior of the whole system.
  • Demonstrate a fundamental understanding of the main areas of physics
  • Demonstrate communication skills, both written and oral, needed to explain the analysis of technical problems
  • Demonstrate scientific literacy skills including searching, reading and critically reviewing scientific publications
  • Demonstrate proficiency in information processing by generating and interpreting data presented in tables, graphs, drawings and models

Double major in engineering and physics

A detailed description of this program can be found in the “College of Engineering” section of this bulletin.