Physics
WARNING: This is old archived material and may not reflect the current course requirements for your program. Refer to the SMU course catalog for the year of your matriculation or consult your advisor.
Below you will find details of the undergraduate degree programs offered in the department of physics. Requirements of other majors at SMU, such as MATH and ENG, already satisfy significant portions of the PHYS major or minor. Undergraduate physics majors are also strongly encouraged to participate in research activities with our faculty; a majority go on to pursue advanced degrees upon graduation from Southern Methodist University. If you would like to declare a physics major or have other questions, please contact me  Dr. Simon Dalley, Director of Undergraduate Studies, sdalley@smu.edu.
This degree program is designed for students who are planning careers in industry, laboratories, or academia. A candidate for the B.S. degree must complete a minimum of 40 semester hours in physics and 18 semester hours in mathematics
and computer science. Students planning to pursue graduate studies are encouraged to complete more than the minimum hours required.
The recommended semesterbysemester sequence of courses to the BS degree is shown here
Physics Courses Required  
PHYS 1105  General Physics Laboratory I 
PHYS 1106  General Physics Laboratory II 
PHYS 1303 (or 1307)  Introductory Mechanics (or General Physics I) 
PHYS 1304 (or 1308)  Introductory Electricity and Magnetism (or General Physics II) 
PHYS 3305  Introduction to Modern Physics 
PHYS 3340  Computational Physics 
PHYS 3344  Classical Mechanics 
PHYS 3374  Thermodynamics and Statistical Mechanics 
PHYS 4211  Laboratory Physics I 
PHYS 4112**  Laboratory Physics II 
PHYS 4321  Methods of Theoretical Physics 
PHYS 4392  Introduction to Electromagnetic Theory 
PHYS 5382  Introduction to Quantum Mechanics 
PHYS 5383  Advanced Quantum Mechanics 
Six credits of electives are also required, which may be chosen from a variety of fields such as condensed matter, particle physics, astrophysics and cosmology, etc. or electives from other majors related to physics (with departmental permission).  
**Strongly recommended.  
Math and Computer Science Courses Required  
MATH 1337  Calculus with Analytic Geometry I 
MATH 1338 or 1340  Calculus with Analytic Geometry II 
MATH 2339 or 3302  Calculus with Analytic Geometry III 
MATH 2343 or 3313  Elementary Differential Equations 
MATH 3304 or 3353  Introduction to Linear Algebra 
CSE 1341 or 1342  Principles of Computer Science or Programming Concepts 
This degree program is designed for students who are planning careers in biophysics in industry, laboratories, or academia, or who are looking for an intense and diverse program to distinguish themselves for medical school. A candidate for the
B.S. in Biophysical Sciences degree must complete a minimum of 89 semester hours in from courses offered in the biology, chemistry, physics and mathematics departments.
The recommended semesterbysemester sequence of physics courses to the BS degree in Biophysical Sciences is shown here
Requirement  Courses  TCH 
Mathematics Requirements  MATH 1337, 1338 or 1340, 2339 or 3302, 2343 or 3313, 3353 or 3304  15 
Biology Requirements  BIOL 1401, 1402, 3304, 3350, 5310, 5311  20 
Chemistry Requirements  CHEM 1113, 1114, 1303, 1304, 3117, 3118, 3371, 3372, 5344, 5383, 5384  25 
Physics Requirements  PHYS 1105, 1106, 1303 or 1307, 1304 or 1308, 3305, 3344, 3374, 4392, 5382  23 
Electives (choose 6 credits) 
APSM 3322, 3422 CHEM 5306, 5317, 5308 PHYS 4112, 4211, 4390, 5383 
6 
This degree program is appropriate for students who wish to combine a physics curriculum with a broad liberal arts program with the aim of pursuing careers in medicine, teaching, business, and government. A candidate for the B.A. degree must complete a minimum of 30 semester hours in physics and 15 semester hours in mathematics.
Physics Courses Required 

PHYS 1105  General Physics Laboratory I 
PHYS 1106  General Physics Laboratory II 
PHYS 1303 (or 1307)  Introductory Mechanics (or General Physics I) 
PHYS 1304 (or 1308)  Introductory Electricity and Magnetism (or General Physics II) 
PHYS 3305  Introduction to Modern Physics 
PHYS 3344  Classical Mechanics 
PHYS 4211  Laboratory Physics I 
PHYS 4392  Introduction to Electromagnetic Theory 
PHYS 5382  Introduction to Quantum Mechanics 
Eight credits of electives are also required, which may be chosen from a variety of fields such as condensed matter, particle physics, astrophysics and cosmology, etc. or electives from other majors related to physics (with departmental permission).  
Math Courses Required  
MATH 1337  Calculus with Analytic Geometry I 
MATH 1338 or 1340  Calculus with Analytic Geometry II 
MATH 2339 or 3302  Calculus with Analytic Geometry III 
MATH 2343 or 3313  Elementary Differential Dquations 
MATH 3304 or 3353  Introduction to Linear Algebra 
A minor in physics is particularly appropriate for majors in the natural sciences, including premed, mathematics, and engineering, but also any student interested in modern physics. The departmental requirement for a minor in physics is 17 semester hours in physics, including the following:
Physics Courses Required  
PHYS 1105  General Physics Laboratory I 
PHYS 1106  General Physics Laboratory II 
PHYS 1303 (or 1307)  Introductory Mechanics (or General Physics I) 
PHYS 1304 (or 1308)  Introductory Electricity and Magnetism (or General Physics II) 
PHYS 3000+  Nine additional hours of advanced coursework 
A physics major achieving a B.S. degree may graduate "with departmental distinction" by successfully completing a special program of study in addition to the requirements stated above, while maintaining a minimum G.P.A. of 3.50. The special program consists of independent reading, research, and senior thesis under the direction of the departmental faculty. The student must apply to the department for this designation during his or her junior year. The student will enroll in either PHYS 4375 or PHYS 4390 during the project, and a senior thesis is to be written and presented to the faculty.
The Electrical Engineering Department and the Physics Department offer an integrated curriculum that enables a student to obtain both a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering (BSEE) degree and a Bachelor of Science (BS) degree with a major
in Physics.
The recommended sequencing of physics courses for a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering and Bachelor of Science in Physics Degree is shown here.
The term credit hours (TCH) within this curriculum are distributed as follows:
Requirement  Courses  TCH 
College Requirements  ENGL 1301, 1302, Perspectives including ECO 1311, Cultural Formations, and Wellness  23 
Mathematics  MATH 1337, 1338 or 1340, 2339 or 3302, 2343 or 3313, and a threehour elective course at the 3000 level or above  15 
Science  CHEM 1303 or 1305; PHYS 1105, 1303, 1304, 3305, 3344, 4211, 4321, 5337, 5382 and 5383; and PHYS 3374 or ME 3341  33 
Computer Science  CSE 1341  3 
Engineering Leadership  Two of EMIS 3308, ENCE 3302, EMIS 3309 or CSE 4360  6 
Core Electrical Engineering  EE 1382, 2122, 2170, 2181, 2322, 2350, 2370, 2381 and 3360  21 
Junior Electrical  EE 3122, 3181, 3322, 3381, either 3330 or PHYS 4392; and two of EE 3311, 3315 or 3372  17 
Advanced Electrical Engineering Electives  12  
Senior Design Sequence  EE 4311 and 4312  6 
  
Minimum total hours required  136 
The Mechanical Engineering Department and the Physics Department offer a curriculum that enables a student to obtain both a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering degree and a Bachelor of Science in Physics.
The recommended sequencing of physics courses for a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering and Bachelor of Science in Physics Degree is shown here.
The minimum requirements for these dual degrees are as follows:
Requirement  Courses  TCH 
General Education  English 1301, 1302, Perspectives and Cultural Formations courses  21 
Mathematics  Math 1337, 1338 or 1340, 2339 or 3302, 2343 or 3313, Statistics 4340  15 
Sciences  Physics 1303, 1304, 3305, 3344, 3374, 4211, 4321, 4392, 5382, 5383 and two advanced physics electives; Chemistry 1303  38 
Mechanical Engineering  ME 1202, 1102, 1305, 2310, 2331, 2131, 2340, 2140, 2342, 2142, 3332, 3132, 3340, 3370, 4338, 4360, 4160, 4370, 4380, 4381 and 5322  50 
Leadership Elective  Select one from EMIS 3308, EMIS 3309, ENCE 3302 or CSE 4360  3 
Wellness I and II  2  
  
Minimum total hours required  129 