Mar 29, 2023  
2022-2023 Undergraduate Catalog 
2022-2023 Undergraduate Catalog

Physics Major (BS)

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Please see the UNLV Department of Physics web page at for information about department programs, faculty and facilities. Degree worksheets and 4/5 year plan for the major are available at

Please see advising information at the College of Science Student Advising Center at or


Institution - Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities

Learning Outcomes

  1. Understanding of classical mechanics
  2. Understanding of electricity and magnetism
  3. Understanding of thermodynamics
  4. Understanding of modern physics and quantum mechanics
  5. Ability to perform modern laboratory experiments
  6. Ability to perform an independent physics research project and give a public talk on this project
  7. Ability to communicate scientific subject matter
  8. Understanding and ability to communicate the importance of physics to society
  9. Ability to solve critical and fundamental problems in undergraduate physics
  10. Ability and confidence to think independently

University Graduation Requirements

Transfer Policies 

Biology, chemistry, physics, and math transfer courses will be accepted to fill specific degree requirements only with a grade of C or better.

Physics Degree Requirements - Total: 120 Credits

General Education Requirements - Subtotal: 33-36 Credits

First Year Seminar - Credits: 2-3

 (see note 1 below)

English Composition - Credits: 6

Second Year Seminar - Credits: 3

Constitutions - Credits: 4-6


Distribution Requirement - Credits: 18

 Please see Distribution Requirements  for more information.

  • Humanities and Fine Arts: 9 credits
    • Two 3-credit courses in the humanities and one 3-credit course in fine arts.
  • Social Science:
    • One course each from three different fields
  • Life and Physical Sciences and Analytical Thinking - 9 credits
    • Automatically satisfied by Major requirements.

Multicultural and International

Multicultural, one 3 credit course required
International, one 3 credit course required

These courses may overlap with general education and major requirements.  A single course may not meet the multicultural and international requirements simultaneously. For the list of approved multicultural and international courses, go to:

Major Requirements - BS in Physics - Subtotal: 77 Credits

General Electives - Credits: 0-3

Total Credits - 120

Major Degree Requirements - BS in Physics - Applied Physics Concentration - Subtotal: 73-75 Credits

Related Core Requirements - Credits 39

General Electives - Credits: 9-14

Total Credits: 120

Major Degree Requirements - BS in Physics - Computational Physics Concentration - Subtotal: 77 Credits

Related Core Requirements - Credits 38

General Electives - Credits: 7-10

Total Credits: 120


  1. It is strongly recommended that students take SCI 101  to satisfy the First Year Seminar requirement.
  2. The Department of Physics and Astronomy recommends that students take PHYS 422  and PHYS 424  for the six additional credits of upper-division physics courses needed in the Physics Core Requirements.

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