Typical Course of Study

For physics majors who start in the freshman year

At William & Mary, most students do not declare a major until the spring of their second year. However, if physics is a potential major for you, we recommend that you take General Physics PHYS101 and 102) and Calculus (MATH111 and 112) your first year. If you do this, your plan for taking the major requirements leading to a standard concentration in physics could look something like this:
Fall
Spring

YEAR 1

PHYS 101 - General Physics (required)

MATH 111 - Calculus I (recommended)

YEAR 1

PHYS 102 - General Physics

MATH 112 - Calculus II

YEAR 2

PHYS 201 - Modern Physics

PHYS 251 - Experimental Atomic Physics

MATH 213 - Multivariable Calculus

PHYS 256 - Practical Computing

YEAR 2

PHYS 208 - Classical Mechanics I

PHYS 252 - Electronics I

MATH 211 - Linear Algebra

PHYS 301 - Mathematical Methods

YEAR 3

PHYS 313 - Intro to Quantum Physics I

PHYS 303 - Classical Mechanics II *

MATH 302 - Ordinary Differential Equations

YEAR 3

PHYS 401 - Electricity and Magnetism I

PHYS 314 - Intro to Quantum Physics II *

YEAR 4

PHYS 451/495 - Physics/Honors Research

PHYS 402 - Electricity and Magnetism II *

PHYS 403 - Thermo/ Stat Mechanics *

YEAR 4

PHYS 452/496 - Physics/Honors Research

Degree requirements include all courses in bold, except any two of the four courses marked with *

Math courses listed in regular font are math courses strongly recommended for all physics majors.

Other Recommendations:

For the complete list of requirements, consult the course catalog.

Work with your faculty advisor to plan for electives and fulfilling the College curriculum requirements.

If you wish to concentrate in Pre-Med Physics, you should work closely with a faculty advisor to make sure you meet all requirements.