Undergraduate Programs and Degree Options

Physics and Astronomy B.S./B.A. Degree Program

The B.S. is the traditional degree for a student interested in pursuing graduate school in Physics or Astronomy, in preparation for a research career in an academic, industrial, or government lab setting, or for teaching at the post-secondary level. The B.A. in Physics requires fewer physics courses allowing a student to easily combine his or her physics training with other areas of interest such as pre-medicine, engineering, or teaching at the secondary level (see below).

For typical schedules and course requirement checklists for the B.S. and B.A. degrees, see:

Applied Physics Degree Program

An Applied Physics degree is available with areas of emphasis in medicine, computer science, solid state physics, and photonics. A student, in consultation with his or her faculty advisor, can also define an individualized degree program in another area of specific interest. Contact the Applied Physics Coordinator for more information.

Dual Degrees in Physics and Engineering

Qualified students who are interested in both Physics and Engineering may wish to pursue a dual degree option leading to both a B.A. in Physics and a B.S.E. in one of several Engineering disciplines (Civil & Environmental, Electrical & Computer, Mechanical and Industrial Engineering). The dual degree program may be started from either the Physics major or from an Engineering major. The program can usually be completed in 5 years (or less), depending on individual circumstances. Please contact the Undergraduate Directors for more information.

Physics Pre-Medicine Curriculum

If you are interested in Physics, but intend to go to Medical or Dental School after graduation, the Physics Department can accommodate your needs. The Applied Physics degree program with an emphasis in Medicine is specifically designed to meet the curriculum requirements for admission to medical school. Alternatively, the standard B.A. in physics offers enough flexibility in scheduling for a student to satisfy both the physics major B.A. requirements and the Pre-Med curriculum requirements. Our graduates have a good record of success in gaining admission to medical school. Please contact the Undergraduate Directors for more information.

Dual Degree with Science Teaching Licensure

A teaching degree with an emphasis on physics is available through The University of Iowa's Science Education program. The Bachelor of Arts degree in Physics is one way to start earning teaching certification to teach high school physics. One option is a 5 year combined B.A. in Physics with a Master of Arts in Teaching (M.A.T.) degree. Students interested in this combined degree program may apply for admission to the science education certification program in their second year of undergraduate study. Please contact the Undergraduate Directors for more information.

View a sample schedule.

Double Majors

Many undergraduate students in the Physics and Astronomy Department choose to double major. The most common choices for a double major with physics are astronomy or mathematics, although a schedule can be worked out for any combination of majors. If you are interested in a possible double major, please contact the Undergraduate Directors for more information.

For further information about Undergraduate Degrees, contact the Undergraduate Program Directors.

Undergraduate Program Directors

Prof. Kenneth Gayley
Director of Astronomy Undergraduate Program
707 Van Allen Hall
Phone: (319) 335-3282
Email: kenneth-gayley@uiowa.edu

Prof. Craig Pryor
Director of Physics Undergraduate Program
402 Van Allen Hall
Phone: (319) 335-0099
Email: craig-pryor@uiowa.edu

Prof. Wayne Polyzou
Director of Applied Physics Major
306 Van Allen Hall
Phone: (319) 335-1856
Email: polyzou@uiowa.edu