The Bachelor of Science with a major in applied physics requires a minimum of 120 s.h., including at least 59-87 s.h. of work for the major. Total credit required for the major depends on a student's choice of concentration. Students must maintain a g.p.a. of at least 2.00 in all courses for the major and in all UI courses for the major. A cumulative g.p.a. of at least 2.00 is required for graduation. Students must also complete the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences GE CLAS Core.

The major in applied physics is intended primarily for students interested in a broad program of study in physics combined with a significant concentration of courses in a field that has immediate application to industry. The degree provides a foundation for a wide range of employment opportunities in high-technology industries, including research and development, product design and testing, sales, and quality control. It also is designed to include exposure to physics sufficient to allow students to continue with graduate studies in either physics or astronomy.

The major offers four areas of concentration: optics, solid-state electronics, computer science, and medical physics. Students also may design customized concentration areas in close consultation with their advisors and with departmental approval.

An essential component of each concentration is successful completion of a related one-semester internship or practicum experience in a research laboratory (an applied physics thesis is required for the latter option). Well-prepared students will be able to complete the degree in four years. Students should work closely with their advisors on a graduation plan.

In addition to the course work requirements each student is asked to complete an internship. This is typically done during the summer (full time) or during one or more semesters. The student usually works in industry or in a research laboratory on campus. For further details please see AP Internship Requirements.

Listed below are the general categories of coursework required to earn the degree; for more specific information on courses, curriculum, and requirements of the Bachelor of Science in applied physics, visit the UI General Catalog.

Degree Requirements
Title Hours
Common Requirements 37-41
Concentration Area Courses 22-46
Total Hours 59-87

Applied Physics Concentrations

Photonics (optics) Concentration

This emphasis consists entirely of courses within the Department of Physics and Astronomy, and the stipulated additional courses are all upper level. The photonics emphasis provides a variant on the normal undergraduate physics program, stressing the technologically-relevant area of optics.

Solid State Concentration

This emphasis combines courses in physics with those from electrical engineering, and is intended to educate students in the foundations of electronics as well as the current state-of-the-art in industry.

Computer Science Concentration

This program is intended to approximately correspond to a minor in this subject, and consists of a set of four introductory computer science courses. Students can also gain valuable experience programming on the many research computers and networks in the department.

Medical Physics Concentration

This program is designed for pre-medical students who plan to attend medical school after getting their bachelor of science degree. The student is expected to join in a research project in the extensive medical laboratories available on campus to gain direct laboratory experience. This can be completed during one semester or during the summer.

Double Major in Applied Physics and Astronomy

Students working toward a Bachelor of Science with a double major in applied physics and in astronomy must complete all requirements for both majors and must earn a minimum of 56 s.h. outside the Department of Physics and Astronomy in order to graduate. Students interested in earning a double major should consult with their advisors. See Requirements for a Bachelor's Degree on the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences website.