2021-2022 Humboldt State University Catalog 
    May 27, 2024  
2021-2022 Humboldt State University Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Physics, B.S.

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This program is the prerequisite to many research positions offered by government and industry, and to graduate study. Careers in physics often require advanced degrees beyond the BS. Typical opportunities: aerospace scientist, medical technologist, systems analyst, astronomer, meteorologist, industrial hygienist, electronics engineer, fusion engineer, oceanographer, physical chemist, geophysicist, physicist.

The university’s nearby observatory on Fickle Hill has a 16-inch telescope, a 12-inch telescope, and several 8-inch telescopes for student and community use. The department also offers a well-equipped computer electronics laboratory.

We recommend that students take English, mathematics, and physics in high school.

A bachelor’s degree requires a total of 120 units. For a description of degree requirements to be fulfilled in addition to those listed below for the major, please see “Bachelor’s Degree Requirements ”. The Upper Division Area B General Education requirement is met by the coursework within the Bachelor of Science degree for either option in the Physics major.

Requirements for the Major (76-78 units)

A minimum grade of C- is required for all courses with the “PHYX” prefix for the physics major.

Core Courses (67 Units)

The following core courses are required for all physics majors.


Complete one of the following to fulfill the requirements of the major.

Graduate School Preparation

Those students intending to enter graduate school in physics should take more courses in physics and mathematics. For example:

Program Learning Outcomes

  1. Identify, develop, and apply appropriate models and strategies using physical and mathematical techniques for solving problems in physics and/or astronomy.
  2. Develop the breadth, depth and rigor in physics and/or astronomy needed to succeed in graduate school or the technical workforce.
  3. Design, perform, analyze and interpret laboratory experiments, model simulations, and/or astronomical observations.
  4. Present technical information to a diverse audience in both written and oral formats.
  5. Gather professionally relevant information and resources and critically evaluate sources.
  6. Develop awareness of the culture, responsibilities, privileges and structural inequities in Physics/Astronomy as currently practiced.   

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