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Professional Physics Track

NOTE THAT THE INFORMATION BELOW APPLIES TO STUDENTS WHO ENTERED VANDERBILT PRIOR TO THE FALL 2017 SEMESTER AND WHO ARE COMPLETING THE MAJOR UNDER THE OLD SET OF REQUIREMENTS.

NOTE ALSO THAT THIS TRACK IS MERELY GUIDANCE FOR STUDENTS WITH A POST-GRADUATION GOAL OF CONTINUING THEIR STUDIES IN PHYSICS.  IT IS NOT A SEPARATE MAJOR.

STUDENTS WITH QUESTIONS SHOULD CONSULT WITH THE DIRECTOR OF UNDERGRADUATE STUDIES.

 

This track prepares students to undertake graduate work in physics and other technical fields. The complete program is best begun in the first year; however, under exceptional circumstances a student who decides in the sophomore year to undertake graduate work in physics can complete sufficient work to succeed. Note that this 'track' is simply for advising purposes for help in choosing electives. All physics majors complete the same introductory and core requirements for the major.

Recommendations for Electives

  • PHYS 2271: Classical Mechanics II [3]
  • PHYS 2291: Electricity, Magnetism and Electrodynamics II [3]
  • PHYS 3651-3652: Advanced Quantum Mechanics I and II [6]
  • PHYS 2237: computational physics [3]
  • PHYS 3840, 3860, 4998: Physics Research [variable credit]

Sample Professional Physics Program

(allowing for honors research in physics; students who choose to study abroad, typically in the third year, can either move some of Physics 3200, 2270 and 2290 to the second year or find equivalent courses in their study-abroad program)

  Fall Semester Spring Semester
First Year Physics 1901
Math 1300
first year writing seminar
Foreign language 1
Physics 1902
Math 1301
History and Culture 1(W)
Foreign Language 2
CS 1010
Second Year Physics 2250 or 2250W
Math 2300
Humanities 1 
History and Culture 2
research (Physics 3840)
General Elective
Physics 2260 or 2260W
Math 2410 or 2600
Humanities 2
Social Science 1
research (Physics 3840)
General Elective
Third Year Physics 2270
Physics 3200 or 3207
Math 2420 or 2610
research (Physics 3860)
Social Science 1
History and Culture 3
Physics 2271
Physics 2290
Physics 2237
research (Physics 3860)
Social Science 2
CS 2204
Fourth Year Physics 3651
Physics 2291
honors research (Physics 4998)
Physics 3600 or Astronomy 2600
History and Culture 4
Physics 3652
honors research (Physics 4998)
Math 229
Astronomy 2600 or Physics 3600
Humanities 3