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Major & Minor Programs

Set yourself up for success. If you are interested in pursuing physics as a major or a minor, you should schedule an appointment to speak with an advisor as soon as possible. An advisor can clarify requirements and discuss a path through the program that makes sense for you.

Declare as soon as you've met the prerequisites. Department and College advisors can better track your progress and catch any concerns along the way. You're also then eligible for various opportunities-- like department awards and research experiences-- once declared in our programs. 

Meet with an advisor annually. It's nice to avoid surprises in your educational journey and have the opportunity to discuss challenges or concerns you're experiencing or learn about additional opportunities in physics. 

Your physics training goes beyond the department. Our department uses calculus-based physics. Students should complete a minimum of one semester of calculus during their introductory coursework and continue through differential equations by the time they are within 300-level courses. There are also courses in other departments that compliment a physics education. Talk to an advisor about your goals and they'll help you plan accordingly. 

Use your resources. UM and the Physics Department has a lot of resources to help students succeed. Be proactive: talk to departmental advisors, faculty, and staff about how to make the most of your education. 


Physics B.S.

Completing an undergraduate degree in physics will give you a rich understanding of how the world works. It will also prepare you either for continued study in graduate or professional school, or for careers in industry, education, medicine, and finance. 


Honors Physics

An Honors Concentration in Physics or Interdisciplinary Physics (IP) puts you in a distinguished category of individuals who are focused on becoming next generation leaders, in physics as well as in related scientific, technical and policy areas.   The Physics/IP Honors Concentration provides first-year students with smaller introductory classes and offers all students the chance to develop their talents in a research-focused, community setting.


Physics Minor

Students who minor in physics may do so out of general interest in the discipline, or may wish to complement their major in another field in ways that help integrate their cross-disciplinary interests in physics. An academic minor in physics is not open to students with a major in Engineering Physics.


Interdisciplinary Physics B.S.

The Interdisciplinary Physics concentration allows students the flexibility to supplement their core study of physics with courses in complementary fields. This concentration can be an effective preparation for graduate study in the sciences, for medical, law, and business schools, or for direct entry into the job market. Because students pursuing the Interdisciplinary Physics degree have a wide variety of career goals, advising from a Physics concentration advisor is especially important.


Teacher Certification in Physics

Students who wish to earn a secondary teaching certificate in physics must apply to the School of Education certification program and take specific Physics courses required for a Michigan Provisional Teaching Certificate.  LSA students can remain in LSA to earn a BA or BS in Interdisciplinary Physics and include the education course component over three terms.  If the application is made during the sophomore year, it might be possible to complete everything in four years.