BA in Physics

Degree Program Description

Physics is the science that studies the structure and properties of matter and transformations of energy. With math as the language and experimental verification as a guide, physical study has established the fundamental laws of nature that are the foundation of all natural science and technology. The study of physics includes learning the general principles and the phenomena that have been discovered and developing the skills that enable such knowledge to be advanced through research. The BA degree provides a broad coverage of classical and modern physics while permitting a broader liberal arts education. It is normally selected by students who plan to enter a professional school later in their academic career, e.g. medicine, dentistry or law, or who desire to pursue a teaching certificate.  Physics plays a pivotal role in such areas of expanding and societal importance as biomedical optical imaging/biomedicine, materials science, and homeland security, and as such, courses are offered in optical sciences, biological physics, materials sciences and nanotechnology.

Major Program Requirements

Students must complete the University of Missouri’s general education requirements and graduation requirements, in addition to the Major Program Requirements below.

PHYSCS 2800Undergraduate Seminar in Physics2
University Physics I
and University Physics II
PHYSCS 3150Introduction to Modern Physics3
PHYSCS 4080Major Themes in Classical Physics3
MATH 1500
MATH 1700
MATH 2300
Analytic Geometry and Calculus I
and Calculus II
and Calculus III
MATH 4100Differential Equations3
CHEM 1320College Chemistry I4
Additional physics/astronomy12
Total Credits50

Semester Plan

Below is a sample plan of study, semester by semester.  A student's actual plan may vary based on course choices where options are available.

First Year
MATH 1500^5MATH 1700^5
PHYSCS 2800^2PHYSCS 2750^5
ENGLSH 1000*3Humanities/Fine Arts Course*3
HIST 1100, 1200, or POL_SC 1100*3 
 13 13
Second Year
MATH 2300^3MATH 4100^3
PHYSCS 2760^5PHYSCS 3150^3
Foreign language (level 1)*5Foreign language (level 2)*5
Elective Course3Behavioral Science Course*3
 Elective Course3
 16 17
Third Year
PHYSCS 4080&3PHYSCS elective^3
PHYSCS elective^3CHEM 1320^4
Foreign language (level 3)*32000-level Humanities/Fine Arts Course (Writing Intensive)*3
Social Science Course*3Elective Course3
2000-level Behavioral Science Course*3Elective Course3
 15 16
Fourth Year
PHYSCS Elective/Research Course^3PHYSCS elective/research^3
Humanities/Fine Arts Course*3Humanities and fine arts course*3
2000-level Social Science Course*3Elective Course3
Elective Course3Elective Course3
Elective Course3Elective Course3
 15 15
Total Credits: 120

Back to Top

Degree Audit


The degree audit is an automated report reflecting a student’s academic progress toward the completion of a degree.  Degree Audits are not available for all programs; however, please consult with the appropriate college or school for audit information.

MU students can request a degree audit by logging in to myDegreePlanner.  Students may also access myDegreePlanner via myZou, in the Student Center, by clicking on the Request Degree Audit link. The audit automatically pulls in the student’s MU course work, transfer courses and courses in progress.  This is available to current students, admitted students, and those who last attended less than three terms ago.

Past MU students can request a degree audit by contacting the Academic Advising Unit of the division in which they were last enrolled at MU. For contact information, go to

Prospective students, can access a preliminary MU degree audit via Information on the college credits already earned will have to be manually entered before it can be evaluated against current degree requirements.

For additional details on degree audits, go to

Back to Top

Major and Course Exploration

The University of Missouri has many resources to assist you in exploring majors and career possibilities.  For guidance, visit the Majors and Careers website or view specific resources below.

  • If you would like to learn more about your career interests, abilities, values and talents, visit the MU Career Center in the lower level of the Student Success Center.  No appointment is necessary to explore career options with one of our staff members.

For additional major and career exploration resources, visit Major & Career Exploration in the catalog.

Back to Top