The School of Physics and Astronomy has several options in its major program for undergraduates in CSE, leading to a Bachelor of Science degree in physics. These options, or sub-plans, recognize the usefulness of a solid preparation in physics for a variety of careers, while providing the flexibility to pursue more specialized preparation for these careers as well: while it is essential for students to acquire the basic physics and math required for all CSE students in their first two years at the University, the opportunity exists for students to transfer between sub-plans as their career plans develop.
Common to all of these sub-plans is a set of core requirements that all physics majors must complete. In the freshman and sophomore years, there is a broad introduction to the fundamental ideas of physics, both classical and modern. These courses include laboratory work that illustrates the concepts discussed in lecture, and the Quantum Physics Laboratory course provides an introduction to experimental technique. During these same two years, the core math requirements provide the basis for more advanced work of all kinds in physics and other sciences.
In the junior and senior years, every physics major is required to take at least two of the four upper-division advanced physics course. In addition, a year of experimental physics, involving preparation in a variety of modern experimental techniques with heavy emphasis on electronics and computers, and concluding with an independent project, is required. This type of preparation has proven to be of great value to students who later follow careers in the many branches of science and engineering that involve experimental work. Other requirements vary by sub-plan.
Additional degree requirements include the Liberal Education requirements that are required of all undergraduates at University of Minnesota.