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Undergraduate Courses

Specific curriculum requirements for each undergraduate degree are determined by the catalog number corresponding to each student’s first semester at Texas A&M. Please visit catalog.tamu.edu to verify your catalog number, view electronic versions of these catalogs, or view older catalog editions.

Course # Title Credit Hrs Lab Hrs
PHYS 101 Freshman Physics Orientation 1 0
Critical thinking skills and problem solving in physics: time management and teaming skills. For physics majors. Registration by non-majors requires approval of instructor; Offered Fall only.
Prerequisites: none
PHYS 102 Freshman Physics Orientation II 1 0
Critical thinking skills and problem solving in physics: time management and teaming skills. For physics majors. Registration by non-majors requires approval of instructor; Offered Spring only.
Prerequisites: PHYS 101
PHYS 109 Big Bang and Black Holes 3 0
Designed to give an intuitive understanding of the Big Bang and Black Holes, without mathematics, and de-mystify them for the non-scientist. Cross-listed with ASTR 109.;Offered Fall and Spring
Prerequisites: none
PHYS 119 Big Bang and Black Holes: Laboratory Methods 1 2
Hands-on understanding of the concepts surrounding the Big Bang and Black Holes; emphasis on the evidence-based decision making process, methods and presentation; for non-scientists. Cross-listed with ASTR 119.;Offered Fall and Spring
Prerequisites: concurrent enrollment in ASTR/PHYS 109
PHYS 123 Physics for Future Presidents 3 0
Physics needed to be an effective policy maker or world leader but appropriate for any citizen, since all citizens need to understand the world in which they live and work; fundamental principles of physics made comprehensible and usable by those not in science- or math-related fields.
Prerequisites: Basic math skills
PHYS 125 Soft Matter Physics for Non-physicists 3 2
Modern physics in action with hands-on physics experience in simple experiments for non-physics majors; introduction to thermodynamics and soft matter physics; heat, temperature, thermodynamic efficiency, phase transitions, mechanical properties of soft matter, heat transfer mechanisms; physical measurements.
Prerequisites: None
PHYS 201 College Physics 4 3
Fundamentals of classical mechanics, heat and sound. Primarily for architecture, education, premedical, predental and pre-veterinary medical students; Offered Fall, Spring and Summer.
Prerequisites: MATH 103 or equivalent
PHYS 202 College Physics 4 3
Continuation of PHYS 201. Fundamentals of classical electricity and light introduction to contemporary physics; Offered Fall, Spring, and Summer.
Prerequisites: PHYS 201
PHYS 205 Concepts of Physics 4 3
General survey physics course for K-8 preservice teachers integrating physics content and laboratory activities relevant to physics-related subject matter included in the current Texas and national standards for elementary school science; includes aspects of mechanics, waves, electricity, magnetism and modern physics; Offered Spring only.
Prerequisites: Major in interdisciplinary studies or interdisciplinary technology or approval of instructor
PHYS 206 Newtonian Mechanics for Engineering and Science 3 0
Calculus-based introductory Newtonian mechanics; laws of physical motion for solution of science and engineering problems.
Prerequisites: Grade of C or better in MATH 151 or MATH 171, or equivalent
PHYS 207 Electricity and Magnetism for Engineering and Science 3 0
Calculus-based electricity and magnetism; electromagnetic phenomena; basic laws of electricity and magnetism; science and engineering problems involving charges, electromagnetic fields, and electrical circuits.
Prerequisites: Grade of C or better in PHYS 206; grade of C or better in MATH 152 or MATH 172 or equivalent
PHYS 208 Electricity and Optics 4 3
Continuation of PHYS 218. Electricity, magnetism and introduction to optics. Primarily for science and engineering students; Offered each Fall, Spring and 10 week Summer.
Prerequisites: PHYS 218; concurrent enrollment in MATH 152 or 172
PHYS 216 Experimental Physics and Engineering Lab II - Mechanics 2 3
Description and application of laws of physical motion to the solution of science and engineering problems; using sensing, control and actuation for experimental verification of physics concepts while solving engineering problems. Cross-listed with ENGR 216/PHYS 216
Prerequisites: Grade of C or better in MATH 151 or MATH 171 or equivalent; grade of C or better in ENGR 102; grade of C or better and concurrent enrollment in PHYS 206.
PHYS 217 Experimental Physics and Engineering Lab III - Electricity and Magnetism 2 3
Electromagnetism and electromechanical systems; use of sensing, control and actuation to demonstrate key physical relationships through the transducer relationships linking pressure, temperature and other physical stimuli to changes in electric and magnetic fields. Cross-listed with ENGR 217/PHYS 217
Prerequisites: Grade of C or better in MATH 152 or MATH 172, or equivalent; grade of C or better in PHYS 206 or equivalent; grade of C or better in PHYS 216/ENGR 216 or ENGR 216/PHYS 216; grade of C or better and concurrent enrollment in PHYS 207.
PHYS 218 Mechanics 4 0
Mechanics for students in science and engineering; 3 laboratory hours per week; offered each fall, spring and 10-week summer
Prerequisites: concurrent enrollment in MATH 151 or 171
PHYS 221 Optics and Thermal Physics 3 0
Wave motion and sound, geometrical and physical optics, kinetic theory of gases, laws of thermodynamics; Offered each Fall and Spring.
Prerequisites: PHYS 208 or 219; MATH 152 or 172; concurrent enrollment in MATH 308 and MATH 221, 251 or 253
PHYS 222 Modern Physics for Engineers 3 0
Atomic, quantum, relativity and solid state physics; Offered each Fall, Spring and 10 week Summer.
Prerequisites: PHYS 208 or 219; concurrent enrollment in MATH 308
PHYS 225 Electronic Circuits and Applications 4 3
Linear circuit theory and applications of solid-state diodes, bipolar and field-effect transistors, operational amplifiers and digital systems; Offered Spring only.
Prerequisites: PHYS 208 or 219; MATH 308
PHYS 285 Directed Studies 1 0
Special work in laboratory or theory to meet individual requirements in cases not covered by regular curriculum intended for use as lower-level credit; Offered Fall, Spring, and 10 week summer.
Prerequisites: Contact Physics and Astronomy Advising
PHYS 289 Special Topics 1 0
Selected topics in an identified area of physics. May be repeated for credit; offered Fall and Spring.
Prerequisites: Approval of instructor
PHYS 291 Research 1 0
Research conducted under the direction of faculty member in physics. May be repeated 2 times for credit; offered each Fall, Spring and 10 week Summer.
Prerequisites: Freshman or Sophomore classification and approval of instructor
PHYS 302 Advanced Mechanics I 3 0
Classical mechanics of particles and rigid bodies, both by direct application of Newton?s equations and by Lagrangian methods; applications to gravity and other central forces, scattering, non-inertial reference frames, and rotational motion of rigid bodies; Offered Fall only.
Prerequisites: MATH 221, 251 or 253; MATH 308; PHYS 208 or 219; PHYS 218; PHYS 309 or 222; PHYS 331; concurrent enrollment in PHYS 332; for students with other backgrounds, approval of instructor.
PHYS 303 Advanced Mechanics II 3 0
Classical mechanics of particles and rigid bodies with an emphasis on Lagrangian and Hamiltonian methods; phase space and canonical transformations; applications to linear and nonlinear oscillations, chaos, and elements of continuum mechanics; Offered Spring only.
Prerequisites: PHYS 302 and 332
PHYS 304 Advanced Electricity and Magnetism I 3 0
Electrostatics dielectrics electrical current and circuits magnetic fields and materials induction Maxwell's equations.
Prerequisites: PHYS 219; MATH 311 or registration therein; junior or senior classification
PHYS 305 Advanced Electricity and Magnetism II 3 0
Radiation and optics. Electromagnetic waves radiation reflection and refraction interference diffraction special relativity applied to electrodynamics. Offered each spring.
Prerequisites: PHYS 304
PHYS 309 Modern Physics 3 0
Special relativity concepts of waves and particles introductory quantum mechanics; Offered each Spring.
Prerequisites: PHYS 221; MATH 221 and 308
PHYS 327 Experimental Physics 3 3
Laboratory experiments in modern physics and physical optics with an introduction to current, state-of-the-art recording techniques.
Prerequisites: PHYS 221
PHYS 328 Experimental Physics II 1 1
Laboratory experiments in modern physics and physical optics with an introduction to current, state-of-the-art recording techniques.
Prerequisites: PHYS 327 or concurrent enrollment
PHYS 331 Theoretical Methods for Physicists I 3 0
Applications involving vectors; vector and additional methods for advanced electricity and magnetism; relationship and solutions of classical wave equation, heat equation, and Schrodinger equation; harmonic motion on finite or periodic lattice and in continuum; tensor and matrix notation in classical mechanics and electricity and magnetism; Offered Spring only.
Prerequisites: MATH 221 or 251 or 253 and MATH 308; PHYS 208 or 219; PHYS 218 and 221; restricted to physics majors and minors
PHYS 332 Theoretical Methods for Physicists II 3 0
Methods to solve the important equations of theoretical physics, emphasizing the effects of boundary conditions and quantization on their solutions and restricted to the essential physical symmetries associated with free space, spheres, cylinders, and rectangles; if time permits, introduction to symmetries in physics and to asymptotic methods; Offered Fall only.
Prerequisites: PHYS 309 or 222 and PHYS 331; restricted to physics majors and minors
PHYS 401 Computational Physics 3 0
Introduction to computational and simulational techniques widely used in physics applications and research, including trajectory integration, wave motion analysis, molecular dynamics, Monte Carlo methods, statistical mechanics of spin systems, phase transitions, quantum evolution, bound state problems, and variational methods
Prerequisites: MATH 311 or 409, or registration therein; Ability to program in a high level language such as FORTRAN; CPSC 203 can be used to satisfy this requirement.
PHYS 408 Thermodynamics and Statistical Mechanics 4 0
Statistical method, macroscopic thermodynamics, kinetic theory, black body radiation, Maxwell-Boltzmann, Bose-Einstein, and Fermi-Dirac Statistics; Offered each Fall.
Prerequisites: PHYS 221, PHYS 412, MATH 311 or equivalent
PHYS 412 Quantum Mechanics I 3 0
Postulates of wave mechanics wave packets harmonic oscillator central field problem hydrogen atom approximation methods; Offered each Spring.
Prerequisites: MATH 308; PHYS 309
PHYS 414 Quantum Mechanics II 3 0
Continuation of PHYS 412. Electron spin addition of angular momenta atomic structure time dependent perturbations collision theory application of quantum mechanics to atomic, solid state, nuclear or high energy physics; Offered each Fall.
Prerequisites: PHYS 412
PHYS 416 Physics of the Solid State 3 0
A survey of solid state physics; an introduction to crystal structures and the physics of electrons, lattice vibrations and photons; applications to semiconductors; magnetism; superconductivity; physics of nanostructures; brief introduction to selected current topics in condensed matter physics
Prerequisites: PHYS 304 and PHYS 412
PHYS 425 Physics Laboratory 2 6
Experiments in nuclear, atomic, and molecular physics using modern instrumentation and equipment of current research; Offered each Spring.
Prerequisites: PHYS 326 or equivalent
PHYS 426 Physics Laboratory 2 6
Experiments in solid state and nuclear physics. Modern instrumentation and current research equipment are employed; Offered each Fall.
Prerequisites: PHYS 326 or equivalent
PHYS 485 Directed Studies 1 0
Special work in laboratory or theory to meet individual requirements in cases not covered by regular curriculum.;1 or more credit hours; Offered each Fall, Spring and 10 week Summer
Prerequisites: Approval of department head
PHYS 489 Special Topics 4 0
Selected topics in an identified field of physics. May be repeated for credit; offered each Fall, Spring and 10 week Summer.
Prerequisites: Approval of instructor
PHYS 491 Research 4 0
Research conducted under the direction of faculty member in physics. May be repeated 2 times for credit. Registration in multiple sections of this course is possible within a given semester provided that the per semester credit hour limit is not exceeded; offered Fall, Spring and 10 week Summer.
Prerequisites: Junior or Senior classification; approval of instructor
ASTR 101 Basic Astronomy 3 0
A qualitative approach to basic stellar astronomy; earth-moon-sun relationships then studies of distances to stars, stellar temperatures, and other physical properties; birth, life on the main sequence of the H-R diagram, and ultimate fates of stars; not open to students who have taken ASTR 111 or ASTR 314.
Prerequisites: None
ASTR 102 Observational Astronomy 1 3
Observational and laboratory course which may be taken in conjunction with ASTR 101 or ASTR 314. Use of techniques and instruments of classical and modern astronomy.
Prerequisites: ASTR 101, concurrent enrollment in ASTR 314
ASTR 103 Introduction to Stars and Exoplanets 3 0
A qualitative study of stellar birth, stellar structure and evolution, stellar nucleosynthesis, the Hertzsprung-Russell Diagram, white dwarfs, neutron stars, supernovae, black holes, proto-planetary systems, origin of the solar system and the search for exoplanets; utilizes active learning methods that incorporate observations from the current generation of ground and space-based telescopes. Open to all majors.
Prerequisites: None
ASTR 104 Introduction to Galaxies and Cosmology 3 0
A qualitative study of properties of galaxies, galaxy evolution through cosmic time, galactic archaeology, active galactic nuclei, super-massive black holes, large-scale structure, the expansion history of the universe, cosmological parameters and Big Bang nucleosynthesis; utilizes active learning methods that incorporate observations from the current generation of ground and space-based telescopes. Open to all majors.
Prerequisites: None
ASTR 109 Big Bang and Black Holes 3 0
Designed to give an intuitive understanding of the Big Bang and Black Holes, without mathematics, and de-mystify them for the non-scientist. Cross-listed with PHYS 109.;Offered Fall and Spring
Prerequisites: none
ASTR 111 Overview of Modern Astronomy 4 2
Roots of modern astronomy; the scientific method; fundamental physical laws; the formation of planets, stars, and galaxies; introduction to cosmology; includes an integrated laboratory that reinforces the lecture topics, including hands-on experience with telescopes and imaging of celestial objects; not open to students who have taken ASTR 101 or ASTR 314.;Offered Fall and Spring
Prerequisites: none
ASTR 119 Big Bang and Black Holes: Laboratory Methods 1 2
Hands-on understanding of the concepts surrounding the Big Bang and Black Holes; emphasis on the evidence-based decision making process, methods and presentation; for non-scientists. Cross-listed with PHYS 119.;Offered Fall and Spring
Prerequisites: concurrent enrollment in ASTR/PHYS 109
ASTR 285 Directed Studies 4 0
Special work in laboratory or theory to meet individual requirements in cases not covered by regular curriculum; intended for use as lower-level credit; offered Fall, Spring and 10 week Summer; 1 - 4 credit hours.
Prerequisites: Contact Physics and Astronomy Advising
ASTR 289 Special Topics In 4 0
Elected topics in an identified area of astronomy. May be repeated for credit; offered Fall, Spring and 10 week Summer;1 - 4 credit hours.
Prerequisites: Approval of instructor
ASTR 291 Research 4 0
Research conducted under the direction of faculty member in astronomy. May be repeated 2 times for credit; offered Fall, Spring and 10 week Summer; 1 - 4 credit hours.
Prerequisites: Freshman or Sophomore Classification and approval of instructor
ASTR 314 Survey of Astronomy 3 0
Primarily for majors in science and engineering. Kepler's laws, law of gravitation, solar system, stars, stellar evolution, nucleosynthesis, cosmology, clusters, nebulae, pulsars, quasars, black holes; offered Fall and Spring.
Prerequisites: PHYS 208
ASTR 320 Astrophysical Research Methods 2 0
Background and tools used by astronomical researchers in performing analyses; topics include reduction of photometric and spectroscopic data, bivariate and multivariate statistical methods and chi-squared minimization.
Prerequisites: MATH 171 and MATH 172
ASTR 401 Stars and Extrasolar Planets 3 0
How stars are born, how internal structure changes, nuclear fuel burned and ultimate fate; extrasolar planets: detection, formation, properties and habitability.
Prerequisites: ASTR 314
ASTR 403 Extragalactic Astronomy and Cosmology 3 0
Physical makeup of individual galaxies and large scale structure in the universe; origin and eventual fate of the universe; interpretation of observational data as it relates to baryonic matter, Dark Matter and cosmological models with Dark Energy.
Prerequisites: ASTR 314
ASTR 485 Directed Studies 1 0
Special work in laboratory or theory to meet individual requirements in cases not covered by regular curriculum; offered Fall, Spring and 10 week Summer; 1 or more credit hours.
Prerequisites: Contact Physics and Astronomy Advising
ASTR 489 Special Topics 4 0
Selected topics in an identified topic of astronomy. May be repeated for credit; offered Fall, Spring and 10 week Summer; 1 - 4 credit hours
Prerequisites: Approval of instructor
ASTR 491 Research 4 0
Research conducted under the direction of faculty member in astronomy. May be repeated 2 times for credit. Registration in multiple sections of this course is possible within a given semester provided that the per semester credit hour limit is not exceeded; offered Fall, Spring and 10 week Summer; 1 - 4 credit hours
Prerequisites: Junior or Senior classification; approval of instructor