Home    /    Academics    /    Current Undergraduate Students    /    Undergraduate Courses

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.

Prerequisites: Physics majors; non-majors requires approval of instructor.

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.

Prerequisites: None

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.

Prerequisites: None

Cross-Section: ASTR 109/PHYS 109

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. Companion course for ASTR 109/PHYS 109/PHYS 109/ASTR 109

Prerequisites: ASTR/PHYS 109/ASTR 109 or registration therein

Cross-Section: ASTR 119/PHYS 119

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; also taught at Galveston campus

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

(PHYS 1301 and 1101, 1401) College Physics. Fundamentals of classical mechanics, heat, and sound. Primarily for architecture, education, premedical, predental, and preveterinary medical students; also taught at Galveston campus.

Prerequisites: None

PHYS 202 College Physics 4 3

(PHYS 1302 and 1102, 1402) College Physics. Continuation of PHYS 201. Fundamentals of classical electricity and light; introduction to contemporary physics.

Prerequisites: PHYS 201; also taught at Galveston campus.

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.

Prerequisites: Major in interdisciplinary studies or interdisciplinary technology or approval of instructor.

PHYS 206 Newtonian Mechanics for Engineering and Science 3 0

(PHYS 2325) Newtonian Mechanics for Engineering and Science. 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; also taught at Galveston campus.

PHYS 207 Electricity and Magnetism for Engineering and Science 3 0

(PHYS 2326) Electricity and Magnetism for Engineering and Science. 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; also taught at Galveston campus.

PHYS 208 Electricity and Optics 4 3

(PHYS 2426) Electricity and Optics. Continuation of PHYS 218. Electricity, magnetism, and introduction to optics. Primarily for students in science and engineering.

Prerequisites: PHYS 218; MATH 152 or MATH 172; also taught at Galveston campus.

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

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; also taught at Galveston campus.

Cross-Section: ENGR 216/PHYS 216.

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.

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; also taught at Galveston campus.

Cross-Section: ENGR 217/PHYS 217.

PHYS 218 Mechanics 4 3

(PHYS 2425) Mechanics. Mechanics for students in science and engineering.

Prerequisites: MATH 151 or MATH 171; also taught at Galveston campus.

PHYS 221 Optics and Thermal Physics 3 0

Wave motion and sound, geometrical and physical optics, kinetic theory of gases, laws of thermodynamics.

Prerequisites: PHYS 207 or PHYS 208, or concurrent enrollment; MATH 221, MATH 251, or MATH 253, or concurrent enrollment; MATH 308 or concurrent enrollment.

PHYS 222 Modern Physics for Engineers 3 0

Atomic, quantum, relativity and solid state physics.

Prerequisites: PHYS 207 or PHYS 208; MATH 308 or concurrent enrollment.

PHYS 225 Electronic Circuits and Applications 4 6

Linear circuit theory and applications of solidstate diodes, bipolar and field-effect transistors, operational amplifiers and digital systems

Prerequisites: PHYS 207 or PHYS 208; MATH 308.

PHYS 226 Physics of Motion Laboratory for the Sciences 1 2

(PHYS 2125) Physics of Motion Laboratory for the Sciences. The first semester laboratory to accompany a two-semester course sequence in introductory physics; topics include material covered in a typical calculus-based introductory physics course on the principles of mechanics and motion.

Prerequisites: MATH 151 or MATH 171; concurrent enrollment in PHYS 206; also taught at Galveston campus.

PHYS 227 Electricity and Magnetism Laboratory for the Sciences 1 2

(PHYS 2126) Electricity and Magnetism Laboratory for the Sciences. The second semester laboratory to accompany a two-semester course sequence in introductory physics; topics include material covered in a typical calculus-based introductory physics course on the principles of electricity and magnetism.

Prerequisites: MATH 152 or MATH 172; PHYS 206 or PHYS 218; concurrent enrollment in PHYS 207; also taught at Galveston campus.

PHYS 285 Directed Studies 1–4 1–4

Special work in laboratory or theory to meet individual requirements in cases not covered by regular curriculum; intended for use as lower-level credit.

Prerequisites: Approval of instructor.

PHYS 289 Special Topics in 1–4 0–6

Selected topics in an identified area of physics. May be repeated for credit.

Prerequisites: Approval of instructor.

PHYS 291 Research 0–4 0–4

Research conducted under the direction of faculty member in physics. May be repeated 2 times for credit.

Prerequisites: Freshman or sophomore classification and approval of instructor.

PHYS 302 Advanced Mechanics I 3 0

Classical mechanics of particles and rigid bodies; review of Newtonian mechanics and foundations of Lagrangian and Hamiltonian formalism.

Prerequisites: PHYS 309 and PHYS 331; PHYS 332 or concurrent enrollment, or approval of instructor.

PHYS 303 Advanced Mechanics II 3 0

Applications of Lagrangian and Hamiltonian methods to selected problems of classical mechanics.

Prerequisites: PHYS 302.

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 331; PHYS 332 or concurrent enrollment, or approval of instructor.

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.

Prerequisites: PHYS 304

PHYS 309 Modern Physics 3 0

Special relativity; concepts of waves and particles; introductory quantum mechanics.

Prerequisites: PHYS 221.

PHYS 327 Experimental Physics I 2 2

Laboratory experiments in modern physics and physical optics with an introduction to current, state-of-the-art recording techniques.

Prerequisites: PHYS 225; PHYS 309.

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.

Prerequisites: PHYS 221 or approval of instructor.

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.

Prerequisites: PHYS 331; restricted to physics majors.

PHYS 401 Computational Physics 3 2

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: PHYS 332; knowledge of a high level language.

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.

Prerequisites: PHYS 412.

PHYS 412 Quantum Mechanics I 3 0

Postulates of wave mechanics; wave packets; harmonic oscillator; central field problem; hydrogen atom; approximation methods.

Prerequisites: PHYS 302; PHYS 309; PHYS 332; junior or senior classification.

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.

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

Prerequisites: PHYS 327 or equivalent.

PHYS 426 Physics Laboratory 2 6

Experiments in solid state and nuclear physics. Modern instrumentation and current research equipment are employed.

Prerequisites: PHYS 327 or equivalent.

PHYS 485 Directed Studies 1–12 1–12

Special work in laboratory or theory to meet individual requirements in cases not covered by regular curriculum.

Prerequisites: Approval of instructor; also taught at Galveston campus.

PHYS 489 Special Topics in 1–4 0–4

Selected topics in an identified field of physics. May be repeated for credit.

Prerequisites: Approval of instructor.

PHYS 491 Research 0–4 0–4

Research conducted under the direction of faculty member in physics. May be repeated 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.

Prerequisites: Junior or senior classification and approval of instructor.

ASTR 101 Basic Astronomy 3 0

(ASTR 1303) Basic Astronomy. 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

(ASTR 1103 or PHYS 1103) Observational Astronomy. 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 or ASTR 314, or registration therein.

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.

Prerequisites: None

Cross-Section: PHYS 109/ASTR 109

ASTR 111 Overview of Modern Astronomy 4 2

(ASTR 1303 and ASTR 1103, ASTR 1403, PHYS 1303 and PHYS 1103, PHYS 1403) Overview of Modern Astronomy. 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.

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. Companion course for ASTR 109/PHYS 109/PHYS 109/ASTR 109.

Prerequisites: ASTR/PHYS 109/ASTR 109 or registration therein.

Cross-Section: PHYS 119/ASTR 119.

ASTR 285 Directed Studies 1–4 1–4

Special work in laboratory or theory to meet individual requirements in cases not covered by regular curriculum; intended for use as lower-level credit.

Prerequisites: Approval of department head.

ASTR 289 Special Topics in 1–4 0–4

Selected topics in an identified area of astronomy. May be repeated for credit.

Prerequisites: Approval of instructor.

ASTR 291 Research 0–4 0–4

Research conducted under the direction of faculty member in astronomy. May be repeated 2 times for credit.

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.

Prerequisites: PHYS 207 or 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: ASTR 314.

ASTR 401 Stars and Extrasolar Planets 3 0

How stars are born, how internal structure changes, nuclear fuel burned and ultimate fate; extrasolar planet 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 1–12 1–12

Special work in laboratory or theory to meet individual requirements in cases not covered by regular curriculum.

Prerequisites: Approval of department head.

ASTR 489 Special Topics in… 1–4 0–4

Selected topics in an identified topic of astronomy. May be repeated for credit.

Prerequisites: Approval of instructor.

ASTR 491 Research 0–4 0–4

Research conducted under the direction of faculty member in astronomy. May be repeated 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.

Prerequisites: Junior or senior classification and approval of instructor.