Physics Major with Astronomy Emphasis - Bachelor of Science (BS)

(All colleges, excluding teacher certification programs)

40 credits (57 total credits including MTH)

PHY 203General Physics I 14
or PHY 103 Fundamental Physics I
PHY 204General Physics II 14
or PHY 104 Fundamental Physics II
PHY 155Solar System Astronomy4
PHY 160Stars, Galaxies and the Universe4
PHY 305General Physics III3
PHY 306Modern Physics3
PHY 311Experimental Physics2
PHY 362Astrophysics3
PHY 466Cosmology and the Structure of The Universe3
PHY 491Capstone in Physics1
Select nine additional credits from physics courses at the 300/400 level 2, 39
Total Credits40
Prerequisite coursework
MTH 207Calculus I5
MTH 208Calculus II4
MTH 308Linear Algebra with Differential Equations4
or MTH 309 Linear Algebra
MTH 310Calculus III: Multivariable Calculus4
Total Credits17

PHY 203 and PHY 204 are preferred.


Students intending to pursue a graduate degree are strongly advised to take PHY 321 and PHY 332 and should consult with their physics advisor when choosing physics elective courses.


Excluding PHY 320PHY 376PHY 423PHY 452PHY 483PHY 497. If PHY 498 Physics and Astronomy Research is chosen, the research must be astronomy related, and only three credits of PHY 498 may apply towards the major.

All students must complete the general education, college core, major/minor, and university degree requirements in order to qualify for a degree. The easiest way to track all of these requirements is to refer to the Advisement Report (AR) found in the Student Information System (WINGS) Student Center. All enrolled students have access to the AR.  

College of Science and Health (CSH) Bachelor of Science core requirements

B.S. and B.A. students graduating from the College of Science and Health are required to take two natural laboratory science courses selected from the general education laboratory science category (GE 05) and/or from BIO 203, BIO 304, BIO 210, CHM 104, GEO 221, GEO 222, PHY 104 or PHY 204, and they either must take two mathematics courses or one math course and one computer science course from the math/logical systems category of the general education requirements (GE 02). One of the two science courses must be from a department outside of the student’s major department.

Note: Math courses can be pairs, i.e. 150 and 151; MTH/CS majors can use two science courses from same department.

For the Bachelor of Science degree, in addition to all other College of Science and Health core requirements, students from non-exempted programs1 must complete one of the following options. It is recommended that courses are selected in consultation with students’ academic advisor.

  1. Complete a second major; or

  2. Complete a minor outside the major; or

  3. Complete an individualized option, consisting of 18 credits

    1. At least 12 credits must be earned at the 300/400 level outside the major department.

    2. The remaining six credits should come from

      1. 100 level or higher courses outside the major (General education courses may apply provided they are not being used to fulfill minimum general education requirements.); or

      2. 300/400 level courses inside major not being used to fulfill major requirements.

    3. Internship credits may not count toward the individualized option.


The list of exempted CSH programs is below.

Baccalaureate degree requirements

Candidates for the Bachelor of Arts or the Bachelor of Science degrees must accomplish the following:

  1. Fulfill the general education requirements.
  2. Complete at least one ethnic studies (diversity) course.
  3. Complete the courses prescribed by the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee for the degree desired in the respective school or college.
  4. Earn a minimum of 120 semester credits with at least a 2.00 cumulative GPA.1, 2
  5. At least 40 credits must be earned in 300/400 level courses. Transfer courses earned or transferred at the 300/400 level apply to this requirement.
  6. Complete major and minor requirements with at least a 2.00 GPA1, 2 in each major and minor (and concentration or emphasis, if selected).
  7. A minimum of 30 semester credits in residence at UWL is required for graduation. (See undergraduate resident requirement.)
  8. Submit an application for graduation via the "Apply for Graduation" link in the WINGS Student Center as soon as the student has registered for his or her final semester or summer term in residence. December and winter intersession graduates should apply by May 1. May and summer graduates should apply by December 1.

Grade point average requirements for some programs will be considerably higher than 2.00. Re-entering students may be required to earn credits in excess of the 120 needed for graduation in any curriculum in order to replace credits earned in courses in which the content has changed substantially in recent years. Each case will be judged on its own merit.


The grade point average recorded at the time the degree is awarded will not be affected by future enrollment.

No degree will be awarded unless all requirements are fulfilled and recorded within 30 days after the official ending date of each term.

Below is a sample degree plan that can be used as a guide to identify courses required to fulfill the major and other requirements needed for degree completion. A student's actual degree plan may differ depending on the course of study selected (second major, minor, etc.). Also, this sample plan assumes readiness for each course and/or major plan, and some courses may not be offered every term. Review the course descriptions or the class timetable for course offering information.

The sample degree plans represented in this catalog are intended for first-year students entering UWL in the fall term. Students should use the Advisement Report (AR) in WINGS and work closely with their faculty advisor(s) and college dean’s office to ensure declaration and completion of all requirements in a timely manner.

General Education Program
The general education curriculum (Gen Ed) is the common educational experience for all undergraduates at UWL. Sample degree plans include Gen Ed placeholders to ensure completion of the general education requirements. Courses may be rearranged to fit the needs or recommendations of the student’s program of study. Gen Ed courses may be taken during winter term (January between the semesters) and summer to reduce the course load during regular terms (fall and spring). Students should consult with their advisor and/or the college academic services director in their college/school for assistance with course and schedule planning. Refer to the general education requirements for more specific details.

At least 40 credits of the 120 credits required must be earned at the 300/400-level. 

Note: New students and transfer students with 15 or fewer credits earned are required to take FYS 100 First-Year Seminar (3 cr.) during one of their first two semesters at UWL.

This sample degree plan does not establish a contractual agreement. It identifies the minimum requirements a student must successfully complete, to qualify for a degree, in a format intended to assist the student in planning their academic career. Actual degree plans may differ.

Year 1
PHY 203 or 103 (Gen Ed Natural Lab Science)14PHY 204 or 10414
PHY 4971PHY 160 (Gen Ed Natural Lab Science)4
MTH 207 (Gen Ed Math)5PHY 4971
ENG 110 (Gen Ed Literacy-Written)3MTH 208 (Gen Ed Math)4
FYS 100 (Gen Ed First-Year Seminar)3Gen Ed World History3
 16 16
Year 2
PHY 155 (Gen Ed Natural Lab Science)4PHY 3063
PHY 3053MTH 308 or 3094
MTH 3104Gen Ed Global Studies3
CST 110 (Gen Ed Literacy-Oral)3Gen Ed Humanistic Studies3
Gen Ed Arts2-3University Elective2
 16 15
Year 3
PHY 3112Gen Ed Self & Society3
Gen Ed Health & Well-Being3Gen Ed Lab Science (not PHY)4
CSH Core (300/400 not PHY) or minor3CSH Core (300/400 not PHY) or minor3
Gen Ed Minority Cultures3PHY Elective (300/400-level)3
University Elective3PHY Elective (300/400-level)3
 14 16
Year 4
PHY 3623PHY 4663
CSH Core or minor23PHY 4911
Gen Ed Arts2-3PHY Elective (300/400-level)3
University Elective3CSH Core or minor23
University Elective3University Elective3
 14 13
Total Credits: 120

PHY 203 and PHY 204 preferred.


See CSH BS Core Requirements for information on completing the individualized option. 300/400 requirements for graduation may be impacted.