The undergraduate physics program at Wayne State University gives students a deep foundation of knowledge and problem-solving ability on which they can build a variety of careers.
Many of our physics students are oriented toward basic or applied research, but others have pursued careers in teaching, medicine and engineering. Physics majors benefit from a wide range of opportunities to become involved with the vigorous research programs in the department; they also benefit from the many interdisciplinary academic programs made possible at Wayne State University. Because of the small student/faculty ratio, physics majors are assured of unusually close interaction with their teachers and mentors.
Students planning to enter the Department as freshmen are encouraged to take introductory physics and chemistry classes in high school and, if possible, calculus as well. Many students entering the department with advanced placement credit in mathematics and calculus-based physics can accelerate through the standard programs of study outlined on this website.
A candidate for the Bachelor's degree must complete at least 120 credits in course work, including satisfaction of the College Group Requirements, the University General Education Requirements, as well as the additional requirements pertaining to the selected Bachelor's program.
Note that the requirements of some programs increase the number of credits above 120. All courses must be completed in accordance with the regulations of the University and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.
For students enrolled in the general physics and applied physics options of the Bachelor of Science in Physics degree, the University requirements for a writing intensive (WI) course in the major field are satisfied with the successful completion of PHY 6850 . Students enrolled in the Bachelor of Arts degree must successfully complete PHY 3310. Note that in both cases, the requirements are satisfied through the completion of an additional writing project that goes beyond the normal course requirements.
Students should consult with the departmental undergraduate physics advisers for more information about the various degrees and options outlined on this website.
Opportunities Outside the Classroom
Physics majors at Wayne State University find some of their most rewarding experiences outside of their formal coursework. A large fraction of physics undergraduates become involved in one or more research groups in the Department. Involvement in research provides undergraduate students with practical training and experience which can be invaluable when entering the workforce. Students may also find that involvement in a research project can help them decide whether they are interested in pursuing a research career themselves and what field of research interests them most.
Undergraduate physics students can get involved in research in several ways. Each year, several students are hired by the Faculty to work as paid research assistant, either during the academic year or over the summer. A second option is to take a Directed Study class with a professor for course credit. A third option is to participate in one of the Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) programs.