+ Curriculum – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \




Physics has been identified as the branch of science that seeks to discover, unify and apply the most basic laws of nature.

The study of Physics provides a strong background for students who are planning for careers in areas such as physics, astrophysics, astronomy, geophysics, oceanography, meteorology, engineering, operations research, teaching, philosophy, medicine, and law.

PHYS 150 and 160 have a calculus co-requisite and are intended for students majoring in the natural sciences or other students with a strong interest in science.

Courses with numbers lower than 150 are particularly suitable for students not majoring in a physical science.

Physics offers two disciplinary majors, a B.A. and a B.S., and a disciplinary minor.

Course List

If you’d like to view a full listing of our course options in Physics or any other subject, please visit the Online Course Catalogue. Click for the Course Catalogue

Requirements for the Major (B.A.)

disciplinary, 12 courses

PHYS 150, PHYS 160, PHYS 270, PHYS 285, PHYS 383, MATH 130 Calculus I, MATH 131 Calculus II, and five additional courses in physics at the 200- or 300-level. A course at the 200- or 300-level from another science division department may be substituted for a physics course with the approval of the department chair.

Requirements for the Major (B.S.)

disciplinary, 16 courses

All of the requirements for the B.A. physics major, plus four additional courses in the sciences. Only those courses which count toward the major in the departments that offer them satisfy this requirement.

Requirements for the Minor

disciplinary, 6 courses

PHYS 150, PHYS 160, PHYS 270, and three additional physics courses.