Understand the world around you at the most basic scientific level: you’ll do that here.

The B.S. in Physics asks you to understand science and math and use them to solve problems of practical importance to society. Our modern technology depends heavily on physics. The interest of physicists extends from the vast world of stars and galaxies to the minute world of atoms and elementary particles.

Physicists did the pioneering work in the discovery and development of electrical and nuclear power, communication systems, solid state devices and integrated circuits, computers, jet propulsion, and interplanetary space navigation. Are you ready to search for more discoveries that will benefit society? We think so.

What You'll Do

  • Benefit from faculty-mentored research.
  • Gain hands-on experience in problem-solving and scientific reasoning.
  • Learn the basic building blocks and rules of the universe.
  • Benefit from the selection of technical electives to get a minor in engineering physics, computer science, biology, or chemistry.

Outcomes & Careers

  • 100%

    Successful Outcomes Rate

    Students graduating with degrees from the Department of Chemistry and Physics report being employed or furthering their education six months after graduation.

  • $138k


    According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the mean annual salary for a physicist is $137,700.

  • $136k

    Astronomers & Physicists

    According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the mean annual salary for an astronomer and physicist is $136,480.

  • $105k


    According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the mean annual salary for a biophysicist is $137,700.

What You'll Study

As a physics major, you’ll be involved with research from day one because doing is the best learning. You’ll also complete a minimum of 120 credit hours to complete this degree, including the general education requirements and at least 39 senior division hours. A minor is required. 

“Critical Courses” are italicized and bolded. Data shows that students who have completed this course in the first two years and have earned the noted grade are most likely to complete this program of study.

Physics - 54 Hours – No minor required

A grade of ‘C’ or better is required in each course that is a prerequisite course.

  • EP100 Introduction to Engineering (3)
  • EP240 Circuit Analysis I (3)
  • EP340 Electronic Circuits (3)
  • EP361 Thermal Analysis (3)
  • EP462 Materials Science (3)
  • PH230 General Physics I (5)
  • PH231 General Physics II (5)
  • PH341 Optics (3)
  • PH345 Experimental Methods (3)
  • PH360 Modern Physics (3)
  • PH370 Mechanics (3)
  • PH371 Electromagnetics (3)
  • PH473 Quantum Mechanics (3)
  • PH477 Physics Seminar (1)
  • PH478 Undergraduate Research (1)
  • PH479 Undergraduate Research (2)
  • PH570 Mathematical Physics (3)
  • XX xxx Technical Electives (8)

Support Courses:

A grade of ‘C’ or better is required in each course that is a prerequisite course. This sequence of mathematics courses constitutes a minor, but it must be declared.

  • CH184 General Chemistry I Lab (1)
  • CH185 General Chemistry I (3)
  • CS177 Programming for Scientists and Engineers (3)
  • MA140 Analytic Geometry and Calculus I (5)
  • MA145 Analytic Geometry and Calculus II (4)
  • MA244 Analytic Geometry and Calculus III (4)
  • MA345 Linear Algebra (3)
  • MA350 Differential Equations (3)

Some requirements may be fulfilled by coursework in major program.

  • Social and Behavioral Sciences – 6 hours
  • Constitution Requirement – 3 hours
  • Written Communication – 6 hours
  • Oral Communication – 3 hours
  • Natural Sciences – 7 hours (from two disciplines, one to include a lab)
  • Mathematics – 3 hours
  • Humanities & Fine Arts – 9 hours (from at least two disciplines)
  • Additional requirements – 5 hours (to include UI100 for native students)
  • Civics examination

Freshman Year    

Fall Semester (15 Hours)     

  • CH184 (1)  
  • CH185 (3) 
  • CS177 (3)
  • EP100 (3)
  • MA140 (5) 

Spring Semester (16 Hours)     

  • UI100 (1)
  • MA145 (4) 
  • PH230/030 (5) 
  • General Education (3) 
  • General Education (3) 

Milestone: Maintain 2.0 cumulative GPA

Sophomore Year    

Fall Semester (15 Hours)  

  • MA244 (4) 
  • PH231/031 (5) 
  • General Education (3) 
  • General Education (3) 

Spring Semester (15 Hours)    

  • EP240 (3) 
  • MA345 (3) 
  • MA350 (3) 
  • General Education (3) 
  • General Education (3) 

Milestone: Maintain 2.0 cumulative GPA

(Summer courses encouraged to avoid 18-hour semesters)

Junior Year    

Fall Semester (15 Hours)    

  • EP361 (3) 
  • PH345 (3) 
  • PH360 (3) 
  • PH370 (3) 
  • General Education (3) 

Spring Semester (14 Hours)     

  • EP340 (3) 
  • EP462 (3) 
  • PH473 (3) 
  • Technical Elective (2) 
  • General Education (3)

Milestone: Maintain 2.0 cumulative GPA

Senior Year    

Fall Semester (15 Hours)     

  • PH371 (3) 
  • PH477 (1) 
  • PH478 (1) 
  • Technical Elective (3) 
  • General Education (3)
  • Elective (4)

Spring Semester (15 Hours)  

  • PH341 (3)
  • PH479 (2)
  • PH570 (3)
  • Technical Elective (3)
  • Elective (3)
  • Elective (3)

Milestone: Maintain 2.0 cumulative GPA

A “Milestone” signifies a significant stage for a student in the completion of a degree.

Become a Redhawk.

Do more than dream about the future. Take the first steps to make it all happen.

Getting the Job

Your education is just one piece to launching an extraordinary career. Once you’ve mastered the material, you still have to find the job you want, make the right connections, sell your knowledge and experience—and if all this is giving you anxiety, don’t panic. SEMO’s Career Services office is here to help you with the next step. They’ll provide the expertise and support you need, so you’re landing your dream job in no time.


"I really enjoyed how personable and engaging the Southeast faculty are. Dr. Jonathan Kessler (assistant professor of physics) always had time for thought-provoking conversations. His level of dedication made classes more engaging and enjoyable."

Jesse Hankins

Portrait of Jesse Hankins

Solar Eclipse

Southeast began its fall 2017 semester with a total solar eclipse, and Southeast’s physics students were part of a team participating in the Citizen Continental America Telescopic Eclipse (CATE) project to take images and video of the inner solar corona. Southeast has already begun work in planning for the next eclipse in 2024!

Physics Degree Map

Explore the courses you'll need to complete your degree.

Rhodes Hall 306
Mailing Address

Department of Chemistry and Physics
One University Plaza, MS 6400
Cape Girardeau, MO 63701