Academic Catalog 2023-2024

Physics (Engineering-Physics Concentration), Bachelor of Science

As the Texas top ranked program in undergraduate Physics degrees awarded to African-Americans, the Department of Physics in the College of Science, Engineering and Technology, offers the Bachelor of Science (B.S.) Degree in Physics in two concentrations: (1) Engineering Physics and (2) Premedical Physics. Both of these concentrations require 42 credit hours in core classes, 40 credit hours in foundational mathematics and physics classes including two Advanced Physics Elective courses. In addition, the Engineering Physics concentration collectively requires up to 17 credit hours in Engineering and Computer Science Elective classes, respectively while the Premedical Physics concentration requires 31 credit hours in Chemistry, Biology and Psychology.

Of note, the B.S. Degree in Physics is offered through the Texas Physics Consortium (TPC), administered by the Texas A&M University System, under a mutual agreement among several other Physics programs within Texas. This unique program offers a Diploma that bears the seal of the Texas A&M University System, in addition to the seal of Texas Southern University, and the other participating campuses that comprise TPC: Prairie View A&M University, Tarleton State University, Texas A &M Kingsville, Texas A & M Corpus Christi, Midwestern State University, and West Texas A& M University. TSU Physics students benefit from the diverse collective expertise of faculty at these institutions through synchronous on-line Physics classes for junior and senior students.

The goal of the undergraduate Physics program is to help students develop learning skills, problem solving techniques and professional ethics and attitudes that will support their further academic work or future employment in their technical or biomedical career of choice, through the study of physics. Of note, students interested in pharmacy would also benefit greatly in the physics premed concentration. It’s not just rocket science: physics is the route to so many careers, from predicting climate change to designing computer games. Find out where physics can take you. It is no coincidence that physics graduates earn the highest scores in professional admission tests such as the MCAT, LSAT or PE. Hence, the graduate with a Physics degree will exhibit understanding of advanced physical concepts, mathematical and analytical skills, and also utilize technology to develop models for solving problems and analyzing new situations.

The Department of Physics is located on the second floor of the Leonard H. O. Spearman Technology Building and has significant resources on site to assist students and ensure their success. Besides teaching Physics laboratories, the faculty in the Department of Physics conducts research and manages well-equipped Radiation Health Physics, Radio Astronomy, High Performance Computing, and Mathematical Physics laboratories. Physics tutoring and MCAT preparation workshops are routinely offered in a dedicated room.

Students wishing to pursue the B.S. degree in Physics are required to contact the Department of Physics about their intentions and declare a minor or a major in a second academic discipline. All courses completed that are designated for the minor selected must be completed with grades of “C” or better, where grades of “C-” are unacceptable. This grade requirement is more stringent for students interested in teaching physics.  The same rule applies to students in other disciplines seeking the minor in Physics. Students wishing to pursue either a major (B.S.) or minor in Physics must first be admitted to the University, must satisfy TSI Assessment requirements, must eradicate deficiencies assessed at the time of admission through the University Testing Center, and must petition the Department for admission as TSI Assessment requirements or equivalent are completed. Once admitted to the program, students are assigned an official faculty advisor who must be consulted on a semester basis for schedule approval and status verification for progress toward graduation. An exit examination is required of all graduating seniors pursuing the B.S. in Physics. 

The Department of Physics at TSU has also offered a dedicated health physics program funded by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission. This program originally began in the fall of 2008 and was the only undergraduate health physics/radiation physics program in Houston.  In addition to radiation physics theory and safety fundamentals, students learned basic, technical experiments in the health physics laboratory designed for graduate students. The health physics course sequence coupled with the degree plan is being updated and will include: Atomic and Radiation Physics; Environmental Radioactivity Seminar; Radiation Detection I; Radiation Detection II; Radiation Protection and Dosimetry.

The Department of Physics strongly encourages students to seek certification for Teaching Physics or Sciences in the public schools of Texas. The Teacher Certification Officer in the College of Education along with a TSU physics faculty member can further guide and advise students wishing to pursue this opportunity.

The minor in Physics requires 19 semester credit hours for the following courses:

  • University Physics I (PHYS 251) and University Physics I Laboratory (PHYS 217)
  • University Physics II (PHYS 252) and University Physics II Laboratory (PHYS 218)
  • Modern Physics (PHYS 332)
  • Electricity and Magnetism (PHYS 333) OR Thermodynamics and Statistical Physics (PHYS 336)
  • Mechanics (PHYS 341)
  • Physics Senior Thesis I and II sequence (PHYS 415 and PHYS 416) OR any 400-Level Physics course

The University Core Curriculum is the same across all undergraduate bachelor's programs.   Please consult the academic advisor for your designated major before selecting courses in this area.


General Education Core Curriculum42
Major Requirements40
Other Requirements38
Total Hours120

General Education Core Curriculum (Standard) 

ENGL 1301Freshman English I3
ENGL 1302Freshman English II3
MATH 2312Precalculus Math3
Life and Physical Sciences
CHEM 1311Chemistry I3
PHYS 2325University Physics I3
Language, Philosophy, and Culture
Creative Arts
MUSI 1306Music Appreciation3
American History
HIST 1301Soc & Pol Hist US to 18773
HIST 1302Soc & Pol Hist US Since 18773
Government/Political Science
POLS 2305American Government3
POLS 2306Texas Government3
Social and Behavioral Sciences
Select one of the following:3
Principles Of Economics I
Introduction To Sociology
General Psychology
Institutional Options
COMM 1315Public Address3
CHEM 1312Chemistry II3
Total Hours42

Major (Physics) 

PHYS 152Pre University Physics3
PHYS 217University Physics Laboratory I1
PHYS 252University Physics II3
PHYS 218University Physics Laboratory II1
PHYS 332Intro to Modern Physics3
PHYS 333Elec and Mag I3
PHYS 336Thermo & Stat Phys3
PHYS 338Math Methods I3
PHYS 341Mechanics I3
PHYS 415Senior Thesis I1
PHYS 416Senior Thesis II1
PHYS 432Quantum Mechanics I3
"PHYS 360 Adv Undergrad Lab"3
PHYS 437Nuclear Physics I3
PHYS 484Topics in Physics (Course to be taken twice)6
Total Hours40

Other Requirements

MATH 2413Calculus & Analytic Geomtry I4
MATH 2414Calculus&Analytic Geometry II4
MATH 243Calculus & Analytic Geo III4
MATH 250Linear Algebra3
MATH 251Differential Equations3
FS 102Freshman Seminar/ first Year Experience1
CHEM 111Chemistry I Lab1
CHEM 112Chemistry II Lab1
CS 120Introduction to Programming Using C++3
CS 124Fund Machine Computation3
CS 241Advanced OOP Using C++3
Engineering Electives
Select one group from the following:8
Group 1
Circuit Analysis I
Electronics Circuits Lab
Circuit Analysis II
Circuit AnalysisLab II
Group 2
Civil Engineering Materials
Civil Engineering Materials Lab
Geotechnical Engineering
Geotechnical Engineering Lab
Total Hours38
Plan of Study Grid
First Year
First SemesterHours
ENGL 1301 Freshman English I 3
PHYS 152 Pre University Physics 3
FS 102 Freshman Seminar/ first Year Experience 1
CHEM 1311 Chemistry I 3
CHEM 111 Chemistry I Lab 1
MATH 2312 Precalculus Math 3
Second Semester
ENGL 1302 Freshman English II 3
PHYS 2325 University Physics I 3
PHYS 217 University Physics Laboratory I 1
CHEM 1312 Chemistry II 3
CHEM 112 Chemistry II Lab 1
MATH 2413 Calculus & Analytic Geomtry I 4
Second Year
Third Semester
HIST 1301 Soc & Pol Hist US to 1877 3
PHYS 252 University Physics II 3
PHYS 218 University Physics Laboratory II 1
MATH 2414 Calculus&Analytic Geometry II 4
POLS 2305 American Government 3
CS 120 Introduction to Programming Using C++ 3
Fourth Semester
HIST 1302 Soc & Pol Hist US Since 1877 3
PHYS 332 Intro to Modern Physics 3
CS 124 Fund Machine Computation 3
MATH 243 Calculus & Analytic Geo III 4
POLS 2306 Texas Government 3
Third Year
Fifth Semester
MATH 250 Linear Algebra 3
PHYS 336 Thermo & Stat Phys 3
PHYS 341 Mechanics I 3
Engineering Elective 1 1 3
LAB: Engineering Elective 1 1
CS 241 Advanced OOP Using C++ 3
Sixth Semester
MATH 251 Differential Equations 3
Engineering Elective 2 2 3
"PHYS 360 Adv Undergrad Lab" 3
COMM 1321 Business & Professional Comm 3
LAB: Engineering Elective 2 2 1
ENG 2XX - Upper Level English 3 3
Fourth Year
Seventh Semester
PHYS 333 Elec and Mag I 3
PHYS 415 Senior Thesis I 1
PHYS 432 Quantum Mechanics I 3
Social Behavior Science Elective 4 3
PHYS 484 Topics in Physics 3
Eighth Semester
PHYS 338 Math Methods I 3
PHYS 416 Senior Thesis II 1
PHYS 437 Nuclear Physics I 3
PHYS 484 Topics in Physics 3
MUSI 1306
Music Appreciation
or Intro African Art
 Total Hours120

Engineering Elective 1: (ECE 131 Circuit Analysis I (Lecture); ECE 311 Electronics Circuits Lab (Lab), ECE 231 Circuit Analysis II (Lecture); ECE 211 Circuit AnalysisLab II (Lecture))

Courses at the 400 and 500 level in advanced topics in astrophysics, atomic and molecular physics, computational physics and medical health/radiation physics may replace engineering electives with the approval of student's faculty advisor.


Engineering Elective 2 (CIVE 141 Civil Engineering Materials (Lecture); CIVE 141L Civil Engineering Materials Lab (Lab), CIVE 224 Geotechnical Engineering (Lecture); CIVE 224L Geotechnical Engineering Lab (Lab))


ENG 2XX –ENGL 2328 African-American Literature or ENGL 2332 World Literature I or ENGL 2333 World Literature II


Social and Behavioral Science elective; consult with advisor: PSYC 2301 General Psychology or SOCI 1301 Introduction To Sociology or ECON 2301 Principles Of Economics I