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Applied Physics and Honors Applied Physics Majors

The applied physics plan of study is especially geared toward providing the physics major with specific expertise in preparation for immediate employment in the corporate research world or in government laboratories, or in further graduate study. Students obtain a solid physics background plus significant experience in one or more specialties of their own choosing, selected from a wide range of choices from Purdue's Colleges of Science and Engineering. 


Applied physics elective courses totaling 24 credit hours are required in addition to other required courses. The basic plan of study combines about 37 - 44 credit hours of physics with 24 credit hours of applied electives. In order to meet the applied electives, students must submit a plan of study to be approved by the physics upper division academic advisor. 

A Bachelor of Science degree with a major in applied physics with honors can be obtained by replacing several required courses in the regular applied physics program with the corresponding honors courses. All other applied physics requirements must still be met. In addition, grades of "A" or "B" must be maintained in all physics and mathematics courses.

New combinations are also possible in consultation with the physics advisor. The specialties under the applied physics curriculum can range from different areas in engineering including nanotechnology and biomedical engineering, in science including nano-science, biology, biophysics, chemical physics, geophysics, medical physics, computer science, computational physics, quantum physics, and special areas such as forensic science. 


Individually tailored specialties may be chosen by the student in consultation with an advisor. A plan of studies for meeting the applied electives must be approved by the physics upper division academic advisor.

Examples of Plans of Study of some programs (all courses needed to complete the Minors in the specialization area can be used towards meeting the applied electives):

Geophysics and Atmospheric Sciences - Coordinator – Prof. Laura Pyrak-Nolte

Suggested Minor: Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences (EAPS)

Astrophysics -  Coordinator –  Prof. Matthew Lister

Suggested Minor: Astronomy

Nuclear PhysicsCoordinator – Prof. David Koltick

Suggested Minor: Nuclear Engineering

Material Science & Engineering Coordinator – Prof. Stephen Durbin

Suggested Minor: Materials Science and Engineering

Medical PhysicsCoordinator:  Prof. Andrew Hirsch

Suggested Minor: Radiological Health Sciences

Specializations in Science - All courses needed to complete minor requirements for Biological Sciences, Chemistry, EAPS and Computer Science can be used towards meeting the 24 credits of the applied electives.
Last Updated: May 9, 2023 1:53 PM

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