Bachelor in Physics


Program Description

Physics majors study the fundamental nature of reality using mathematical models based on experiment, observation, and intuition. If you major in physics, you will study a broad range of topics ranging from the tiniest of subatomic particles to the largest: the universe itself. You will explore concepts as seemingly simple as tossing a ball, and as arcane as what the universe looks like when you travel near the speed of light. As a physics major, your quest to learn the mathematical underpinnings of the nature of reality is the first step toward understanding, and ultimately explaining, this strange and beautiful existence we all inhabit.

What Will You Learn?

UT’s Department of Chemistry, Biochemistry, and Physics offers students a comprehensive program of study in physics and astronomy. The B.S. in physics is designed to prepare students not only for advanced studies at the graduate level but also to provide important problem solving and research skills and experience needed for employment in physics and other scientific and technical disciplines.

Physics majors study the fundamental nature of reality using mathematical models based on experiment, observation, and intuition. The curriculum covers topics ranging from the tiniest of subatomic particles to the largest — the universe — and includes coursework in classical mechanics, electromagnetism, quantum mechanics, nuclear physics, relativity, astrobiology, and astrophysics.

In upper-level courses, the average class size drops to approximately 10, allowing for frequent, direct interaction with faculty and giving students the opportunity to work with equipment not often available to undergraduates at larger institutions.

A minor in physics is a helpful addition for students majoring in biology, chemistry or mathematics, or those who wish to pursue interdisciplinary studies in biophysics or geophysics.

Sample Courses

  • Modern Physics
  • Astrophysics
  • Mathematical Methods for Physics
  • Classical Mechanics
  • Electricity and Magnetism
  • Introduction to Astronomy
  • Quantum Mechanics
  • Advanced Physics Lab
  • Thermodynamics and Statistical
  • Mechanics
  • Differential Equations
  • General Physics with Calculus
  • Astrobiology
  • Physics Research

Research Opportunities

Students are encouraged to assist with ongoing projects or to pursue their own independent research under the guidance of faculty. Students working with faculty have completed projects in astrochemistry, exoplanet research, stellar spectral analysis and more. They not only receive academic credit, but many have presented their findings in scientific publications and at national conferences.

Computerized Telescopes

UT recently purchased six Celestron Nexstar 8SE computerized telescopes for student use. These cutting-edge, portable devices allow for superior viewing of star clusters, planetary nebula, double star systems, the moon, and planets. Physics professors lead field trips to prime nighttime viewing areas across the state.

Career Preparation

An education in physics puts special emphasis on problem-solving and out-of-the-box abstract thinking — skills that are portable across many disciplines. Physics majors are particularly suited toward careers in engineering or laboratory science, but a large number can be found in finance, education, computer science, and other high-tech industries. Graduates are also well prepared for masters or doctoral studies in a wide range of subspecialties within the fields of physics and astronomy, as well as mathematics and engineering.


Local Freshman Admissions

  • Official high school or secondary school transcript or GED results
  • $40 nonrefundable application fee
  • SAT and/or ACT scores
  • Completed guidance counselor recommendation form or recommendation letter from a teacher (not required if you graduated from high school more than two years ago)
  • Essay
  • Official college/university transcripts for any credits completed

Undergraduate International Admissions

With students enrolled from over 100 countries, U.T. proudly considers students from around the globe for freshman or transfer admission. Proof of English proficiency is required. (This is waived for international students from the Commonwealth Caribbean, Bermuda, Canada, United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland, Australia and New Zealand.)

Students should apply through U.T.'s online application. In order to review a student’s application, the University must receive the following:

  • Official transcripts for all secondary school or college coursework, with grades translated into English ("Official" means that you must request your school to send your transcript directly to the UT Office of Admissions. If that is impossible, send a copy that has been certified by your school as a "true copy" of the original after it is copied. An official at your school should sign the document as "true copy of the original.")
  • $40 nonrefundable application fee
  • Essay, written in English (not required if you already graduated from high school and have completed some college credits)
  • Completed guidance counselor recommendation form (first-year students only)
  • Proof of English proficiency (please submit one of the following):
    • TOEFL: the minimum acceptable score is 550 or 213 (computer-based) or 79 (Internet-based)
    • IELTS: International English Language Testing System – minimum grade of 6.5
    • Successful completion of the English 112 certificate offered by ELS Language Centers accompanied by a letter of recommendation from an administrator and a 500-word English writing sample
  • Proof of available funds to cover expenses for the first year of study
  • Essay (first-year students only)
  • Copy of biographical page of your passport (if available)
  • International Student Clearance Form (if currently studying in the U.S.)

International students who meet admission requirements but need additional English language training prior to entering as a full-time degree student may enroll in one of the several E.S.L. programs.

International students also must furnish proof of available funds to cover their first year of study and each subsequent year. Exceptional new entering students with excellent academic achievement receive partial scholarships ($4,000-$7,000 per academic year) which covers only a small portion of the total costs. Students may work on campus up to 20 hours per week.

Upon admission to the University and satisfactory completion of the financial statement, an I-20 form will be sent to applicants from U.T.’s admissions office. Applicants must take the I-20 form, a copy of their acceptance letter and financial statement to the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate. After an interview, the embassy or consulate will decide if an F-1 student visa can be issued. To enter the United States, students need this visa in their passport and the I-20 form. Students may not enter the country on a tourist visa with the intention to study in the U.S.

The staff in the Office of International Programs assists students with pre-arrival information, orientation, and advice on academic, social, cultural and employment matters.

Note: For special circumstances, additional documentation may be required in all categories.

Admission deadlines

The deadlines for Bachelors are as follows:

  • November 15 - Early Action I deadline; decision by December 15.
  • January 15 - Early Action II deadline; decision by February 15.
  • March 1 - Regular Decision deadline; decision by April 1.
  • March 2 - Applications completed after March 1 are evaluated on a rolling basis.

Average cost for full-time undergraduate students

Tuition (12-18 credit hours per semester): $13,603
Student Government Fee (required): $96
Student Service Fee (required): $480
Student Health Fee (required): $425
Room (double room): $2,853
Board (average 15-meal/week plan): $2,552


Last updated Jul 2019

About the School

The sciences afford the opportunity for exploration and discovery in the pursuit of new knowledge, understanding systems in the physical and natural world, and for bettering the human condition. With ... Read More

The sciences afford the opportunity for exploration and discovery in the pursuit of new knowledge, understanding systems in the physical and natural world, and for bettering the human condition. With the challenges the world faces, there has never been a better time to pursue an education in the sciences, health care or sport studies. Read less