as of Spring 2012
- PHYSICS 161D Fundamentals of Physics I and PHYSICS 161L Introductory Experimental Physics I or equivalent*
- PHYSICS 162D Fundamentals of Physics II and PHYSICS 162L Introductory Experimental Physics II or equivalent*
- PHYSICS 264L Optics and Modern Physics
- PHYSICS 363 Thermal Physics
- Two courses out of the following:
- One of the following laboratory courses:
- One other physics elective numbered above 200.
BA students are strongly encouraged to get some physics-related research experience, either through a research independent study (Physics 493) or through summer research.
- MATH 122 Introductory Calculus or its equivalent
- MATH 212 Multivariable Calculus
- MATH 221 Linear Algebra and Applications
The math course MATH 356 Elementary Differential Equations, is strongly recommended since it provides useful preparation for most upper-level physics courses.
*PHYSICS 141L/142L or 151L/152L are acceptable for satisfying introductory physics requirements for physics majors, for students who have already taken these when starting as a physics major. However 161+161L and 162+162L are strongly encouraged, as they provide better preparation for subsequent courses. Calculus-based physics AP credit is also accepted, although in most cases, prospective physics majors are encouraged to take introductory physics at Duke regardless of AP credit.
Knowing How to Program
All physics majors should know how to write computer programs at the level of an introductory computer science course such as Computer Science 101, and they should learn this skill as soon as possible, preferably by the end of their sophomore year. Knowing how to program greatly increases the opportunities for undergraduate research, theoretical and experimental.