Assistant Professor Jonathan Petruccelli showcases his research on optical physics to a group of students.

Bachelor of Science


Program of Study


Develop a conceptual understanding of basic physics principles through courses that cover classical mechanics, electromagnetic theory, atomic and nuclear physics, and thermal physics. Then take advanced courses to customize your education in areas like electronics, particle physics and cosmology.

You will engage with a faculty mentor on a regular basis throughout the program. They will help you with course selection, career planning and academics. You can also conduct research with your mentor, exposing you to hands-on learning and experience before graduation.

Combined major and minor sequence consisting of 69-76 credits.

Introductory Physics Sequence

  • Physics I: Mechanics or Honors Physics I Mechanics or Physics I: Advanced Mechanics
  • Physics II: Electromagnetism or Honors Physics II: Electromagnetism or Physics II: Advanced Electromagnetism
  • Physics III: Structure of Matter

Lab Sequence for Introductory Courses

  • Physics Lab I or General Physics Lab I
  • Physics Lab II or General Physics Lab II
  • Physics Lab III

Higher Level Physics Courses

  • Mathematics in Physics or Analysis for Applications I and II
  • Physics IV: Waves
  • Classical Mechanics
  • Advanced Physics Lab
  • Electromagnetism I: Statics
  • Electromagnetism II: Electrodynamics
  • Quantum Physics I
  • Quantum Physics II
  • Thermodynamics and Statistical Physics

Chemistry Sequence

  • General Chemistry I or  Advanced Chemistry I
  • General Chemistry II or Advanced Chemistry II
  • General Chemistry Laboratory I
  • General Chemistry Laboratory II

Calculus Sequence

  • Calculus I and Calculus II OR Honors Calculus I and Honors Calculus II
  • Calculus of Several Variables

Mathematics Elective

  • Linear Algebra
  • Analysis for Applications I
  • Discrete Probability or
  • Complex Variables for Applications

Additional Physics Course

Any course numbered 300 or higher and appended with a Y suffix. 

  • Mathematical Models in Physics
  • Electronics
  • Introduction to Particle Physics
  • Optics
  • Introduction to Cosmology
  • Medical Imaging
  • Introduction to Quantum Foundations and Quantum Information
  • Bayesian Data Analysis and Signal Processing
  • Symmetry in Physics
  • Physics of Materials
  • X-ray Optics, Analysis, and Imaging
  • Computational Methods

Computer Science Course

Introduction to Computer Science

Honors Program

Challenge yourself with more advanced work in the Physics Honors Program. You will have the opportunity to complete an independent research project culminating in a written report. Outstanding students should apply for admission to the honors program in the beginning of their junior year.

Applied Learning
Collaborate with other physics majors by signing up for the Living Learning Community program. This gives you the opportunity to live in the same residence hall as students who are physics majors so you can study and participate in social activities together.

You can also join the UAlbany chapter of the Society of Physics Students, a group that encourages you to pursue your education beyond the general classroom setting. Engage in hands-on activities like rocket building, view science movies, attend lectures and discuss career choices.

Take advantage of research opportunities that have the potential for professional publication through the National Science Foundation’s Research Experience for program.


Accelerated Undergraduate/Graduate Options

You can save time and money by beginning your graduate degree coursework while still enrolled as an undergraduate student. Up to 12 academic credits, billed at the undergraduate rate, will count towards both degrees – so you’ll complete your combined program in only 5 years and spend less than you would if you completed each program separately. Choose to combine your Physics undergraduate degree with the following graduate programs:


MS in Physics
This master’s program studies subjects like condensed matter, digital holography and Bayesian data analysis for a sound understanding of computational methods, electrodynamics and statistical mechanics.

MS in Information Science 
This ALA-accredited master's program covers a broad range of interdisciplinary topics related to library science, information processing, information management and data analysis.

MS in Secondary Education
This New York State-approved teacher preparation program provides you with initial certification to teach a specific subject to students in grades 7-12 in New York State public schools.

UAlbany graduate at Commencement
Career Outcomes

With a Bachelor of Science in Physics degree you will be prepared for positions in industries such as engineering, astrophysics, software, science journalism, architecture and medical physics.

Potential job titles for a BS in physics include:

  • Electrical engineer
  • Laser engineer
  • Software developer
  • Programmer
  • High school physics or science teacher
  • Optical engineer
  • Research assistant
  • Lab technician
  • Accelerator operator



Colleagues Writing Mathematical Formulas On Transparent Wipe Board
Student Learning Objectives

Learning objectives that UAlbany students are expected to attain through their course of study within their academic program.

Bachelor of Science
  • Students will master Newton's Laws
  • Students will master basics of electricity and magnetism (Coulomb's Law, analysis of DC circuits, induction)

  • Students will master advanced mechanics (Lagrangian and Hamiltonian formulations)

  • Students will master the fundamentals of thermodynamics and statistical physics (thermodynamic potentials, statistical ensembles, classical and quantum gases)

  • Students will master the fundamental concepts of quantum mechanics (Schrodinger equation and its applications to atomic physics)

  • Students will understand the fundamental nature of measurement in the scientific method, and the role of experimental uncertainty in comparing theory to experiment

  • Students will master writing clear and complete reports for laboratory measurements


What Makes The University at Albany Great

student move in day

Living-Learning Communities

Live and take classes with other incoming freshmen who share your personal interests, passions or intended academic major.

student abroad visiting a monument

Study Abroad

Become a global citizen: international experience is crucial to success in business, education, research, and public policy.

Student conducting undergraduate research

Undergraduate Research

Research, scholarship, and creative activities at the University at Albany is an option for all students, across all academic disciplines. You will be able to learn more about a specific academic field or career path all while building a long-lasting mentoring relationship with a faculty member or principal investigator.

Explore Minors

Build competency in a passion or strengthen your resume.

A minor consists of 18–24 graduation credits which must include a minimum of 9 graduation credits of advanced coursework at or above the 300 level. Most undergraduate degrees require completing a minor and it has to have a different title from your major.

Full List of Minors
  • Acting
  • Africana Studies
  • Anthropology
  • Art
  • Art History
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Bioethics
  • Biology
  • Broadcast Meteorology
  • Business
  • Chemistry
  • Chinese Studies
  • Cognitive Science
  • Communication
  • Computer Science
  • Creative Writing
  • Criminal Justice Studies
  • Cybersecurity
  • Documentary Studies
  • East Asian Studies
  • Economics
  • Educational Studies
  • Electrical and Computer Engineering
  • Electronics
  • Film Studies
  • Emergency Preparedness, Homeland Security and Cybersecurity
  • English
  • Forensic Science
  • French
  • Game Design and Development
  • Geographic Information Science
  • Geography
  • Globalization Studies
  • Hebrew
  • History
  • Informatics
  • Instrumental Performance
  • International Studies
  • Italian
  • Japanese Studies
  • Journalism (Fully Online Option)
  • Judaic Studies
  • Korean Studies
  • Latin American and Caribbean Studies
  • Law and Philosophy
  • Leadership
  • Legal Studies
  • LGBTQ Studies
  • Library and Information Science
  • Linguistics
  • Machine Learning
  • Mathematics
  • Medical Anthropology
  • Music
  • Musical Performance
  • Musical Theatre
  • Philosophy
  • Physics
  • Political Science
  • Portuguese
  • Pre-Education
  • Psychology
  • Public Health
  • Public Policy
  • Russian
  • Russian and Eastern European Studies
  • Social Welfare Studies
  • Sociology
  • Spanish
  • Statistics
  • Sustainability
  • Theatre
  • Theatrical Design/Technology
  • Urban Studies and Planning
  • U.S. Latino Studies
  • Vocal Performance
  • Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies