The department offers an undergraduate certificate in physics. An understanding of the physical universe informs many disciplines. The study of physics is essential to understanding nature and to advancing technology in the coming century. A certificate in physics increases the opportunities for students to become better informed on technological issues at the local, state, national, and international levels.

The certificate is designed to serve undergraduates majoring in biology, chemistry, mathematics, engineering, education and other fields who wish to extend their study of physics beyond what may be required or recommended for their major without completing the full L&S physics major requirements.

To declare a certificate in physics, the student must fill out a major/certificate declaration form. An undergraduate physics advisor must sign the form. The form to declare the certificate can be obtained at the Department of Physics office in 2320 Chamberlin Hall. Physics major students are ineligible for the physics certificate.

Physics certificate

  1. All undergraduate are eligible (Physics, Astronomy-Physics, and A.M.E.P. majors are not eligible).
  2. The certificate will be awarded if all requirements are complete at the time the undergraduate degree is awarded. 

Requirements for the Certificate

The physics certificate requires 18 credits of intermediate or advanced level undergraduate PHYSICS courses with the following restrictions:

  1.  At least 9 of the credits must be in residence.
  2. At most one course from each of the three semesters of an introductory sequence can be counted.
  3. At most 3 credits of directed study can be counted.
  4. Only graded courses may be used toward the certificate.
  5.  A minimum grade point average of 2.000 is required in all certificate courses.
Maximum 1 First Introductory Course
Select at most one of the following:5
A Modern Introduction to Physics (recommended)
General Physics
General Physics
and Dynamics 1
and Dynamics 1
Maximum 1 Second Introductory Course
Select at most one of the following:5
A Modern Introduction to Physics (recommended) 2
General Physics
General Physics
Maximum 1 Third Introductory Course
Select at most one of the following:3-4
A Modern Introduction to Physics (recommended) 2
Modern Physics for Engineers
Introduction to Solid State Electronics
Introduction to Modern Physics
Maximum 3 credits of PHYSICS Directed Study
Select at most 3 credits from the following:1-3
Directed Study
Directed Study
Senior Honors Thesis
Senior Honors Thesis
Senior Thesis
Senior Thesis
Select additional intermediate and advanced physics courses from the following to total 18 credits:
Introduction to Medical Physics
Physics Today
Intermediate Laboratory-Mechanics and Modern Physics
Electric Circuits and Electronics
Electromagnetic Fields
Electromagnetic Fields
Acoustics for Musicians
Advanced Laboratory
Thermal Physics
Atomic and Quantum Physics
Atomic and Quantum Physics
Scientific Background to Global Environmental Problems
Radiological Physics and Dosimetry
Introduction to Plasmas
Plasma Confinement and Heating
Introduction to Quantum Mechanics
Introduction to Particle Physics
Introduction to Atomic Structure
Solid State Physics
Radionuclides in Medicine and Biology
Microscopy of Life
Electronic Aids to Measurement
Applied Optics


This undergraduate certificate must be completed concurrently with the student’s undergraduate degree. Students cannot delay degree completion to complete the certificate.

Physics Undergraduate Advisors

Professor Dan McCammon
6207 Chamberlin Hall
Tel: 608.262.5916

Professor Jan Egedal
3275 Chamberlin Hall
Tel: 608.262.3628

Professor Deniz Yavuz
5320 Chamberlin Hall
Tel: 608.263.9399

AMEP Advisor

Professor Cary Forest
3277 Chamberlin Hall
Tel: 608.263.0486


Yang Bai, Associate Professor
Baha Balantekin, Professor
Vernon Barger, Professor
Keith Bechtol, Assistant Professor
Kevin Black, Professor
Stas Boldyrev, Professor
Tulika Bose, Professor
Victor Brar, Assistant Professor
Duncan Carlsmith, Professor
Daniel Chung, Professor
Susan Coppersmith, Professor
Sridhara Dasu, Department Chair and Professor
Jan Egedal, Professor
Mark Eriksson, Professor
Lisa Everett, Professor
Cary Forest, Professor
Pupa Gilbert, Professor
Francis Halzen, Professor
Kael Hanson, Professor
Aki Hashimoto, Professor
Matthew Herndon, Professor
Lev Ioffe, Professor
Robert Joynt, Professor
Albrecht Karle, Professor
Shimon Kolkowtiz, Assistant Professor
James Lawler, Professor
Alex Levchenko, Associate Professor
Dan McCammon, Professor
Robert McDermott, Professor
Marshall Onellion, Professor
Kimberly Palladino, Assistant Professor
Yibin Pan, Associate Professor
Brian Rebel, Associate Professor
Mark Rzchowski, Professor
Mark Saffman, Professor
John Sarff, Professor
Gary Shiu, Professor
Wesley Smith, Professor
Paul Terry, Professor
Peter Timbie, Professor
Justin Vandenbroucke, Assistant Professor
Maxim Vavilov, Professor
Thad Walker, Professor
Sau Lan Wu, Professor
Deniz Yavuz, Professor
Ellen Zweibel, Professor