Jul 21, 2024  
2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog 
2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Physics BA - Teaching of Science Physics Concentration

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Think big-or small-or anywhere in between. From subatomic particles to the ever-expanding universe, physics explains the natural phenomena all around us, and serves as the foundation for chemistry, astronomy and many other scientific fields. If you have questions about how the world works, physics is where you’ll find the answers. Whether you want to discover black holes, invent faster computer chips or become a teacher, physics lets you be a force in the world.

Visit the Physics academic program page for more information about the academic experience, who you will learn from, opportunities outside of class and what you can do with this degree.

Visit the Physics department page  for contact information, a brief overview of the department and the curricular options.

Admission Criteria

Current UB students seeking admission to the Physics BA - Teaching of Science Physics concentration will be added to the major upon request by completing the College of Arts and Sciences Major/Minor Change Request Form.

Course Requirements

Physics Core (31 credits)

Education Requirements (18 credits)

Total Credits Required for Major: 75

Additional Degree Requirements Include:

  • Additional coursework to fulfill UB Curriculum requirements
  • Elective courses as needed to complete the 120 credit hour total

Total Credits Required for Graduation: 120

Total Credit Hours Required represents the minimum credits needed to complete this program, and may vary based on a number of circumstances. This should not be used for financial aid purposes.

Academic Requirements

Minimum major GPA of 2.0 required for graduation. 

Completion of the major concentration (including the required education courses) provides a strong foundation in content knowledge and a head start on education coursework required for an Initial Teacher Certificate to begin teaching in grades 7-12 in New York. Students must successfully complete the graduate-level initial teacher education program within the Graduate School of Education. It is then possible to complete, within the state-mandated five years, the master’s degree required for a Professional Teacher Certificate, provided all New York State requirements have been successfully completed.

Program Honors

A student must excel in course work as well as complete a Senior Thesis.  The Senior Thesis is prepared under the supervision of a Department of Physics faculty member. Credit for this is obtained through PHY 497 . The thesis is reviewed by the student’s mentor and the Undergraduate Director. The thesis should be at least 20 pages long and the student must have completed at least one semester of PHY 497 

Students must also meet the remaining criteria outlined in the Academic Honors policy. Students who successfully complete the honors program and meet the criteria will have the appropriate notation on their official transcript.

Curricular Plan

A Curricular Plan provides a roadmap for completing this academic program and the UB Curriculum on time. Your actual plan may vary depending on point of entry to the university, course placement and/or waivers based on standardized test scores, earned alternative credit and/or college transfer credit.

Total Credits: 16

Total Credits: 18

Second Year Fall

Total Credits: 17

Second Year Spring

Total Credits: 14

Third Year Fall

Total Credits: 13

Third Year Spring

Total Credits: 15

Fourth Year Fall

  • Education Elective Credits: 3
  • Education Elective Credits: 2
  • PHY 300/400 level Elective Credits: 3
  • Elective Credits: 4
  • Elective Credits: 3

Total Credits: 15

Fourth Year Spring

  • PHY 300/400 level Elective Credits: 3
  • Education Elective Credits: 3
  • Elective Credits: 3
  • Elective Credits: 3

Total Credits: 12

Total Credits Required: 120

Note: Some classes may count toward both a major and UB Curriculum requirement.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of all requirements, the student will have knowledge of:

  • The basic laws of physics, their corollaries, and comprehension of how they can be applied to explain specific natural phenomena
  • Critical thinking and problem solving skills in physics, related to hypothesis building, application of the scientific method, and mathematical methods to analyze physics theories and experiments, and devise solution strategies.
  • Laboratory skills and exposure to a variety of experiments illustrating important phenomena, measuring techniques, and qualitative analysis of data and uncertainty at appropriate levels
  • Contemporary areas of physics inquiry
  • Written and oral communication skills for presentation of scientific results


(HEGIS: 19.02 PHYSICS-GEN-NO BIOPHYSCS, CIP40.0801 Physics, General)


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