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College of Arts & Sciences

College of Arts & Sciences
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Department of Physics

Undergraduate Admission and Requirements

Entering the Physics Program

High-school students who plan to major in Physics should complete at least three years of college preparatory mathematics (two years of algebra and one year of geometry) before entering the University.  A fourth year of college preparatory mathematics (to include trigonometry) and one year of physics and chemistry are strongly recommended.

Admission to a degree program in Physics requires an application for a major and acceptance by the department.  To be admitted, students already enrolled in the University must have a minimum grade point average of 2.0 in science and mathematics courses completed as well as a cumulative grade point average of 2.0 or higher in all courses taken at SIUE.  Transfer students should have a 2.0 grade point average (on a scale where A = 4.0) in science and mathematics courses as well as a 2.0 average in courses taken at other colleges and universities.

If you are thinking about going into Physics, you should contact the Physics Department early on, to make sure that all of the courses can be taken without unnecessary delays in graduation.  The process of entering the Physics program depends on your previous status:

  • If you have not yet declared a major and wish to enter a Physics degree program, you must initiate the process with Academic Advising.
  • If you are changing your declared major from another area to Physics, you must initiate the process with the Physics Department.
  • If you wish to go into Physics as a second major, you should initiate the process at your first major's department.

Once admitted, you are formally affiliated with the department and assigned a faculty adviser.  Advisement is mandatory:  You are permitted to register each term only after consulting your departmental adviser, who will either enroll you in your courses or give you an enrollment PIN (personal identification number) allowing you to enroll online through CougarNet.  (The enrollment PIN that your adviser gives you will usually be different from one semester to the next, and is not the same as the password PIN that you use to access CougarNet, which you select yourself.)

Admission to a teacher education program is a joint decision by the academic discipline in the College of Arts and Sciences and the School of Education.  Therefore, it is essential that any student desiring teacher certification meet with an adviser in the Office of Clinical Experience, Certification, and Advisement of the School of Education for admission to the teacher education program.

Academic Standards

Students should show satisfactory academic progress to be retained in a degree program.  Students may be dropped from the Physics program for any of the following reasons:

  • A grade point average of 1.0 or below in any term.
  • A cumulative grade point average below 2.0 in Physics courses at any time.
  • Withdrawals, incompletes, and a combination of failing grades in 50% or more of the courses for which the student is registered during two successive terms.
  • Any combination of two withdrawals, incompletes, or failing grades in any single required course in the Physics program.

For readmission after being dropped, a student must meet the same admission requirements as when entering the program for the first time.

Graduation Requirements

All of the following requirements must be met in order to graduate with a degree in Physics:

  • Earn a minimum of 120 hours of acceptable credit with a cumulative grade point average of 2.0 or higher.
  • Complete the minimum number of credit hours required for the degree.
  • Earn a grade of C or better in all Physics courses numbered above 200.
  • Complete at least 12 hours of SIUE credit in Physics courses numbered above 299 with a cumulative grade point average of 2.0 or above.  At least 6 of these hours must be earned at SIUE within the 2 years preceding graduation.

Duplicate credit of the following type can not be applied toward graduation requirements:  Credit hours earned from a course (or through proficiency, transfer, or CLEP) after credit has been received for similar or more advanced course work in the same subject at SIUE or elsewhere.

Revised 2018 May 15
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