BA in Philosophy & Physics

With this joint major, the Physics and Philosophy Departments enable students to explore the rich relationship between theoretical physics and the philosophy of science, including fundamental questions about the nature of space, time, and matter. The course requirements are designed to prepare students for further research into the conceptual and philosophical foundations of modern physics. Students with this joint degree can go on to pursue graduate work in a number of fields, including physics, philosophy, history and philosophy of science, or science journalism.


All required courses are 4 credits unless otherwise indicated.


  • One course in philosophy (PH) at the 100 level
  • CAS PY 251 Principles of Physics 1
  • CAS PY 252 Principles of Physics 2
  • CAS MA 123 Calculus 1
  • CAS MA 124 Calculus 2

Course Requirements

At least five courses in philosophy and eight courses in physics/mathematics, with a grade of C or higher, are required.

The following philosophy courses are required:

  • CAS PH 270 Philosophy of Science or CAS PH 487 Topics in the Philosophy of Science
  • CAS PH 300 History of Ancient Philosophy
  • CAS PH 310 History of Modern Philosophy
  • either CAS PH 360 Symbolic Logic or PH 468 Philosophical Problems of Logic and Mathematics
  • CAS PH 470 Philosophy of Physics, or a directed study in philosophy

The following physics and mathematics courses are required:

  • CAS MA 225 Multivariate Calculus
  • CAS PY 351 Modern Physics I
  • CAS PY 355 Methods of Theoretical Physics
  • CAS PY 405 Electromagnetic Fields and Waves I
  • CAS PY 406 Electromagnetic Fields and Waves II
  • CAS PY 408 Intermediate Mechanics
  • CAS PY 451 Quantum Physics I
  • CAS PY 452 Quantum Physics II