Bachelor of Arts in Physics

Acquire a broad understanding of the physical principles of the universe.

A student works on an experiment

"Physics is a lot more than the physics you might see in high school. Physics expands into quantum mechanics, astrophysics, acoustics, and other areas. It is so multifaceted that there is something for everyone. If you are at all interested in Physics, take a few classes, and see which are you like best and go from there!"

Ally Watrous ('24)

B.A. in Physics and German, B.S. in Chemistry

About this Program

The Department of Physics and Astronomy in the College of Liberal Arts offers the B.A. in Physics. Our physics majors acquire a broad understanding of the physical principles of nature, develop critical thinking and quantitative reasoning skills and become creative scientific thinkers. 

Students have the opportunity to become involved in cutting edge research projects with faculty in the fields of acoustics, atmospheric physics, condensed-matter physics, high-energy physics, gravitational physics and astrophysics. 

B.A. vs B.S.

Students can choose between the Bachelor of Arts and the Bachelor of Science in Physics.

  • The B.A. in Physics provides a deeper and wider general education foundation, a broad training in physics, and allows more flexibility for combinations with other areas of study. These students must select a minor field of study (or a double major). It is ideal for pre-med and pre-professional students as the program has a high success rate for acceptance into such programs. Students in the B.A. interested in a health profession may follow the premedical track.
  • The B.S. in Physics is more rigorous, providing training for graduate school in physics and related fields. They have more and higher level mathematics required. Students in the B.S. may choose an optionaly emphasis of astrophysics or biophysics.

The Value of a Physics Degree

Studying physics provides the foundation for graduate study in experimental or theoretical physics, astronomy, astrophysics, and many other sciences such as chemistry, oceanography, seismology, and astronomy. It can also be applied to health professions such as medicine and dentistry. 

Our course of study leads to a unique and effective approach to problem-solving which many employers value when looking for potential candidates. This makes our majors well prepared to enter the workforce in a wide variety of areas upon graduation.

Related careers in physics include:

  • Education
  • Medicine
  • Business
  • Quality assurance
  • Systems safety
  • Military
  • Energy resources, AND
  • Law

Physics teaches you to use fundamental laws of nature underlying the interaction of matter and energy to discover new ideas in technology and new solutions to age-old problems.

On this Page…

    Program Information

    Program Type


    Area of Study

    Sciences, Mathematics, and Technology


    4 Years


    B.A. in Physics

    Program Location


    Required Credit Hours


    Degree Requirements

    Find the degree requirements for the physics major and minor below. For a full description, visit the online catalog.

    Students in the B.A. in Physics program complete 29 credit hours of physics and astronomy courses and 6 credit hours of math courses. Up to 6 credit hours of astronomy at the 300-level or higher may count towards the major.  

    Students choose either of the introductory physics sequences:

    • Phys 211/212: Physics for Science & Engineering I, II with labs


    • Phys 213/214: General Physics I, II with labs

    Required courses:

    • Math 261: Unified Calculus & Analytic Geometry I
    • Math 262: Unified Calculus & Analytic Geometry II 
    • Phys 303: Physical Theory and Techniques
    • Phys 319: Optics
    • 10 hours of physics courses at the 300-level or higher
    • 6 hours at the 400-level or higher including a senior research or seminar course (Phys 461, 463 or 464)

    Students following the Premedical track choose from

    • Phys 317: Introduction to Modern Physics I
    • Phys 319: Optics
    • Phys 321: Electronics
    • Phys 413: Introduction to Biophysics
    • Phys 417: Modern Physics Laboratory
    • Phys 422: Digital Electronics & Microprocessors

    A minor in Physics consists of 18 hours of Physics courses.

    Required courses:

    • Phys 211: Physics for Science and Engineering I
    • Phys 212: Physics for Science and Engineering II
    • Phys 221: Lab Physics for Science and Engineering I
    • Phys 222: Lab Physics for Science and Engineering II


    • Phys 213: General Physics I
    • Phys 214: General Physics II
    • Phys 223: Laboratory Physics I
    • Phys 224: Laboratory Physics II

    And at least 10 hours of Physics courses at the 300 level or higher.


    Connect with a Physics Major

    Ally Watrous

    Ally Watrous

    • Service and Community Engagement

    Can you tell me about a professor or a class you’ve taken that has had the most impact on you?

    See Ally’s Answer
    Chioma Udemgba poses for a portrait

    Path to Medical School

    "Physics taught me how to be an abstract thinker and to use science as a tool to unlock my full potential as a learner. It has so many applications in the real world, including the field of medicine and renewable energy. It prepared me well for my path in medicine and can open the door to any career you choose to pursue."

    Dr. Chioma Udemgba (B.A. in Physics)

    Internal Medicine-Pediatrics Resident at Tulane University

    What can I do with a physics degree?

    • Senior Technical Advisor at FedEx
    • Physician at Memorial Hospital Gulfport
    • Radiation Safety at St. Thomas Hospitals
    • OB-GYN at Delta Medical Group
    • Physician at Vanderbilt Medical Center
    • Faculty at Yale School of Medicine
    • VP Instruction at Pearl River Comm. College
    • Researcher at Los Alamos National Lab
    • Aerospace Engineer at NASA
    • Senior Research Fellow at DuPont
    • Physicist at Tennessee Valley Authority
    • Curriculum Developer at Science is Elementary
    • Bioinformatician at Max Planck Institute

    Choosing a Minor or Double Major

    B.A. students must choose a minor (or a double major). Combine your study of physics with many other subjects based on your interests and career goals.

    Next Steps

    Explore Affordability

    We have a variety of scholarships and financial aid options to help make college more affordable for you and your family.

    Apply to the University of Mississippi

    Are you ready to take the next step toward building your legacy?