Many students graduate with a B.S. in Physics from OSU after beginning their studies at another institution. Our curriculum is designed to accommodate these students.

Beginning your studies at OSU

Most students begin their studies at OSU in the fall quarter. If possible, these students should participate in one of the Summer Orientation Advising Programs (START) held at the Corvallis campus during the summer before the beginning of studies. Each of these programs lasts a few days, during which the student receives both group orientation and individual consultation in preparation for registration for fall classes. Information about START offerings is sent to students after they are admitted to OSU.

Students who wish to begin their studies in Winter or Spring terms should contact the Head Advisor in Physics for individual advice. The materials on this Webpage are intended primarily for students who begin their studies at OSU in the fall.

Planning for completion of your degree plan

Most of our advanced (upper-division) Physics courses are offered during only one term (Fall, Winter, or Spring) each year. As a result of the order in which these courses are offered, most students find it convenient to complete their B.S. program in Physics at the end of the Spring term.

Our upper-division course of study is designed as a two-year program for full-time students. However, students with family or employment responsibilities who are unable to devote full time to their studies often find it practical to use more than two years to complete their upper-division studies. The courses are designed to allow students the flexibility of stretching out their residency at OSU, or even interrupting it for a term or two. Students who wish to take advantage of this flexibility should consult with a Physics advisor for help in planning the course sequence of such a "stretched" program.

Choosing courses to take before entering OSU

Examples of study plans for transfer students

The two most common study plans for transfer students take two or three years (of three quarters each) of full-time study from entry to graduation. A Physics advisor will be happy to assist you in custom-tailoring a study plan. Below we give details of requirements for typical two- and three-year plans.
 

Two years of full-time residency at OSU

Typically, transfer students arrive at OSU as Juniors after completing the equivalent of two years of courses at a community college, or at another university or degree-granting college. An AAOT Associate Transfer Degree from an Oregon community college makes it easiest to satisfy the OSU Baccalaureate Core requirement, and is assumed in the following study plan.  If you don't have an AAOT, your advisor will be able to tell you which additional University requirements you need to meet.  If you do have an AAOT, then you should also take the following courses at your community college before arriving at OSU:

 

  • Chemistry 221, 222, 223
  • Math 251, 252, 253, 254, 255, 256
  • Physics 211, 212, 213, and preferably also 221, 222, 223

IF YOU DO NOT HAVE THESE PHYSICS AND MATH COURSES, YOU WILL NOT BE PREPARED FOR THE JUNIOR YEAR PHYSICS COURSES.  The math courses are offered at OSU in the summer, so you could catch up by arriving here early.

     

Year 3

PH 335 (3)
PH 411 (3)

PH 422 (3)
PH 425 (3)
PH 365 (1)
PH 401** (1)

PH 424 (3)
PH 426 (3)
PH 427 (3)
PH 366 (1)
PH 415* (3)
PH 401** (1)

Year 4

PH 403 (1)
PH 401** (1)
PH 423 (3)
PH 431 (3)
PH 464* (3)
PH elective (3)

PH 403 (1) 
PH 451 (3)
PH 481 (4)

PH 403 (1)
PH 441 (3)
PH elective (3)

Add 105 transfer credits to meet 180 minimum total credits.  If you have fewer than 105 transfer credits you can add electives as needed.
 

Three years of full-time residency at OSU

Students who begin their Physics studies at OSU after completing the equivalent of one year of courses at another institution should be sure to advance as far in their studies of Mathematics as their school background permits. Completion of a B.Sc. in Physics at OSU in three years or less is only practical if the entering student has had at least a first course in calculus, equivalent to Math 251 at OSU.
 

 

Fall

Winter

Spring

Soph

PH 211 (4)
PH 221 (1)
PH 265 (3)
MTH 252 (4)
WR I (3)

PH 212 (4)
PH 222 (1)
MTH 253 (4)
MTH 254 (4)
Fitness (3)

PH 213 (4) 
PH 223 (1) 
MTH 255 (4)
MTH 256 (4)
WR III (3)

Total: 47

Total: 15

Total: 16

Total: 16

Junior

PH 314 (4)
PH 320 (2)
PH 421 (2) 
PH 422 (2)
PH 411 (3)
Persp (3)

PH 412 (3) 
PH 424 (2) 
PH 425 (2)
PH 426 (2)
MTH 341 (3)
Persp (3)

PH 415 (3) or PH 365 (3) 
PH 423 (2)
PH 427 (2)
PH 428 (2) or PH 429 (2)
PH 435 (3)
WR II (3)

Total: 46

Total: 16

Total: 15

Total: 15

Senior

PH 401 (1) 
PH 431 (3)
PH 461 (3)
BIO (4) 
CH 221 (5)

PH 441 (3) 
PH 451 (3)
PH 481 (4)
Synth (3)
CH 222 (5)

PH 403 (2)
PH 428 (2) or PH 429 (2)
PH Elective (3)
Synth (3)
CH 223 (5)

Total: 46

Total: 16

Total: 15

Total: 15

In addition you will need at least 41 transfer credits, which should include Math 251 and courses meeting the requirements for at least 3 of the OSU Perspective areas in humanities. If you have credit for Writing or Fitness, then you will need correspondingly fewer humanities perspectives since you could take those in place of the course you already have in the above program.