May 29, 2024  
Rensselaer Catalog 2017-2018 
Rensselaer Catalog 2017-2018 [Archived Catalog]


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First Year


  • HASS Elective Credit Hours: 4
    (See footnote 1 below.)


  • Free Elective Credit Hours: 4

Second Year


  • HASS Elective Credit Hours: 4
    (See footnote 1 below)


  • HASS Elective Credit Hours: 4
    (See footnote 1 below)

Third Year

Summer Arch*

*For students who have applied for and been granted an exception, the Summer Arch courses would be taken during the fall semester. For listing of the exception process go to:

  • HASS Elective Credit Hours: 4
    See footnotes 1 and 9 below)
  • Mathematics Elective Credit Hours: 4
    (See footnotes 4 and 9 below)
  • PHYS 2962 Computing for Physicists Free Elective Credit Hours: 2
    (See footnote 6 below)
  • PHYS 2963 Mathematical Physics Free Elective Credit Hours: 2
    (See footnote 7 below)

Fall OR Spring

*If following the B.S. in Physics curriculum, students must select the spring term as their “on-campus” semester.

  • Free Elective Credit Hours: 4

Fourth Year


  • Free Elective Credit Hours: 4
  • HASS Elective Credit Hours: 4
    (See footnote 1 below)
  • Mathematics Elective Credit Hours: 4
    (See footnote 4 below)
  • Culminating Experience Credit Hours: 4
    (See footnote 5 below)



  • Free Elective Credit Hours: 4
  • Free Elective Credit Hours: 4
  • HASS Elective Credit Hours: 4
    (See footnote 1 below)


Technical and free electives may be chosen to provide a 128-credit B.S. in Physics with a concentration in Computational Physics. Program advisers should be consulted.


  1. HASS courses shall total 24 credits and meet distribution requirements in the catalog.
  2. PHYS 1100 and PHYS 1200 may be substituted for Honors Physics I and II (PHYS 1150 and PHYS 1250), respectively.
  3. CSCI 1010 may be substituted for CSCI 1100.
  4. MATH 4XXX electives to be chosen from the following:
    MATH 4100 - Linear Algebra
    MATH 4300 - Introduction to Complex Variables: Theory and Applications
    MATH 4400 - Ordinary Differential Equations and Dynamical Systems
    MATH 4500 - Methods of Partial Differential Equations of Mathematical Physics
    MATH 4600 - Advanced Calculus
    MATH 4700 - Foundations of Applied Mathematics
    MATH 4800 - Numerical Computing
  5. Students must complete a culminating experience, which may be fulfilled through (1) through research participation; (2) by passing a designated 4-credit senior elective course; or (3) by passing a designated 3-credit course in Physics or Astronomy plus 1 credit of PHYS 4910.
  6. Students must take these courses week 1 to 6.
  7. Students must take these courses week 7 to 12.
  8. Physics 2350 is a 12-week course.
  9. This course can be taken in either weeks 1 to 6 or weeks 7 to 12.


Physics majors planning to pursue graduate study should take advanced physics courses chose from the following undergraduate- and graduate-level offerings:

Additional Information

Students planning on graduate work in astrophysics are urged to choose electives from the above list plus the following:

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