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What courses do you need when transferring to CWU?

The CWU physics department can work with students having all levels of preparation.  With appropriate preparation, students can (and have) completed the Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Arts physics degree programs within two years (for more information about our degree programs, please see the Degree Programs section below). 

By the time you arrive at CWU, what courses should you have completed? 

  • Two quarters of single-variable calculus (CWU's MATH 172 and 173)
  • Three quarters of calculus-based introductory physics with labs (CWU's PHYS 181, 182, and 183)

Students entering with the above courses can typically graduate within three years.  If additional courses are completed, particularly courses in mathematics such as Multivariable Calculus I and II (CWU's MATH 272 and 273), and Linear Algebra (CWU's MATH 265), it is possible to complete the degree within two years.  If you do not have the above courses but want to transfer, please contact the Department Chair.

Interested in a sample schedule?  Send the Department Chair an unofficial transcript and he can work with you to develop an appropriate multi-year sample schedule.  Traditional four-year sample schedules can be found in the Programs/Course Schedules tab on the left side of this page.


Not certain how your classes will transfer? Click here

Thinking about transferring to CWU? Click here for more transfer student information.

To sign up for the physics major, you will meet with the Department Chair, develop a multi-year course schedule, and fill out the major's application form.


Degree Programs

The Department of Physics offers both Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees.

The Bachelor of Arts degree in physics is for students who desire a broad liberal arts education with an emphasis in physics. This is the most flexible of our degree programs and serves students having a diverse range of educational goals.

  • Students majoring in multiple scientific disciplines (i.e. double majors in chemistry and physics).
  • Students who are planning a career that requires a basic science background, such as business, law, medicine, writing, environmental concerns, public safety, or computer programming.
  • Students interested in teaching.  This degree also satisfies the criteria for an endorsement in physics and qualifies students to teach physics at the high school, middle, or junior high levels.

The Bachelor of Science degree in physics is for students interested in receiving an advanced degree in physics or engineering. This degree is designed for individuals planning careers in physics and related technical fields or in areas where knowledge of basic scientific principles is necessary.

Within the Bachelor of Science degree, the physics department offers students to opportunity to pursue engineering through the Dual-degree Physics/Engineering program.  This dual-degree program enables a student to receive a baccalaureate degree in physics from CWU and a bachelor of science from an appropriate engineering institution in a respective engineering discipline. The total length of time for both degrees is expected to be about five years, with approximately three years at CWU (dating from enrollment in MATH 172 - Calculus I) and approximately two years at the engineering institution.  Students in these programs have successfully completed the engineering portions of their degrees at both the University of Washington and Washington State University.

The Physics Major BS - Biophysics Specialization is a recent addition to the program. Biophysics is the application of the principles and tools of physics to the study of biological systems. Biophysicists contribute to the understanding of a wide range of interdisciplinary scientific subfields including biotechnology, quantitative molecular and cellular biology, medical physics, neuroscience and biomechanics. The goal of the Physics B.S. with Biophysics specialization is to prepare graduates to be competitive in applications for entry into graduate degree programs in biophysics, physics, and related fields; jobs in government research labs; and private sector employment in areas such as biotechnology. Depending on math preparation, students should be able to complete the Bachelor of Science degree, with Biophysics specialization, in four years at CWU.

More information



Scholarship opportunities for transfer students include:

You will automatically be considered for the Dean's Scholarship if you apply for the Physics Department Scholarship.

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