Concentrations: Individual Option, Professional Option, Applied Physics, Physics/Engineering Combined Program, Fundamental Studies and Multidisciplinary (Biophysics, Geophysics, Physics and Business, Physics and Technical and Scientific Communication, and Secondary Education)

Major requirements and their VCCS equivalents (and RBC equivalents if applicable)

NOTE: The word "AND" between VCCS course numbers indicate JMU credit will be awarded for the completion of the VCCS sequence.

JMU Course: PHYS 240, 140L, 250, 150L, University Physics I, II

  • VCCS equivalents: PHY 241, 242
  • RBC equivalents: PHY 201, 202

JMU Course: PHYS 270, Modern Physics

  • VCCS equivalents: PHY 243
  • RBC equivalents: No equivalent

JMU Course: CHEM 131, 131L, 132, 132L, General Chemistry I, II

  • VCCS equivalents: CHM 111, 112
  • RBC equivalents: CHEM 101, 102
  • NOTE: Only CHEM 131, 131L is required for the B.A.

JMU Course: MATH 235, Calculus I

  • VCCS equivalents: MTH 173 or MTH 273 or MTH 175 and 176
  • RBC equivalents: MATH 201

JMU Course: MATH 236, Calculus II

  • VCCS equivalents: MTH 174 or MTH 274
  • RBC equivalents: No equivalent

JMU Course: MATH 237, Calculus III

  • VCCS equivalents: MTH 277
  • RBC equivalents: No equivalent

JMU Course: BIO 140, Foundations of Biology I or GEOL 110, Physical Geology

  • VCCS equivalents: BIO 101 or GOL 105
  • RBC equivalents: No equivalent
  • NOTE:

    Required for the B.A. and the B.S. Multidisciplinary Concentraion, Biophysics track (BIO 140) or Geophysics Track (GEOL 110)


JMU Course: PSYC 160, Life Span Human Development

  • VCCS equivalents: PSY 230 or 231 and 232
  • RBC equivalents: PSY 250
  • NOTE: Required for students pursuing teacher licensure.

JMU Course: EDUC 300, Foundations of American Education

  • VCCS equivalents: EDU 200
  • RBC equivalents: No equivalent
  • NOTE: Required for students pursuing teacher licensure. Students must earn a grade of B or better to meet secondary education requirements.

Advising Notes

Please Read: This major guide is a list of all possible major courses offered in the Virginia Community College System. Not all courses may be offered at your community college, and you are not required to complete all these courses in order to transfer. Rather, it’s designed to help you meet JMU major requirements before you transfer, and be better prepared to progress through the major once you arrive at JMU. Please be sure to read the advising notes for additional information on the major.

Why major in physics? Check out this video!

1. Students may want to consider taking PHYS 247, the 2-credit lab for physics majors, when they enroll at JMU. It replaces 140L and 150L, although those labs will also count for the major.
2. Students may transfer in the equivalent of PHYS 270, however at JMU the prerequisite for PHYS 270 is PHYS 260 and there is no equivalent course at the community college. Whether or not transfer students have to complete 260 when they enroll at JMU will be decided by the department on a case by case basis.
3. Students who transfer in with an approved associate degree are considered to have met all of JMU's general education requirements. These students will have only math and science courses left to complete their degree at JMU. Because of course sequencing and the rigor of the program, students may need more than 4 semesters to complete the degree. Additionally, students may have to take elective courses to maintain a full-time course load, which may result in graduating with more than 120 credits.
4. Students seeking teacher licensure in physics must also complete the pre-professional secondary education program. See links below for more information on teacher education for transfer students.

For more information:

Major Snapshot
Department of Physics and Astronomy
Secondary Education Program
Admission to Teacher Education
Pre-professional Health Programs
Advising guides by community college    
Career Guide to JMU Majors: Physics

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