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Minor in Physics

Minor Degree Requirements

The minor in physics gives students a basic understanding of the most essential concepts in the field. It has the same prerequisites as the physics major, a somewhat lighter core, and two physics electives.

Students who started at NU in 2015 or earlier may follow either the old or the new requirements. For the old requirements, please click here.

*for Physics Major Degree Requirements, click here*

Prerequisites (6 or 7 units)

MATH 220-1 AND 220-2 (Calculus)---self-placement exams are here.

     Or MATH 218-1, 218-2 AND 218-3

PHYSICS 135-1, 2, 3 (Introductory Physics) and 136-1, 2, 3 (Introductory Physics Lab)

     Or PHYSICS 125-1, 2, 3 (ISP Physics) AND 126-1, 2, 3 (ISP Physics Lab)

*see below for AP/IB credit options

Minor Requirements (9 units)

MATH 230-1 (Multivariable Differential Calculus)

MATH 230-2 (Multivariable Integral and Vector Calculus)

PHYSICS 311-1, 2 (Mathematical Tools for Physical Sciences)

     Or MATH 240 (Linear Algebra), MATH 250 (Differential Equations)

PHYSICS 239-0 (Foundations of Modern Physics)

     Or PHYSICS 339-1 (Quantum Mechanics)

PHYSICS 330-1, (Classical Mechanics) 

PHYSICS 333-1, (Electricity & Magnetism)

And 2 other 300-level physics or astronomy courses other than:


Mathematical Tools for the Physical Sciences
and Mathematical Tools for the Physical Sciences


Scalar and Vector Field Methods in Physics


Independent Thesis Research


Independent Study

ASTRON 398-0

Honors Independent Study

ASTRON 399-0

Independent Study

*AP/IB Credits



A score of 5 on the AP Physics C Mechanics exam yields credit for Physics 135-1 and 136-1.

A score of 5 on the AP Physics C E&M exam yields credit for Physics 135-2 and 136-2.

For Departmental Research Opportunities, click here.

For more information, email the Director of Undergraduate Studies at

For advice from current/former Physics majors, join the Facebook Group.