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What Is Physics?

Physics is the exploration, identification and study of basic principles and laws governing motion, energy, structure and the intersection of matter. These include the unseen forces of gravity, electric and magnetic forces. Physics examines these laws and their influences on society and the world.

Why study Physics?

Physics helps you understand the world around you. Perimeter College physics classes teach you how the laws of physics answer practical questions:

  • What causes you to lose control of your car on a wet road?
  • How does air pressure affect the bounce of a basketball?
  • How do microwaves cook food?
  • Why are the peanuts always near the bottom of the Cracker Jack box?

Physicists use testing and research to develop technology and improvements for society, including alternate energy options, medical equipment such as the MRI and high-resolution telescopes such as the Hubble.

Perimeter College's guided pathway in Physics builds a strong science foundation and prepares students for further study and transitioning to a bachelor's program. A bachelor’s degree in physics opens the door to job opportunities in education, engineering and other areas. A doctorate is generally required to become a career physicist. Career roles in physics include:

  • Astrophysicist
  • Atomic and molecular physicist
  • Biophysicist
  • Condensed matter physicist
  • Engineer
  • Geophysicist
  • Medical physicist
  • Medical physicist
  • Nuclear physicist
  • Optical physicist
  • Physical science technician
  • Planetary astronomer
  • Plasma physicists
  • Radio astronomer
For additional potential salary and job information, Bureau of Labor Statistics - For potential job and salary information, visit the Bureau of Labor Statistics

1972 Physics Pathway

 Associate of Science, Pathway – Physics

Areas A-E of the Core Curriculum (42 Credit Hours) Recommendations Areas A:
  • Required course: MATH 1112 College Trigonometry (3 Credit Hours) or MATH 1113 Precalculus (3 Credit Hours) or higher level mathematics course.
Areas D:
  • Required course: MATH 2211 Calculus of One Variable I (4 Credit Hours) (or a higher-level mathematics course)
  • Recommended courses:
    • CHEM 1211 Principles of Chemistry I (3 Credit Hours) and CHEM 1211L Principles of Chemistry I Lab (1 Credit Hour)
    • CHEM 1212 Principles of Chemistry II (3 Credit Hours) and CHEM 1212L Principles of Chemistry II Lab (1 Credit Hour)
Area F: Courses Appropriate to the Pathway (18 Credit Hours)
  1. Carry over from Areas A and/or D (1-2 hours):
    • Students will carry one additional credit hour over to Area F for each four hour mathematics course taken in Area A and/or Area D.
  2. Required Courses (unless used to satisfy Area D requirements) (16 Credit Hours):
    • PHYS 2211 Principles of Physics I (3 Credit Hours) and PHYS 2211L Principles of Physics I Lab (1 Credit Hour)
    • PHYS 2212 Principles of Physics II (3 Credit Hours) and PHYS 2212L Principles of Physics II Lab (1 Credit Hour)
    • [CHEN 1211] Principles of Chemistry I (3 Credit Hours) and CHEM 1211L Principles of Chemistry I Lab (1 Credit Hour)
    • CHEM 1212 Principles of Chemistry II (3 Credit Hours) and CHEM 1212L Principles of Chemistry II Lab (1 Credit Hour)
    • MATH 2212 Calculus of One Variable II (4 Credit Hours)
    • MATH 2215 Multivariate Calculus (4 Credit Hours)
  3. Select additional elective courses to complete 18 hours in Area F:
    • CSC 1301 Principles of Computer Science I (4 Credit Hours)
    • CSC 1302 Principles of Computer Science II (4 Credit Hours)
    • ASTR 1010 Astronomy of the Solar System (3 Credit Hours) and ASTR 1010L Astronomy of the Solar System Lab (1 Credit Hour)
    • ASTR 1020 Stellar and Galactic Astronomy (3 Credit Hours) and ASTR 1020L Stellar and Galactic Astronomy Lab (1 Credit Hour)
    • BIOL 1103 Introductory Biology I (3 Credit Hours) and BIOL 1103L Introductory Biology I Lab (1 Credit Hour)
    • BIOL 1104 Introductory Biology II (3 Credit Hours) and BIOL 1104L Introductory Biology II Lab (1 Credit Hour)
    • BIOL 2107 Principles of Biology I (3 Credit Hours) and BIOL 2107L Principles of Biology I Lab (1 Credit Hour)
    • BIOL 2108 Principles of Biology II (3 Credit Hours) and BIOL 2108L Principles of Biology II Lab (1 Credit Hour)
    • GEOL 1112 Introductory Geology I (3 Credit Hours) and GEOL 1112L Introductory Geology I Lab (1 Credit Hour)
    • GEOL 1113 Introductory Geology II (3 Credit Hours) and GEOL 1113L Introductory Geology II Lab (1 Credit Hour)
    • EDUC 2110 Investigating Critical and Contemporary Issues in Education (3 Credit Hours)
    • EDUC 2120 Exploring Socio-Cultural Perspectives on Diversity in Educ. Contexts (3 Credit Hours)
    • EDUC 2130 Exploring Learning and Teaching (3 Credit Hours)
    • [RSCH 1203] Research Strategies and Technology (1 Credit Hour)
  • Students should choose courses appropriate to their intended pathway. Please consult with your academic advisor for additional guidance.
  • All separate lecture and lab course combinations (e.g., BIOL 2107 and BIOL 2107L; CHEM 1211 and CHEM 1211K) are commonly offered as a combined course at Georgia State University-Atlanta (e.g., BIOL 2107K; CHEM 1211K. The combined (K) courses and separate lecture and lab (L) courses cover the same subject matter and are considered equivalent courses.


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