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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?

A note on pathways: A pathway is an advising guide to help students prepare for their intended bachelor’s degree major. By following the course of study outlined in the appropriate Associate of Arts or Associate of Science pathway, students will have the necessary prerequisite courses to continue in their chosen disciplines. A pathway is not a major and will not be represented on the diploma.

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

9072 Physics Pathway

Associate of Science, Pathway – Physics

Areas A-E of the Core Curriculum (42)


Area A:

  • Required course: MATH 1112 College Trigonometry (3) or MATH 1113 Precalculus (3) or higher level mathematics course.

Area D:

  • Required course: MATH 2211 Calculus of One Variable I (4) (or a higher-level mathematics course)
  • Recommended courses:

Area F: Courses Appropriate to the Pathway (18 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):
  3. Select additional elective courses to complete 18 hours in Area F:
    • CSC 1301 Principles of Computer Science I (4)
    • CSC 1302 Principles of Computer Science II (4)
    • ASTR 1010 Astronomy of the Solar System (3) and ASTR 1010L Astronomy of the Solar System Lab (1)
    • ASTR 1020 Stellar and Galactic Astronomy (3) and ASTR 1020L Stellar and Galactic Astronomy Lab (1)
    • BIOL 1103 Introductory Biology I (3) and BIOL 1103L Introductory Biology I Lab (1)
    • BIOL 1104 Introductory Biology II (3) and BIOL 1104L Introductory Biology II Lab (1)
    • BIOL 2107 Principles of Biology I (3) and BIOL 2107L Principles of Biology I Lab (1)
    • BIOL 2108 Principles of Biology II (3) and BIOL 2108L Principles of Biology II Lab (1)
    • GEOL 1112 Introductory Geology I (3) and GEOL 1112L Introductory Geology I Lab (1)
    • GEOL 1113 Introductory Geology II (3) and GEOL 1113L Introductory Geology II Lab (1)
    • EDUC 2110 Investigating Critical and Contemporary Issues in Education (3)
    • EDUC 2120 Exploring Socio-Cultural Perspectives on Diversity in Educ. Contexts (3)
    • EDUC 2130 Exploring Learning and Teaching (3)
    • RSCH 1203 Research Strategies and Technology (1)
  • 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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