Majors, Minors and Advising



Florida State University's Department of Physics offers exciting programs and opportunities for students interested in learning physics. Our curriculum provides a solid foundation for future graduate work or immediate employment opportunities.

Brief descriptions of each of our majors are written below. Students with questions about our program are encouraged to browse the academic guides, call our undergraduate office at 850-644-3245, or to email our undergraduate coordinator. Additionally, students may contact the faculty advisor assigned to each major. Please click here to see office hours of our advisors.


Types of introductory courses 


Courses are offered in one or more formats: (1) Studio (2) Hybrid and (3) Lecture plus Recitation plus Lab

All three formats have the same contact hours. For the studio version, problem-solving and lab are integrated, and brief lectures are interspersed during the class. The hybrid version has separate days for lecture and for either problem-solving or lab. For the studio version more independence and prior reading are required. For the lecture plus recitation plus lab format, each component of the course is conducted separately.

All entering Physics and related majors should take Calculus I (MAC 2311) or have AP/IB credit or its equivalent before taking General Physics A  (PHY 2048C). This course is the entry level requirement for a Physics or related major. This course is offered in two versions: studio and hybrid. You are free to opt for either, but the studio version is recommended by the department.


Physics Majors


Physics majors follow a traditional curriculum through Mechanics, Quantum Mechanics, and Electricity and Magnetism. Courses in Particle and Nuclear Physics, Astrophysics, General and Special Relativity, and Condensed Matter physics are available. Graduates attend graduate school in physics and are welcome in many interdisciplinary science departments, such as oceanography, meteorology, and environmental science, or work in science-related jobs, including software, engineering, teaching, and technical management.

The Academic Guide for Physics Majors

The Academic Map for Physics Majors

Physics advising:

Professor Mark Spieker

Professor Kevin Huffenberger

Physics and Astrophysics Majors


Students in astrophysics need to have a strong foundation in fundamental physics, significant experience in the specifics of their individual research area, and a broad general knowledge of astronomy and astrophysics. The Physics and Astrophysics major is based on the standard physics curriculum, and includes specialized coursework such as Radiation Transport, Extragalactic Astronomy, and Cosmology. We will also encourage you to take additional coursework in physics, math, and computer science.

The Academic Guide for Astrophysics Majors

The Academic Map for Astrophysics Majors

Physics and Astrophysics advising:

Professor Kevin Huffenberger

Physical Science Majors


The Physical Science major is designed for students looking for a broader science background and those who elect to change their focus after taking many of the regular physics courses. The Physical Science program is designed to provide students with opportunities to explore the natural and technological worlds broadly, from the Earth and space sciences to modern physics to computer science and mathematics. Courses in Chemistry, Computer Science, Engineering, Geology, Meteorology, and Mathematics are accepted toward a Physical Science degree.

The Academic Guide for Physical Science Majors

The Academic Map for Physical Science Majors

Physical Science advising:

Professor Kevin Huffenberger

Minors in Physics


In addition to these majors, the Physics Department offers minors in Physics or Astrophysics.

Program Office: 306-307 Keen, 644-3245
The minor in physics consists of PHY 2048C and 2049C (General Physics A & B) plus PHY 3101. Grades below C- will not be accepted for minor credit.

Program Office: 306-307 Keen, 644-3245
The minor in astrophysics consists of PHY 2048C and 2049C (General Physics A & B) plus AST 4211 (Introduction to Astrophysics). Grades below C- will not be accepted for minor credit. This minor is not available for students whose major is in the Physics Department.

More information can be obtained by contacting the Program Office.