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Yale University Course/Program Name
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International :01 Jan 

BS Physics

 Course Level
Bachelors / UG
Full Time

4 Years
 Start month

 Tuition fee

68230 USD
68230 USD

Application fee

International 80 USD
National 80 USD
Department of Physics
Scores accepted
IELTS (min)7
TOEFL-IBT (min)100
TOEFL-PBT (min)600
SAT (avg)1425
ACT (avg)34

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About this course

Physics forms a foundation for all other sciences. The various undergraduate courses and degree programs offered by the Physics department provide students with a thorough preparation in physics for any career, as well as the general background in physics that should be part of a liberal education. The department offers four different introductory sequences and two degree programs. Also offered are introductory courses that fulfill the science and quantitative reasoning distributional requirements and are appropriate for non–science majors. Combined majors are available in Mathematics and Physics, Astronomy, Physics and Philosophy, and Physics and Geosciences. Applied Physics is a closely related major.

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Eligibility Criteria



PHYS 170, 171, or 180, 181, or 200, 201, or 260, 261, with appropriate math coreqs;PHYS 205L, 206L, or PHYS 165L, 166L

Number of courses 

8 term courses beyond prereqs (incl senior req)

Specific courses required 

PHYS 301 or other advanced math course; PHYS 401, 402, and either APHY 439or PHYS 440, in sequence

Distribution of courses 

3 advanced electives approved by DUS

Senior requirement 

PHYS 471 or 472 or equivalent



PHYS 170, 171, or 180, 181, or 200, 201, or 260, 261, with appropriate math coreqs;PHYS 205L, 206L, or PHYS 165L, 166L

Number of courses 

10 term courses beyond prereqs (incl senior req)

Specific courses required 

PHYS 301 or other advanced math course; PHYS 410, 440, 441, 420, 430, in sequence; PHYS 382L

Distribution of courses 

1 advanced elective approved by DUS

Senior requirement 

PHYS 471 and 472

English language requirement:

  • IELTS: 7
  • TOEFL-IBT: 100
  • TOEFL- PBT: 600
  • SAT: 1425
  • ACT: 34

Check further details on University website

Course Modules

* PHYS 050a / APHY 050a, Science of Modern Technology  Daniel Prober

Examination of the science behind selected advances in modern technology. Focus on the scientific and contextual basis of each advance. Topics are developed by the participants with the instructor and with guest lecturers, and may include nanotechnology, quantum computation and cryptography, optical systems for communication and medical diagnostics, transistors, satellite imaging and global positioning systems, large-scale immunization, and DNA made to order. Enrollment limited to freshmen. Preregistration required; see under Freshman Seminar Program.  SC  RP
* PHYS 100b / APHY 100b / ENAS 100b / EVST 100b / G&G 105b, Energy Technology and Society Daniel Prober

The technology and use of energy. Impacts on the environment, climate, security, and economy. Application of scientific reasoning and quantitative analysis. Intended for non–science majors with strong backgrounds in math and science. Enrollment limited to 24. For application instructions, visit the course site on Classes*v2.  QR, SC
* PHYS 107a / MB&B 107a, Being Human in STEM  Simon Mochrie

A collaboratively-designed, project-oriented course that seeks to examine, understand, and disseminate how diversity of gender, race, religion, sexuality, economic circumstances, etc. shape the STEM experience at Yale and nationally, and that seeks to formulate and implement solutions to issues that are identified. Study of relevant peer-reviewed literature and popular-press articles. Implementation of a questionnaire and interviews of STEM participants at Yale. Creation of role-play scenarios for provoking discussions and raising awareness. Design and implementation of group interventions.  SO
F 9:25am-11:15am
* PHYS 120b, Quantum Physics and Beyond  John Harris

Current topics in modern physics, beginning with quantum physics and continuing through subatomic physics, special and general relativity, cosmology, astrophysics, and string theory.  SC
MW 4pm-6pm
PHYS 165La and PHYS 166Lb, General Physics Laboratory  Staff

A variety of individually self-contained experiments are roughly coordinated with the lectures in PHYS 170, 171, and 180, 181 and illustrate and develop physical principles covered in those lectures.  SC  ½ Course crper term
* PHYS 170a and PHYS 171b, University Physics for the Life Sciences  Staff

An introduction to classical physics with special emphasis on applications drawn from the life sciences and medicine. Fall-term topics include vectors and kinematics, Newton's laws, momentum, energy, random walks, diffusion, fluid mechanics, mathematical modeling, and statistical mechanics. Spring-term topics include oscillations, waves, sound, electrostatics, circuits, Maxwell's equations, electromagnetic waves and optics, gene circuits, and quantum mechanics. Essential mathematics are introduced and explained as needed. Completion of MATH 112 or equivalent is prerequisite for PHYS 170. MATH 115 is recommended prior to or concurrently with PHYS 171.  QR, SC
PHYS 180a and PHYS 181b, University Physics  Staff

A broad introduction to classical and modern physics for students who have some previous preparation in physics and mathematics. Fall-term topics include Newtonian mechanics, gravitation, waves, and thermodynamics. Spring-term topics include electromagnetism, optics, special relativity, and quantum physics. Concurrently with MATH 115 and 120 or equivalents. See comparison of introductory sequences and laboratories in the YCPS. May not be taken for credit after PHYS 170, 171.  QR, SC
PHYS 200a and PHYS 201b, Fundamentals of Physics  Helen Caines and Francis Robinson

A thorough introduction to the principles and methods of physics for students who have good preparation in physics and mathematics. Emphasis on problem solving and quantitative reasoning. Fall-term topics include Newtonian mechanics, special relativity, gravitation, thermodynamics, and waves. Spring-term topics include electromagnetism, geometrical and physical optics, and elements of quantum mechanics. Prerequisite:MATH 115 or equivalent. See comparison of introductory sequences and laboratories in the YCPS.  QR, SC
TTh 11:35am-12:50pm
PHYS 205La or b and PHYS 206La or b, Modern Physical Measurement  Karsten Heeger and Staff

A two-term sequence of experiments in classical and modern physics for students who plan to major in Physics. In the first term, the basic principles of mechanics, electricity, and magnetism are illustrated in experiments designed to make use of computer data handling and teach error analysis. In the second term, students plan and carry out experiments illustrating aspects of wave and quantum phenomena and of atomic, solid state, and nuclear physics using modern instrumentation. May be begun in either term.  SC  ½ Course cr per term
* PHYS 260a and PHYS 261b, Intensive Introductory Physics  Charles Baltay

The major branches of physics—classical and relativistic dynamics, gravitation, electromagnetism, heat and thermodynamics, statistical mechanics, quantum physics—at a sophisticated level. For students majoring in the physical sciences, Mathematics, and Philosophy who have excellent training in and a flair for mathematical methods and quantitative analysis. Concurrently with MATH 230 and 231, or PHYS 301, or equivalent.  QR, SC
MW 11:35am-12:50pm
PHYS 295a / ASTR 255a, Research Methods in Astrophysics  Marla Geha

The acquisition and analysis of astrophysical data, including the design and use of ground- and space-based telescopes, computational manipulation of digitized images and spectra, and confrontation of data with theoretical models. Examples taken from current research at Yale and elsewhere. Use of the Python programming language.  A background in high school calculus and physics.  No previous programming experience required.  QR, SC  RP
MWF 3:30pm-4:20pm
PHYS 301a, Introduction to Mathematical Methods of Physics  Oliver Baker

Topics include multivariable calculus, linear algebra, complex variables, vector calculus, and differential equations. Designed to give accelerated access to 400-level courses by providing, in one term, the essential background in mathematical methods. Recommended to be taken concurrently with PHYS 401 or 410. Prerequisite: PHYS 170, 171, or 180, 181, or 200, 201, or 260, 261, or permission of instructor.  QR
TTh 11:35am-12:50pm
PHYS 344b, Quantum and Nanoscale Physics  Sean Barrett

An introduction to cutting-edge developments in physics involving quantum information and/or nanotechnology. Background concepts in quantum mechanics, electromagnetism, and optics are introduced as necessary. Prerequisite: PHYS 170, 171, or 180, 181, or 200, 201, or 260, 261, or permission of instructor.PHYS 301 or other advanced mathematics course recommended.  QR, SC
TTh 11:35am-12:50pm
* PHYS 356b / ASTR 356b, Astrostatistics and Data Mining  Hector Arce

Introduction to the statistical tools used to analyze and interpret astrophysical data, including common data mining techniques for finding patterns in large data sets and data-based prediction methods. Use of publicly available high-quality astronomical data from large surveys such as SDSS and 2MASS, and from space-based observatories such as Spitzer, Herschel, and WISE. Coding with the Python programming language. Prerequisite: ASTR 255 or equivalent.  QR, SC
TTh 1pm-2:15pm
* PHYS 382Lb, Advanced Physics Laboratory  Steve Lamoreaux and Reina Maruyama

Laboratory experiments with some discussion of theory and techniques. An advanced course focusing on modern experimental methods and concepts in atomic, optical, nuclear, and condensed matter physics. Intended to prepare students for independent research. For majors in the physical sciences. Prerequisite:PHYS 206L. After or concurrently with PHYS 439 or 440, or with permission of instructor.  SC
MW 1:30pm-4:20pm
PHYS 401a and PHYS 402b, Advanced Classical Physics from Newton to Einstein  Ramamurti Shankar

Advanced physics as the field developed from the time of Newton to the age of Einstein. Topics include mechanics, electricity and magnetism, statistical physics, and thermodynamics. The development of classical physics into a "mature" scientific discipline, an idea that was subsequently shaken to the core by the revolutionary discoveries of quantum physics and relativity. Prerequisite: PHYS 170, 171, or 180, 181, or 200, 201, or 260, 261. Concurrently with PHYS 301 or other advanced mathematics course.  QR, SC
MW 11:35am-12:50pm
PHYS 410a, Classical Mechanics  Jack Harris

An advanced treatment of mechanics, with a focus on the methods of Lagrange and Hamilton. Lectures and problems address the mechanics of particles, systems of particles, and rigid bodies, as well as free and forced oscillations. Introduction to chaos and special relativity. Prerequisite: PHYS 170, 171, or 180, 181, or 200, 201, or 260, 261. Concurrently with PHYS 301 or other advanced mathematics course.  QR, SC
MW 11:35am-12:50pm
* PHYS 420a, Thermodynamics and Statistical Mechanics  A. Douglas Stone

An introduction to the laws of thermodynamics and their theoretical explanation by statistical mechanics. Applications to gases, solids, phase equilibrium, chemical equilibrium, and boson and fermion systems. Prerequisites: PHYS 301 and 410 or equivalents.  QR, SC
WF 9am-10:15am
PHYS 428a / AMTH 428a / E&EB 428a / G&G 428a, Science of Complex Systems  Jun Korenaga

Introduction to the quantitative analysis of systems with many degrees of freedom. Fundamental components in the science of complex systems, including how to simulate complex systems, how to analyze model behaviors, and how to validate models using observations. Topics include cellular automata, bifurcation theory, deterministic chaos, self-organized criticality, renormalization, and inverse theory. Prerequisite: PHYS 301, MATH 247, or equivalent.  QR, SC
MW 9am-10:15am
PHYS 430b, Electromagnetic Fields and Optics  David Poland

Electrostatics, magnetic fields of steady currents, electromagnetic waves, and relativistic dynamics. Provides a working knowledge of electrodynamics. Prerequisites: PHYS 301 and 410 or equivalents.  QR, SC
MWF 11:35am-12:25pm
PHYS 439a / APHY 439a, Basic Quantum Mechanics  Sohrab Ismail-Beigi

The basic concepts and techniques of quantum mechanics essential for solid-state physics and quantum electronics. Topics include the Schrödinger treatment of the harmonic oscillator, atoms and molecules and tunneling, matrix methods, and perturbation theory. Prerequisites: PHYS 181 or 201, PHYS 301, or equivalents, or permission of instructor.  QR, SC  RP
TTh 2:30pm-3:45pm
PHYS 440b, Quantum Mechanics and Natural Phenomena I  Witold Skiba

The first term of a two-term sequence covering principles of quantum mechanics with examples of applications to atomic physics. The solution of bound-state eigenvalue problems, free scattering states, barrier penetration, the hydrogen-atom problem, perturbation theory, transition amplitudes, scattering, and approximation techniques. Prerequisite: PHYS 410 or 401.  QR, SC
MWF 10:30am-11:20am
PHYS 441a, Quantum Mechanics and Natural Phenomena II  Steve Lamoreaux

Continuation of PHYS 440. Prerequisite: PHYS 440.  QR, SC
MWF 11:35am-12:25pm
PHYS 448a / APHY 448a, Solid-State Physics I  Victor Henrich

The first term of a two-term sequence covering the principles underlying the electrical, thermal, magnetic, and optical properties of solids, including crystal structure, phonons, energy bands, semiconductors, Fermi surfaces, magnetic resonances, phase transitions, dielectrics, magnetic materials, and superconductors. Prerequisites: APHY 322, 439, PHYS 420.  QR, SC
TTh 1pm-2:15pm
PHYS 449b / APHY 449b, Solid-State Physics II  Michel Devoret

The second term of the sequence described under APHY 448.  QR, SC
TTh 1pm-2:15pm
PHYS 458a / APHY 458a, Principles of Optics with Applications  Hui Cao

Introduction to the principles of optics and electromagnetic wave phenomena with applications to microscopy, optical fibers, laser spectroscopy, and nanostructure physics. Topics include propagation of light, reflection and refraction, guiding light, polarization, interference, diffraction, scattering, Fourier optics, and optical coherence. Prerequisite: PHYS 430.  QR, SC
TTh 11:35am-12:50pm
PHYS 460a, Mathematical Methods of Physics  Nicholas Read

Survey of mathematical techniques useful in physics. Physical examples illustrate vector and tensor analysis, group theory, complex analysis (residue calculus, method of steepest descent), differential equations and Green's functions, and selected advanced topics. Prerequisite: PHYS 301 or other advanced mathematics course.  QR
MW 9am-10:15am
* PHYS 471a and PHYS 472b, Independent Projects in Physics  John Harris

Each student works on an independent project under the supervision of a member of the faculty or research staff. Students participate in a series of seminar meetings in which they present a talk on their project or research related to it. A written report is also submitted. For students with a strong background in Physics course work.  RP
PHYS 478Lb, Computing for Scientific Research  Daisuke Nagai

An introduction to basic computational tools and techniques used in science and engineering research. The fundamentals of PC hardware, the UNIX/Linux operating system, scripting languages (Python), and the development of programs to solve physical and mathematical problems. Programming languages, with emphasis on C/C++ (procedural and object-oriented) as well as the conceptual underlying numerical methods. Intended for students with little basic programming experience.
F 1pm-4pm


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How to Apply

All applicants for freshman admission must submit one of the following:

  • The Coalition Application with Yale-Specific Questions
  • The Common Application with Yale-Specific Questions
  • The QuestBridge National College Match Application

Additional requirements for all freshman applicants:

  • $80 Application Fee or Fee Waiver
  • Two Teacher Recommendations
  • One Counselor Recommendation
  • School Report (including Transcript)
  • Standardized Test Results
  • Mid-Year Report (due when first semester/term senior grades are available at your school)

Check further details on University website

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