B.S. in Space Physics

The Bachelor of Science in Space Physics is an applied physics program designed to prepare students for graduate studies in physics and astrophysics, as well as for work in space-related and aerospace-related industries. Physics is the study of the forces of nature, space and time at the most fundamental level, and provides the foundation on which all physical sciences rest. Students will study the structure of the Universe on all scales from the smallest (elementary particles) to the largest (cosmology) and will gain hands-on experience with research-quality equipment and modern sensing techniques.

In their senior year, students satisfying course and GPA requirements have the option of completing a senior thesis project in an area of interest that overlaps with the research interests of a supervising faculty member. Current faculty interests include: astrophysics, particle physics and cosmology, gravitational waves, general relativity, and exotic propulsion.

Admission Requirements

To enter this program, students must have completed four years of high school science and mathematics, demonstrating a high level of competency. Successful candidates for this program will be prepared to enter Calculus I, Physics I, and General Chemistry and must have a good command of written English.

Degree Requirements

The Bachelor of Science in Space Physics is a 120 credit hour program that can be completed in eight semesters. The list of courses below comprises the complete requirements for the degree of Bachelor of Science in Space Physics. The list is organized as a “vertical outline” according to the year in which the courses would normally be taken. While it is not a requirement that the courses be taken during the year shown, students should be aware that several courses in each academic year may have prerequisites and/or corequisites. Therefore, it is recommended that students keep their schedule as close as possible to the one shown below. Before registering for a course, check the course description section of this catalog to ensure that all prerequisites and/or corequisites are met. Note that prerequisites for a course are only considered met if the student obtained a grade of “C” or better in the prerequisite courses. Students must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0 in core PS courses.

Suggested Program of Study

Freshman Year
COM Elective * 3
CHM 105 General Chemistry I 4
MA 241 Calculus and Analytical Geometry I 4
MA 242 Calculus and Analytical Geometry II 4
PS 204 General Astronomy 3
PS 208 Physics II 3
PS 215 Physics I 3
PS 216 Physics I Laboratory 1
PS 221 Intermediate Physics Laboratory 2
SS Lower-Level Elective * 3
UNIV 101 College Success **1
 Credits Subtotal31.0
Sophomore Year
COM Elective * 3
HU Lower-Level Elective * 3
MA 243 Calculus and Analytical Geometry III 4
MA 335 Introduction to Linear and Abstract Algebra 3
MA 345 Differential Equations and Matrix Methods 4
PS 219 Physics III 3
PS 222 Intermediate Astronomy 3
PS 232 Computational Methods in the Physical Sciences 3
PS 303 Modern Physics 3
PS 315 Modern Physics Laboratory 2
 Credits Subtotal31.0
Junior Year
COM Elective * 3
MA 435 Linear and Abstract Algebra II 3
MA 441 Mathematical Methods for Engineering and Physics I 3
MA 442 Mathematical Methods for Engineering and Physics II 3
PS 321 Classical Mechanics I 3
PS 330 Electricity and Magnetism I 3
PS 350 Quantum Mechanics I 3
PS 380 Optics Laboratory 3
Open Electives 3
Technical Elective 3
 Credits Subtotal30.0
Senior Year
PS 405 Atomic Nuclear Physics 3
PS 430 Thermodynamics and Statistical Mechanics 3
PS 490 Senior Research Thesis, Part I ***3
PS 491 Senior Research Thesis, Part II ***3
Technical Electives 6
HU Upper-Level Elective 3
SS Upper-Level Elective 3
Open Electives 4
 Credits Subtotal28.0
 Credits Total: 120.0

Embry-Riddle courses in the general education categories of Communication, Humanities, and Social Sciences may be chosen from those listed below, assuming prerequisites are met. Courses from other institutions are acceptable if they fall into these broad categories and are at the appropriate level.


Open elective or in excess of degree requirement.


In their senior year, eligible students will choose a thesis project in association with a supervising faculty member. Students who are not eligible to take PS 490 and PS 491 will instead take 6 credits of technical electives selected from the list below. Eligibility for taking PS 490 is described in the prerequisites for the course in the course description section of the catalog.

Communications Electives
COM 122English Composition3
COM 219Speech3
COM 221Technical Report Writing3
COM 222Business Communication3
or any COM 3XX or COM 4XX course
Lower-Level Social Sciences Electives
EC 210Microeconomics3
EC 211Macroeconomics3
Any Lower-Level SS, RS, or SIS course
Lower-Level Humanities Electives
Any HU 140 series
Upper-Level Humanities Electives
Any Upper-Level HU course
Upper-Level Social Sciences Electives
Any Upper-Level SS course
Technical Electives
PS 322Classical Mechanics II3
PS 331Electricity and Magnetism II3
PS 340Astrophysics I3
PS 375Planetary Science3
PS 408Astrophysics II3
PS 412Particle Physics and Cosmology3
PS 413Particle Physics and Cosmology II3
PS 420Remote Sensing3
PS 422Space Propulsion3
PS 451Quantum Mechanics II3
PS 299Special Topics in Physical Science1-4
or PS 399 Special Topic in Physical Science
or PS 499 Special Topic in Physical Science
MA 412Probability and Statistics3
MA 443Complex Variables3
MA 299Special Topics in Mathematics1-4
or MA 399 Special Topics in Mathematics
or MA 499 Special Topics in Mathematics
Any other upper-division technical course with approval of the Physics Department Chair.