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Resources for Minors

The Physics Minor gives students a broad exposure to the basic disciplines of physics and provides an opportunity for learning how these disciplines are applied in some of the frontier fields of physics research.

Graduate Research in Dr. Kumah's Lab
Graduate Research in Dr. Kumah’s Lab


  • Completion of 17-18 hours of coursework in Physics
  • A grade of ‘C-’ or better in all courses used for the minor.

There are two categories of courses:

Required Courses (11 – 12 credit hours)

  • PY 205/206 (or 201) Mechanics (4 cr)
  • PY 208/209 (or 202) Electricity and Magnetism (4 cr)
  • PY 407 (or 203) Modern Physics (3 or 4 cr.)

For PY 205 and 208, the accompanying laboratories PY 206 and 209 are also required.  (No lab is required for PY 407, though PY 203 includes a lab in its 4 credit hours.)  We accept AP credit for PY 205 and PY 208.  We accept transfer credit for any of PY 205, 208, or 407.  We do not accept algebra-based classes (PY 211, 212 or the equivalent).

Elective Courses (6 credit hours)

2 more PY courses numbered 300 or above

  • Courses must be taken for a letter grade
  • Courses must be taught in the NC State physics department (Transfer courses are not accepted. Courses cross-listed in other departments can count only if they are taught by an NC State Physics faculty member)

At present (Spring 2020), minor electives include:

Fall Courses

  • PY 301, Introduction to Quantum Mechanics (prerequisite PY 203 or 407; recommended MA 341)
  • PY 328, Astrophysics (prerequisite PY 202 or 208)
  • PY 414, Electromagnetism I (prerequisites PY 203 or 407, and MA 341 – if this is taken, then Spring course PY 415, Electromagnetism II, is possible)

Spring Courses

  • PY 341, Relativity, Gravitation, and Cosmology (prerequisite PY 203 or 407; recommended MA341)
  • PY 411, Mechanics I (prerequisites PY 203 or 407; co-requisite MA 341 – if this is taken, then Fall course PY 412, Mechanics II, is possible)
  • PY 413, Thermal Physics (prerequisite PY 203 or 407; co-requisite MA 341)

PY 411, PY413 and 414 are particularly demanding courses normally taken by physics majors.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

No, students must obtain letter grades in the required courses taken at NC State.

Transfer credit is allowed for any of the three required courses, but not for the electives.

This is not advisable, but is acceptable with the permission of the PY 413 instructor.

No. If you are unable to register yourself, contact the Minors Coordinator who can arrange for you to be registered.

Contact Person

Rhonda Bennett
204 Riddick Hall,
(919) 513-2182


To be admitted to the minor program, the student must have completed one of the basic Physics sequences (PY 205/206 and 208/209 or PY 201 and 202) with grades of C- or better. Students can add a minor through MyPack Portal by following these directions or apply for admission by printing and filling out the “Declare Minor” form found here and bringing that form to the Physics Undergraduate Secretary in Riddick 204. Once the form is signed, the student then delivers the form to Registration and Records in Harris Hall. Formal declaration of the minor is not necessary to register for the courses, although in rare cases space may not be available for non-majors.


In applying for graduation online, the student will indicate an application for the minor as well as the major degree. The student should fill out the Minor Certification Form at the office of the Physics Undergraduate Secretary no later than the first week of the semester of intended graduation.