Introductory Physics at UNC
PHYS 114 studio in Phillips Hall 335
The Physics & Astronomy Department offers two 2-semester introductory physics sequences:
- PHYS 114/115 General Physics I and II, for students of the Life Sciences (IPLS). The PHYS 114/115 sequence is intended to meet the needs of, but not restricted to, students majoring in the life sciences, especially those who are premed.
- PHYS 118/119 Introductory Calculus-based Mechanics and Relativity, and Electromagnetism and Quanta, for students of the Physical Sciences (IPPS) The PHYS 118/119 sequence is intended, but not restricted to, students majoring in STEM fields.
- Brief descriptions of the content of these four courses are listed in the Undergraduate Catalog.
These courses are all taught in an integrated lecture/studio style. Students attend two 50-minute lectures per week and two 110-minute studio sessions per week. The lecture sessions focus on active learning and engagement. In the studios, students work in small groups on lab experiments, cooperative group problem solving, interactive computer simulations of physical phenomena, and scientific modeling. The design of the courses is based on physics education research that demonstrates the most effective techniques for teaching and learning physics.
Important things to know about the PHYS 114/115 sequence:
- PHYS 114 prerequisite: MATH 130 (MATH 231 highly recommended).
- PHYS 115 prerequisite: PHYS 114 (no additional math courses).
- PHYS 114/115 are offered each year in the Fall and Spring semesters and in Summer Session.
- There are no department-administered placement exams for PHYS 114 or 115; however, BE credit can be earned through AP or other exams.
Important things to know about the PHYS 118/119 sequence:
- PHYS 118/119 fulfill the introductory physics requirements for all physics majors and minors.
- PHYS 118 prerequisite: MATH 231 (corequisite: MATH 232).
- PHYS 119 prerequisite: MATH 232 and PHYS 118 (corequisite: MATH 233).
- PHYS 118/119 are offered each year in the Fall and Spring semesters and in Summer Session.
- The department offers Placement Exams for PHYS 118/119.
PHYSICS 104/105, 116/117, and 128
- UNC no longer offers 104 or 105. Both are in the process of being removed from the catalog; however, some majors may still list them as acceptable courses. Contact Academic Advising and those departments for details about whether there is a way to get credit for 104/105 either by outside examination or by transfer.
- 104 and 105 have been replaced by 114 and 115 (General Physics for the Life Sciences).
- UNC no longer offers 116 or 117. Both are in the process of being removed from the catalog; however, some majors may still list them as acceptable courses. Contact Academic Advising and those departments for details about whether there is a way to get credit for 116/117 either by outside examination or by transfer.
- 116 and 117 have been replaced by 118 (Classical Mechanics and Special Relativity) and 119 (Electromagnetism and Quanta).
- PHYS 128 (Modern Physics) is no longer offered at UNC – it is in the process of being removed from the catalog. The content of 128 has been moved into 118 and 119; therefore, to get the equivalent of the 128 course, you must take both 118 and 119.