Physical Systems and Applied Mathematics


Fall 2022
Winter 2023
Spring 2023
Sophomore - Senior
Class Size: 25
12 16 Credits per quarter
Variable credit options, see below
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This intermediate-to-advanced program builds on previous introductory work in calculus and calculus-based physics to deepen students' understanding of nature, how it can be represented via physical models, and the powerful connections between mathematics and physical theories. We will emphasize understanding the nature and formal structure of quantitative physical theories, unifying the concepts and mathematical structures that organize different physical theories into a coherent body of knowledge.


Fall quarter covers mathematical methods for the physical sciences. Students may choose to take any combination of differential equations (4 credits), linear algebra (4 credits), and multivariable and vector calculus (4 credits). Students will read textbooks and watch associated video lectures, complete problem sets, and take quizzes and exams. Each subject will have a 1-hour live workshop with faculty per week, and students will be encouraged to collaborate outside these workshop sessions.


In winter and spring, physics topics might include classical mechanics, electromagnetism, quantum mechanics, and statistical mechanics and thermodynamics. Students may also engage in advanced lab projects to develop hands-on skills and learn error analysis.


For well-prepared students, each 4-credit chunk will likely take 10-12 hours of work per week, and require proficiency with the prerequisites, working both independently and collaboratively, time-management skills, and balancing intensive work over extended periods of time. Our goal is to provide students the opportunity to develop the conceptual knowledge and mathematical ability required to pursue further advanced work in physics and related disciplines.



Proficiency in one year of introductory calculus (including both differential and integral calculus, including multiple integrals) and one year of calculus-based physics (including introductory mechanics and electricity & magnetism).

Fall 2022 Registration

Course Reference Numbers

So - Sr (1 - 12): 10058
So - Sr (12): 10389
Winter 2023 Registration

Signature Required

Students will need to demonstrate content knowledge equivalent to material covered in fall quarter. Contact faculty for more information.

Spring 2023 Registration

Signature Required

Students will need to demonstrate content knowledge equivalent to material covered in fall quarter. Contact faculty for more information.

Academic details

Fields of Study
Preparatory For

physics, mathematics, engineering, and math and science education.

Variable Credit Options

Partial credit options are available for each quarter. Please contact instructor to discuss options.

Maximum Enrollment
Class Standing
Special Expenses

Math and physics textbooks at intermediate and advanced levels are generally very expensive, and may be more than $600 total. However, Fall texts cover the entire year, and students will be required to have access to these texts for successful completion of the program. More information will be available by the beginning of spring quarter 2022 at the program website.

Upper Division Science Credit

Content will be equivalent to intermediate or advanced work in undergraduate mathematics (e.g. differential equations, linear algebra) or physics (e.g. classical mechanics, electromagnetism, quantum mechanics, statistical mechanics). Students who successfully complete program requirements will earn upper-division science credit in mathematics or physics in those areas.


In Person or Remote
Hybrid (F)
Hybrid (W)
Hybrid (S)
Time Offered
Schedule Evergreen link
see Schedule Evergreen for detailed schedule

First Meeting

LAB 2 2238 - Class Lab
May be offered again in
<p>This program or its equivalent will be offered again in 2024-25.</p>


Date Revision
2022-11-14 Fall only program, W/Sp is cancelled
2022-08-29 Fall is now 12 credits instead of 16, W/Sp remain at 16 credits