Physics seeks to understand the universe and how it behaves. It's the oldest academic discipline on the planet, and one that is constantly evolving and shaping how we think.

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Students interested in the study of physics are encouraged to earn an Associate in Science degree, which prepares students for transfer to a four-year college or university to complete advanced degrees in physics.

Physics Education Plan

Degree: Associate in Science
Emphasis: Physics

Notes for Students

  • If you were not well prepared in high school mathematics and science, you should plan, with your advisor, a three-year program at Centralia College in preparation for transfer to a four-year college or university.
  • The emphasis in the first year at Centralia should be on strengthening skills in mathematics, basic sciences, communications, and reading.

Fall Quarter

  • CHEM& 161 General Chemistry w/Lab I - 6 credits
  • ENGL& 101 English Composition I - 5 credits
  • Health and Fitness Distribution - 3 credits

Winter Quarter

  • CHEM& 162 General Chemistry w/Lab I - 6 credits
  • ENGL& 235 Technical Writing - 5 credits
  • MATH& 151 Calculus I - 5 credits

Spring Quarter

  • CHEM& 163 General Chemistry w/Lab III - 6 credits
  • MATH& 152 Calculus II - 5 credits
  • Humanities OR Social Science Distribution - 5 credits

Fall Quarter

  • MATH 118 Linear Algebra - 5 credits
  • PHYS& 221 Engineering Physics I - 5 credits
  • Humanities OR Social Science Distribution - 5 credits

Winter Quarter

  • ENGR 203 Applied Numerical Methods - 5 credits
  • MATH& 163 Calculus III - 5 credits
  • PHYS& 222 Engineering Physics II - 5 credits

Spring Quarter

  • MATH 212 Differential Equations - 5 credits
  • MATH 264 Calculus IV - 3 credits
  • PHYS& 223 Engineering Physics III - 5 credits
  • Humanities OR Social Science Distribution - 5 credits


Physics Classes

A survey of physics with applications in everyday life for non-science majors. Basic concepts in Newtonian mechanics, thermodynamics, electricity, magnetism, optics, and modern physics. Requires knowledge of basic algebra. Includes a 2 hour lab.


Fundamentals of classical mechanics. The first of a three quarter sequence for science majors not requiring calculus based physics. Classical mechanics including statics and dynamics of particles, rigid bodies, and fluids. Prerequisite: two years HS algebra and trigonometry or concurrent enrollment in MATH 110.
Fluids, electrostatics, simple circuits, and the fundamental laws of thermodynamics. A continuation of PHYS& 114. Prerequisite: PHYS& 114. 
Magnetism and A.C. circuits, optics, and modern physics. Includes Laws of Faraday, Lenz, and Ampere, geometrical and physical optics, special relativity, atomic and nuclear physics. A continuation of PHYS& 114 and PHYS& 115. Prerequisite: PHYS& 115. 
First in a three quarter calculus-based sequence for science and engineering majors stressing classical mechanics. Include dynamics of translational, rotation, and oscillatory systems of solids, particles and fluids. Prerequisite: MATH& 151 and corequisite: MATH& 152. 
Wave motion, thermodynamics, and electrostatics. Includes sound, heat transfer, law of thermodynamics, and electric fields. Prerequisite: PHYS& 221 and MATH& 152 and corequisite: MATH& 153. 
Optics modern physics, electricity and magnetism. Includes geometrical and physical optics, Maxwell’s equations, AC/ DC circuits and special relativity. Prerequisite: PHYS& 222 and MATH& 153. 
Design a research project, set up experiments, collect data in the lab or in the field, and/or analyze data. Each credit hour requires 33 hours of activity per quarter. Prerequisite: instructor permission.