Most Engineering degrees at WashU require two semesters of calculus-based physics with lab.
This requirement may be met in one of three ways:
- Complete the Physics (L31) 117A/118A course sequence
- Complete the Physics (L31) 197/198 course sequence
- Place out of introductory physics with AP credit
AP Credit for Physics
Physics Course Information
Students may choose one of the following calculus-based physics sequences:
Physics 117A (fall semester) and Physics 118A (spring semester)
- This is a lecture-based sequence with weekly homework assignments that provides a survey of classical physics and an overview of selected topics in modern physics. More information about the structure of Physics 117A and 118A is on the course website.
- Physics (L31) 117A: Previous or concurrent enrollment in Calculus I (Math 131) required; previous or concurrent registration in Calculus II (Math 132) is strongly recommended. FALL only.
- Students who begin in Physics 117A must take Physics 118A in the spring, if needed. Students who use AP credit to place out of the first semester of Physics must take Physics 118A in the spring, if needed.
Physics 197 (fall semester) and Physics 198 (spring semester)
- This is a calculus-based introduction to physics that provides an in-depth study of classical and modern physics, including an emphasis on relativity and quantum mechanics. Independent study, daily reading, daily and weekly homework assignments, and active class participation are integral components of this course sequence. More information about the structure of Physics 197 and 198 is on the course website.
- Physics (L31) 197: Previous or concurrent enrollment in Calculus I (Math 131) required; previous or concurrent registration in Calculus II (Math 132) is strongly recommended. FALL only.
- Students who use AP credit to test out of the first semester of Physics cannot enroll in Physics 198; they must enroll in Physics 118 for the second semester.
Please do not simultaneously register for Physics 197 and 117A.
First-Year Student Registration
Seats in Physics 197F have been reserved exclusively for incoming first-year students. All incoming first-year students interested in taking Physics 197 must enroll in the subset of Physics 197 lecture and lab courses with the “F” designation (e.g., Physics 197F-01 and Physics 197F-A). Do not register for the Physics 197 courses with a “U” designation – this is reserved for upperclassmen.
Spaces in the Physics 197F courses will be incrementally added throughout registration periods. You are strongly encouraged to register for an open section if it fits your schedule, even if it’s not the ideal time. Due to the large number of students enrolling in Physics 197F, we will be unable to accommodate requests for placement in a full section for any reason other than unavoidable academic conflicts.
The option to waitlist for Physics 197F lecture and lab sections will not be available until the course becomes completely full.
Late Registering Students or Late Schedule Changes
After all first-year students have had the opportunity to register, the “U” and “F” courses will be combined into one course (e.g. Physics 197U-01 and Physics 197F-01 will simply become Physics 197-01). This will happen around the beginning of August. If a student decides to add Physics 197 after this time, the student should simply enroll in the combined Physics 197 course (e.g., Physics 197-01 and Physics 197-A). Students will be unable to enroll in the combined Physics 197 course before August; it will not be available as an option on Webstac.
Physics Lab Notes
Students must register for both a lecture and a lab. If you are unable to register for a lab section that fits their schedule, simply select an open section (even if it poses a conflict with your schedule). If a seat opens up in a section you prefer, modify your enrollment on Webstac using the Change (CHG) option and not the Drop option (this will cause you to lose your seat in both the lecture and lab). Lab sections will not begin until after Labor Day, so there will be time to resolve any lab scheduling conflicts once you arrive on campus. Details will be provided in lecture on the first day of class.