Physics
Course Planning Specifics: Physics
Before coming to campus you are expected to register for your A and B term classes. It is expected that you will take three classes in both terms in most cases. You will register for C and D term classes in December.
In addition to the course recommendations below that are specific to your major, each student must complete 4 PE courses in their four years at WPI. You are welcome to add a PE course to any term. PE courses are worth 1/12 unit, unlike major subjects discussed in course recommendations which are worth 1/3 unit, and can be taken in addition to the 3 courses recommended below.
For more information on the degree requirements for your major click here.
A Term Recommendations
Students considering physics as a major should make sure that by the end of the first year, that they have completed the physics sequence (PH 1110/11111140). Completion of these courses can be through a combination of AP or transfer credit, as well as WPI courses. So, if you received AP credit for courses early in the sequence, you can start at the next course in the sequence.
Typically you should take PH 1110 or PH 1111 as your first course. You must be starting with MA 1021 or higher to begin with Physics. If you are starting with MA 1020 you should contact your Academic Advisor to discuss a different option in Science or Computer Science.
PH 1110 and PH 1111 are two different versions of mechanics. PH 1111 is recommended for students beginning the calculus sequence in MA 1023 (Calc III) or higher and who have had a high school physics course (not physical science but physics). For students who do not have high school physics, it is recommended that you select PH 1110.
The traditional PH 1110 is taught in three onehour lectures, two onehour conferences, and two hours of computerized labs per week. If you prefer more “seeing and doing,” you may want to opt into the “studio style” version of the course in which class time will include a brief summary lecture, handson activities, and group problems. It will require more work outside of class to be ready for the activities in the classroom. This version consists of two twohour active learning sessions, a onehour session for review problems or exams, and a twohour session of computerized labs per week. The section numbers for this option are AS01 or AS02. Please keep in mind that you must select a matching Lecture, Discussion and Lab for PH1110 in Workday to register for the course.
Students considering physics as a major should make sure that by the end of the first year that they have completed the calculus sequence (MA 10211024).
It is recommended that you take Math in A and B terms of your first year. In choosing which Math course you will begin with, please consider the following.
 Complete the Math Placement Exam. The Math Placement Exam will tell you which Calculus course you should start in based on your current knowledge. If you are recommended to start in MA 1020, this will be your math course for both terms.
 Consider if you have AP Credit:
Students who obtain a score of “4” or “5” on the ABlevel Exam will receive credit for MA 1021 and MA 1022 and should begin with MA 1023/1033 in A term followed by MA 1024/1034 in B term.
Students who obtain a grade of “4” or “5” on the BClevel Exam will receive credit for MA 1021, MA 1022 and MA 1023 and could begin with MA 1024 in Aterm then MA 2051 in Bterm, OR MA 1033 in Aterm followed by MA 1034 in Bterm.  Students who received a 6 or 7 on the IB will receive 2/3 credit of MA 1000, and should use the math placement exam results to decide which math class to take.
 Consider the possibility of retroactive credit. If the Math Placement Exam recommends that you start in MA 1022 or MA 1023/1033 but you do not have AP credit, this could be a great option for you. If, in your first year, you complete MA 1022 and MA 1023/1033 on your first attempt you will receive credit for MA 1021. If, in your first year, you complete MA 1023/1033 and MA 1024/1034 on your first attempt you will receive credit for MA 1021 and MA 1022. In determining if this is the right path for you, we strongly recommend completing the Math Placement exam and following the suggestion given to you.
The sequence MA 1033 Theoretical Calculus III and MA 1034 Theoretical Calculus IV is an alternative to the MA 1023, MA 1024 sequence in A and B terms. The sequence is designed to give a deeper and more mathematically rigorous presentation of the relevant calculus topics. If you really enjoy math and have credit for Calculus I and II already, you should consider this sequence instead of the MA 1023MA 1024 sequence.
Your third course should be a GPS or Humanities and Arts course. More information is available about these courses below.
GPS stands for Great Problems Seminar is a course that is exclusively for first year students and allow students to learn about a problem in the world and work with a group on how to fix it. These courses are helpful with the transition to college as well as useful for students when preparing for projects such as IQP and MQP in junior and senior year. GPS courses run for both A and B term, so you will only need to choose one. For more information click here.
Every student at WPI must complete the Humanities and Arts (HUA) Requirement. This consists of 6 courses in HUA subjects. The subjects available for HUA are:
 Art (AR)
 Music (MU)
 Drama/Theatre (EN/TH)
 Foreign Language Spanish (SP), German (GN), Arabic (AB), Chinese (CN)
 For Spanish Placement Information, Please Email: Professor Angel Rivera (arivera@wpi.edu)
 For German Placement Information, Please Email: Professor Daniel DiMassa (ddimassa@wpi.edu)
 For Arabic Placement Information, Please Email: Professor Mohammed El Hamzaoui (melhamzaoui@wpi.edu)
 For Chinese Placement Information, Please Email: Professor Huili Zheng (hzheng2@wpi.edu)
 Literature (EN)
 Writing/Rhetoric (WR, RH)
 International Student English (ISE)
 History (HI)
 International Studies (INTL)
 Philosophy (PY)
 Religion (RE)
You should pick courses in subjects you are interested in. When you come to campus you will learn more about the HUA requirement and how you will complete it.
B Term Recommendations
Students considering physics as a major should make sure that by the end of the first year, that they have completed the physics sequence (PH 1110/11111140). Completion of these courses can be through a combination of AP or transfer credit, as well as WPI courses. So, if you received AP credit for courses early in the sequence, you can start at the next course in the sequence.
Typically you should take PH 1120 or PH 1121 as your B Term course. You must be starting with MA 1021 or higher to begin with Physics. If you are starting with MA 1020 you should contact your Academic Advisor to discuss a different option in Science or Computer Science.
PH 1120 and PH 1121 are two different versions of Electricity and Magnetism. PH 1121 is recommended for students beginning the calculus sequence in MA 1023 (Calc III) or higher and who have had a high school physics course (not physical science but physics). For students who do not have high school physics, it is recommended that you select PH 1120.
The traditional PH 1120 is taught in three onehour lectures, two onehour conferences, and two hours of computerized labs per week. If you prefer more “seeing and doing,” you may want to opt into the “studio style” version of the course in which class time will include a brief summary lecture, handson activities, and group problems. It will require more work outside of class to be ready for the activities in the classroom. This version consists of two twohour active learning sessions, a onehour session for review problems or exams, and a twohour session of computerized labs per week. The section numbers for this option are BS01 or BS02. Please keep in mind that you must select a matching Lecture, Discussion and Lab for PH1120 in Workday to register for the course.
Students considering physics as a major should make sure that by the end of the first year that they have completed the calculus sequence (MA 10211024).
In B Term you should take the next course in the Calculus series beyond your A term course. The following is the typical MA sequence for WPI Students.
MA 1021
MA 1022
MA 1023/1033
MA 1024/1034
MA 2051
It is recommended that you take Math in A and B terms of your first year. In choosing which Math course you will begin with, please consider the following.
 Complete the Math Placement Exam. The Math Placement Exam will tell you which Calculus course you should start in based on your current knowledge. If you are recommended to start in MA 1020, this will be your math course for both terms.
 Consider if you have AP Credit:
Students who obtain a score of “4” or “5” on the ABlevel Exam will receive credit for MA 1021 and MA 1022 and should begin with MA 1023/1033 in A term followed by MA 1024/1034 in B term.
Students who obtain a grade of “4” or “5” on the BClevel Exam will receive credit for MA 1021, MA 1022 and MA 1023 and could begin with MA 1024 in Aterm then MA 2051 in Bterm, OR MA 1033 in Aterm followed by MA 1034 in Bterm.  Students who received a 6 or 7 on the IB will receive 2/3 credit of MA 1000, and should use the math placement exam results to decide which math class to take.
 Consider the possibility of retroactive credit. If the Math Placement Exam recommends that you start in MA 1022 or MA 1023/1033 but you do not have AP credit, this could be a great option for you. If, in your first year, you complete MA 1022 and MA 1023/1033 on your first attempt you will receive credit for MA 1021. If, in your first year, you complete MA 1023/1033 and MA 1024/1034 on your first attempt you will receive credit for MA 1021 and MA 1022. In determining if this is the right path for you, we strongly recommend completing the Math Placement exam and following the suggestion given to you.
The sequence MA 1033 Theoretical Calculus III and MA 1034 Theoretical Calculus IV is an alternative to the MA 1023, MA 1024 sequence in A and B terms. The sequence is designed to give a deeper and more mathematically rigorous presentation of the relevant calculus topics. If you really enjoy math and have credit for Calculus I and II already, you should consider this sequence instead of the MA 1023MA 1024 sequence.
Your third course should be a GPS or Humanities and Arts course. More information is available about these courses below.
GPS stands for Great Problems Seminar is a course that is exclusively for first year students and allow students to learn about a problem in the world and work with a group on how to fix it. These courses are helpful with the transition to college as well as useful for students when preparing for projects such as IQP and MQP in junior and senior year. GPS courses run for both A and B term, so you will only need to choose one. For more information click here.
Every student at WPI must complete the Humanities and Arts (HUA) Requirement. This consists of 6 courses in HUA subjects. The subjects available for HUA are:
 Art (AR)
 Music (MU)
 Drama/Theatre (EN/TH)
 Foreign Language Spanish (SP), German (GN), Arabic (AB), Chinese (CN)
 For Spanish Placement Information, Please Email: Professor Angel Rivera (arivera@wpi.edu)
 For German Placement Information, Please Email: Professor Daniel DiMassa (ddimassa@wpi.edu)
 For Arabic Placement Information, Please Email: Professor Mohammed El Hamzaoui (melhamzaoui@wpi.edu)
 For Chinese Placement Information, Please Email: Professor Huili Zheng (hzheng2@wpi.edu)
 Literature (EN)
 Writing/Rhetoric (WR, RH)
 International Student English (ISE)
 History (HI)
 International Studies (INTL)
 Philosophy (PY)
 Religion (RE)
You should pick courses in subjects you are interested in. When you come to campus you will learn more about the HUA requirement and how you will complete it.
Once you go through the above recommendations, please be sure to review Registration Information so you know how to register on June 22, 2021 at 4:00 PM EST.
Registration Information
To begin to plan your schedule for next fall, you should use the WPI Planner. This resource can assist you in searching for available courses before building out a saved schedule in Workday, WPI's course registration software.
PREREGISTRATION PREP
 Watch the 10 min. overview video
 Login to Workday
 Use Find Course Sections to build at least one Saved Schedule for ATerm, BTerm, and if you're taking any 10 or 14 week classes, Fall Semester (instructions)
JUNE 22, 4PM ET: REGISTER

Login to Workday

Open a browser tab or window for ATerm, BTerm, and Fall Semester (if you have any 10 or 14 week classes) and View My Saved Schedules for each

[Optional] Open tabs for alternate course sections from other Saved Schedules or search results

When registration opens, click Start Registration, then click Register (instructions)

Open View My Courses, scroll right to Drop or Swap (instructions)

Waitlisted? If a spot opens, a notification will be sent to your WPI email asking you to login to Workday and take action