physics iconPhysics

Physics is the most fundamental of the physical sciences. It is the study of the interactions between matter and energy in the universe. Among the major  subfields of physics are mechanics, thermodynamics, electricity & magnetism, optics, atomic & nuclear physics, and condensed matter physics.

At Centralia College, students typically take the Associate in Science - Transfer Track 2 degree in order to be "major ready" for transfer to a university program. The AS-2 focuses on the math and science classes necessary for upper division physics classes at the transfer institution.

Physics majors have skills that are in high demand in many sectors. Numeracy, problem-solving, data analysis and the ability to communicate complex ideas are highly sought after.  This opens up a wealth of career possibilities in fields such as:

  • Fundamental research
  • Engineering
  • Education
  • Manufacturing
  • Aerospace
  • Finance
  • Defense
  • Health care
  • Energy
  • Telecommunications
  • Climate science engineering 

Physics Education Plan

Degree: Associate in Science

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.
First Year  
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
Second Year  
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

PHYS& 110 - Physics for Non-Science Majors w/Lab

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.

PHYS& 114 - General Physics I w/Lab

Fundamentals of classical mechanics. The first of a three quarter sequence for science majors not requiring calculus based physics. Classica l mechanics including statics and dynamics of particles, rigid bodies, and fluids. Prerequisite: two years HS algebra and trigonometry or concurrent enrollment in MATH 110.

PHYS& 115 - General Physics II w/Lab

Fluids, electrostatics, simple circuits, and the fundamental laws of thermodynamics. A continuation of PHYS& 114. Prerequisite: PHYS& 114.

PHYS& 116 - General Physics III w/Lab

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.

PHYS& 221 - Engineering Physics I

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

PHYS& 222 - Engineering Physics II

Wave motion, thermodynamics, and electrostatics. Includes sound, heat transfer, law of thermodynamics, and electric fields. Prerequisite: PH YS& 221 and MATH& 152 and corequisite: MATH& 153.

PHYS& 223 - Engineering Physics III

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.

PHYS 270 - Research in Physics

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.

The Associate of Science Transfer (AS-T) Degree Track 2 is designed to prepare you for upper division study in the areas of engineering, computer science, physics, and atmospheric science. Completing the AS-T Track 2 degree will prepare you for upper division study; it does not guarantee admission to the major.

Institutions that accept the AS-2

Public Colleges

Private Colleges


Michael Threapleton (he/him/his)
Associate Professor
Office: WSC 318-H
Email Michael Threapleton