4 years
Bachelor's degree
Scholarships available
Rapid City

About this program

Physics Degree

What is Physics?

Physics is the study of structures of matter, its motion and how it behaves through space and time, and all related entities.

Physicists explore the nature of physical reality at its most fundamental level, from the icy depths of the South Pole to the hunt for the dark matter which is an important part of the universe. Physicists ask the fundamental questions - How did the universe begin? What is it made of? How can we exploit properties of matter?

What does a physicist do?

As a physics student at South Dakota Mines, you will explore the properties and laws that govern space, time, energy, and matter.

With physics at South Dakota Mines, you will learn to undertake duties a physicist might do, including:
• Planning and conducting scientific experiments to test theories
• Developing scientific theories and models that attempt to explain the properties of the natural world, such as the force of gravity or the interaction of sub-atomic particles
• Writing scientific papers
• Presenting research findings
• Exploring fundamental properties of materials
• Using complex math to analyze data
• Designing scientific equipment
• Developing computer software to analyze and model data

Admission requirements

International Undergraduate Course Requirements

The School of Mines will carefully review and consider for acceptance applicants who meet the general education requirements and the following criteria:

  • Achieve a high school GPA of at least 2.75 on a 4.0 scale
  • English Proficiency Requirement - can be viewed on our website
  • Proof of College Algebra-readiness by one of the following methods:
    • ACT or SAT math sub-score of at least 25/590
    • Completion of a college math course (Intermediate Algebra or higher)
    • Qualifying score on the Accuplacer exam

Applications from students with deficiencies are reviewed on an individual basis by the Admissions Committee. The committee considers high school curriculum (special consideration is given to math and science coursework), grades, and test scores.

*U.S. citizens and permanent residents are not required to provide an English proficiency. 

Does this course require proof of English proficiency?

The TOEFL iBT® test is accepted by 11,500 universities and higher education institutions in over 160 countries. Book your test today!

Learn more Advertisement

Program content

Freshman Year

First Semester

  • First Year Seminar in Physics
  • Calculus I
  • General Chemistry I
  • General Chemistry I Lab
  • Composition I
  • General Education Goal 3 or 4 Elective(s)

Second Semester

  • Calculus II
  • University Physics I
  • University Physics I Laboratory
  • General Education Goal 3 or 4 Elective(s)
  • Computer Science I/Lab (OR) Programming for Engineers and Scientists

Sophomore Year

First Semester

  • Calculus III
  • University Physics II
  • University Physics II Laboratory
  • Communication in the STEM Workplace
  • General Education Goal 3 or 4 Elective(s)

Second Semester

  • Differential Equations
  • Explorations in STEM Communications
  • Vibrations, Waves, and Optics
  • General Education Goal 3 or 4 Elective(s)
  • Program Elective(s)

Junior Year

First Semester

  • Experimental Physics Design I
  • Introduction to Modern Physics
  • Thermodynamics
  • Statistical Physics
  • Optics
  • Classical Mechanics

Second Semester

  • Linear Algebra
  • Advanced Physics Laboratory
  • Quantum Mechanics
  • Experimental Physics Design II
  • Program Elective(s)

Senior Year

First Semester

  • Electromagnetism
  • Advanced Design Projects I
  • Mathematical Physics
  • Program Elective(s)

Second Semester

  • Nuclear and Elementary Particle Physics
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Advanced Design Projects II
  • Program Elective(s)

Scholarships & funding

International students may seek scholarship opportunities but should be aware that many scholarships are limited to US citizens or permanent residents. South Dakota Mines does not offer scholarships specifically for international students. You must be ADMITTED by January 15 of the year you are planning to enroll in the fall semester if you wish to be considered for scholarships. Scholarships are only awarded for a start date of the fall semester. Please see the Scholarships website for information on Mines scholarships.

International students are NOT eligible for South Dakota Mines or federal loan programs and should not apply for such financial assistance. 


Total Estimated for the undergraduate I-20 — 2022-2023

  • Academic year (9 months) - $17,100
  • Living Expenses (9 months) - $10,900
  • Books & Supplies (9 months) - $ 1,200
  • Estimated Total for one academic year - $29,200

The estimate for living expenses includes only room, board, and health insurance, which is mandatory for international students. This does not include personal and transportation expenses, which you will still have. The institution estimates that you will spend approximately $3450 per academic year on personal and transportation expenses, so please be prepared for these expenses.

Career paths

With a physics degree from South Dakota Mines, you can work in a wide range of career fields, including:

  • Research
  • Industrial development
  • Environmental science
  • Astrophysics
  • Nuclear technology
  • Medicine
  • Transportation
  • Music, television, and gaming
  • Law and finance

Message the school

Want to know more about this program, Physics BS? Fill out the following form and include any questions you have. This information will be sent directly to the school, and a representative will respond to your enquiry.
Currently living in *
Nationality *

reCAPTCHA logo This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.


About this institute

South Dakota School of Mines & Technology

South Dakota School of Mines & Technology was founded in 1885 to provide instruction in the region’s primary industry, which was mining. And now it includes so much more. Over the years, South Dakota Mines evolved into a leading science...

Read more about this school

Why study at South Dakota School of Mines & Technology

Life at South Dakota Mines is more than books, homework, and tests. It’s robot races on the Quad, blacksmithing on Friday afternoons, late-night hangouts with friends in the dorm, and cheering for your favorite Hardrocker sports team. It’s finding “your” people – friends who geek out at the same stuff you do, whether that’s esports, robotics, fossils, or chemistry experiments. You’ll work alongside “your” people in classrooms and on student teams and organizations. At South Dakota Mines, it’s more about collaboration than competition, and you’ll never be alone in your passions and interests.

Contact info

South Dakota School of Mines & Technology

501 E Saint Joseph Street
57701 Rapid City South Dakota
United States of America

Phone no: 16053946884

Message the school

Want to know more about Physics BS? Fill out the following form and we'll pass your details on to a representative from the school, who will respond to your enquiry.


Be the first to write a review!