Physics

We recommend one of these sequences:

  • No AP credit: Trinity StudentsPHYSICS 141L (General Physics I), PHYSICS 142L (General Physics II)
  • No AP credit: Pratt Students PHYSICS 151L (Introductory Mechanics), PHYSICS 152L (Introductory Electricity, Magnetism, and Optics)
  • No AP credit: Physics, Biophysics, Math majorsPHYSICS 161L (Introductory Experimental Physics I), PHYSICS 162L (Introductory Experimental Physics II)
  • AP 4/5 on Physics C Mech = Physics 25: Trinity Students — Enroll in PHYSICS 142L (General Physics II); Pratt Students — Enroll in PHYSICS 152L (Introductory Electricity, Magnetism, and Optics)
  • AP 4/5 on Physics C,E & M = Physics 26: Trinity Students — Enroll in PHYSICS 141L (General Physics I); Pratt Students — Enroll in PHYSICS 151L (Introductory Mechanics)
  • AP for both = Physics 25, 26: Enroll in PHYSICS 141L (General Physics I) or PHYSICS 142L (General Physics II) — Trinity Students — or PHYSICS 153L (Applications of Physics: A Modern Perspective) — Pratt Students — whichever course you are most interested in or would like a review in.
  • Prospective Physics, Biophysics and Math majors with AP for both Physics 25, 26 may want to enroll in PHYSICS 161L (Introductory Experimental Physics I) and PHYSICS 162L (Introductory Experimental Physics II); check the Physics Department website for recommendations 

Note: PHYSICS 141L (General Physics I), PHYSICS 151L (Introductory Mechanics), and PHYSICS 161L (Introductory Experimental Physics I) generally teach the same material, although the focus and applications may be different. The same is true of PHYSICS 142L (General Physics II), PHYSICS 152L (Introductory Electricity, Magnetism, and Optics), and PHYSICS 162L (Introductory Experimental Physics II). It is acceptable to mix and match courses, e.g.,combining PHYSICS 151L with PHYSICS 142L.

Math requirement

PHYSICS 141L and PHYSICS 142L require Calculus I (MATH 21, MATH 105L, MATH 106L, MATH 111L, or MATH 121L). Calculus II is recommended but is optional. PHYSICS 151L, PHYSICS 152LPHYSICS 161L, and PHYSICS 162L all require Calculus II (MATH 22, MATH 112L, MATH 122L or MATH 122).

While Physics at Duke is Calculus based, medical schools have generally also accepted Algebra-based Physics classes, so you may decide to take Physics at another university in the summer. Be sure to consider your major, as some majors at Duke require Physics. If you don't think you can manage Calculus-based Physics, talk with your health professions advisor about grades and choices.

Pratt students

PHYSICS 151L (Introductory Mechanics) and PHYSICS 152L (Introductory Electricity, Magnetism, and Optics) do not completely cover all the material tested on the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT), so you should self-review Physics before the MCAT.