Why study physics?

Physics can prepare you for a large and diverse number of careers. You can find physics scholars from Wall Street to the medical professions, teachers, and, of course, working as physicists in laboratories or academia. Many physics students go on to get advanced degrees in more specialized fields such as nuclear physics, bio-physics, high-energy physics, solid-state physics, and physics education. 

At Parkland, you'll have the advantage of small class sizes, taught by master faculty—never teaching assistants. Your success is our priority.


Applied Physics: Heat and Electricity (PHY112): non-transfer career/technical course, suitable for programs such as Radiologic Technology, Fire Service, HVAC, Broadcast Technology, and others.

How Things Work (PHY 120) and How Things Work Laboratory (PHY 129): are less mathematically- intensive classes that explore the physics behind everyday life. 

General Physics I (PHY 121) and General Physics II (PHY 122): are algebra-based transfer courses required for most life science degrees including pre-medical, pre-pharmacy, biology, physical therapy, and pre-veterinary. (Physics 121 is usually required for architecture also.) 

Mechanics (PHY 141), Electricity and Magnetism (PHY 142), and Modern Physics (PHY 143): are calculus-based transfer courses required for physical science, engineering, and physics majors.

Will my classes transfer?

PHY 121, 141, and 120/129 (taken together) will fulfill the Physical Science general education requirement at Illinois public universities. Parkland College classes with an even middle digit (such as ENG 101, MAT 128, and BIO 141) are accepted for transfer as general education classes, major courses, or electives as determined by the transfer institution. 

For more information about transferring, speak with an academic advisor and visit the Parkland Course Matrix.


Learn more about how these courses fit into a transfer degree or the general education core curriculum (GECC).


Associate in Science (A.S.)
Course Sequence

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Parkland Science Scholars

Students pursuing science degrees who are from low-income families are encouraged to apply to Parkland Science Scholars. This program provides financial support, mentoring, and opportunities to gain experience and create networks in science careers. For more information visit