Physics 51

Course description

Physics 51 is introductory calculus-based electricity and magnetism. It covers electric charges, electric and magnetic fields, dc and ac circuits, electromagnetic waves. This course is taken by engineering majors and those majoring in the physical sciences, including chemistry, meteorology, math, computer science, and of course physics.


All students taking this course must have earned a grade of C or better in Math 31 and Physics 50 (or their equivalents).

Adding or changing sections

Physics 51 typically fills up every semester. I will make every effort to get as many students as possible into this course. Please note that if you want to switch sections of either lecture or lab, you must drop the course and add back in with an add code. Because we are so full, you will run the risk of losing your seat entirely. I would advise not trying to switch sections UNLESS you are switching to a lecture or lab that is not full from one that is.

You can improve your chances of switching sections by offering to take a lab or lecture section that currently has a low enrollment. You can see the most current enrollment numbers in mysjsu.

Do I have to take Physics 51 before 52?

Yes. If your major requires 51, you must take it before 52. The reason is that your upper division engineering courses all list Physics 52 as the only pre-req, which is based on the assumption that you have taken 51 before 52. Geology and meteorology majors may not be required to take 51 (although most do, since you need it for grad school). The bottom line is that if your major requires 51, then you have to take it before 52.