Online Physics Course Descriptions with School Options

Essential Information

Normally, to take an online physics course, students must have a passing grade in calculus or other advanced mathematics. Courses are typically taken for credit, with the amount of learning material and number of exams equal to their on-campus counterparts. These may be taken as standalone courses, or as part of an applied physics and engineering technology degree.

In a distance learning course, students might make use of Internet sites, such as iTunes and YouTube, to access audio and video content for their courses. They also might use virtual instructional platforms, such as Blackboard, to access and submit course assignments, which are typically deadline driven. All coursework can be completed online. However, exams may need to be completed in person under the supervision of an approved proctor. Additionally, they may be required to perform labs on campus.

Online physics courses with lab work might not require campus visitation. Instead, these courses might provide online environments for virtual experimentation. Online labs may use tutorials as well as integrate user-directed cause-and-effect elements, allowing students to have an immersive learning experience.

Johns Hopkins University: Master of Science in Applied Physics

Program Information & Requirements

Johns Hopkins University, located in Elkridge, MD, boasts one of the few applied physics advanced degree programs. The program is available online, but the major does feature several on-site requirements. The curriculum features four core courses and six electives, and students in this program will study various topics, from interstellar space to condensed matter. Applicants to this program will need a bachelor's degree and prior coursework in several subjects, such as vector analysis and magnetism.

The school offers two concentrations in photonics and materials and condensed matter. Also available is a post-master's certificate.


Course topics in this program include:

  • Modern physics
  • Statistical mechanics
  • Thermodynamics

Clemson University CUPOL Labs

Information & Requirements

Clemson University offers five online physics labs through its CUPOL (Clemson University Physics On-line Laboratories) program. The school offers a couple of online tools to help students, an online stopwatch that is accurate to 0.001 seconds and a suggestion box for the lab curator.


The five labs consist of the following topics:

  • General physics
  • Calculus-based mechanics
  • Electricity & magnetism
  • Calculus-based electricity & magnetism
  • Calculus-based waves, optics & modern physics

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University: Bachelor of Science in Engineering Technology

Information & Requirements

Located in Daytona, FL, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University offers an online bachelor's degree in engineering technology, which features multiple courses in the physical sciences field. Intended for students with a professional interest in engineering, this program helps students prepare for the certification exams that result in a P.E. license.


Embry-Riddle's courses cover the following topics:

  • General chemistry
  • Physics for engineers

Online physics courses are broadly available, having a similar workload as their on-campus counterparts. These can be taken individually, or may be part of a larger online degree, such as the Master of Science in Applied Physics at Johns Hopkins University.

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