PHYS199 has been traditionally the laboratory sequence of the lecture courses PHYS211 and PHYS212, offered to physics majors. It is offered in Fall semesters only.
New Prerequisite: In the past several years, we have seen a significant increase of the number of freshmen physics majors who do not have the required math level to take PHYS211 or PHYS212 during their first academic year. On one hand, these students are not prepared to take PHYS199 during their first academic semester at USC and the proposed prerequisites reflect this fact. On the other hand, they should not be taking PHYS199 one academic year prior to taking PHYS211 and/or PHYS212.
New enrollment restriction: We have also seen some non-physics majors, mostly students who want to pursue an engineering degree but do not have sufficient GPA to enroll in the School of Engineering, enroll in PHYS199. All of these students should be taking the PHYS211L and PHYS212L sequence. The enrollment restriction should allow these students to properly enroll in PHYS211L and PHYS212L. Traditionally, Honors college non-physics majors who have taken the course in the past have been students who have been considering to add a physics major or to change to the physics major. Such students have performed very well, have made a strong contribution to the course, and have shown high likelihood to succeed in the physics program. We would like to give these students the chance to still be able to take PHYS199 and help them to make a decision about pursuing a phyiscs major degree. Thus, we include Honors college students who satisfy the prerequisite in the enrollment restriction.
To help all of the above students and their advisors navigate through the physics program and the curriculum of their program of choice, we implement appropriate math prerequisites for PHYS199 and an enrollment restriction.