Physics concerns itself with the laws governing energy and the structure of matter. The study of physics will develop effective problem-solving skills, which can be applied advantageously to many other disciplines, especially those where quantitative methods are important. Undergraduate training emphasizes the basics and is usually very general. Specialization mostly takes place in graduate studies. A significant fraction of the physics bachelors - about one-third - go on to graduate school with the goal of becoming research scientists or professors. However, we are mindful that a majority of the majors will be seeking employment directly after graduating from college. For that reason, our curriculum is flexible and provides students with a number of options to better prepare them for a job.

We offer Bachelor of Science (B.S.) and Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degrees for the student who intends to go on to graduate school in physics; we offer a degree with a strong engineering component for persons who expect to work with engineers in technical projects; we also offer the option of a degree enhanced by a second discipline. To help the prospective physics majors make optimal decisions, they are encouraged to speak with a departmental adviser as early as possible. A B.A. degree requires a foreign language, a B.S. degree does not.

Students with a serious interest in physics should consult the departmental Chairperson as early as possible in order to determine which program best fits their needs.

The minimum departmental requirements for all physics majors can be summarized as follows: certain introductory courses (Physics 2110-2120, 1154, 1164, 3250 and 3260); Calculus I, II and III; the core courses (Physics 3450, 3600, 3750, 3800, 4200); three advanced laboratories; and a senior project. Students taking a number of advanced mathematics courses may be permitted to waive Physics 3250 or Physics 3260.

Physics 1030, 1050, 1350 and 1750 and associated laboratories do not count toward a major in physics.

The core courses contain the classical materials with which all physicists should be acquainted. In addition, physics majors should strive to take as many of the courses in modern physics (4210, 4220, 4230) and electronics (3500) as their program will permit. For a degree in physics, a grade of “C-” or higher is required in each core course and advanced laboratory. The senior project must be approved and the department chair notified at least eight months prior to graduation as a physics major and the student must register for either Physics 4950 or 4960.

Upper division courses (3000-level or higher) will assume that students have at least some experience with, and ability to use, computers for solving physics problems.

The requirement of a third writing course may be satisfied by: ENGL 3980 (Technical Writing) or ENGR 3000 (Creativity and Writing for Engineers).

For more information…

please call 402-554-2511.