Physics - Requirements

Bachelor of Science - Major in Physics

 
Credit
First Year
Fall
Spring
PS 15-16 General Physics I and II
3
3
PS 15L-PS 16L General Physics Laboratory
1
1
PS 65 Introduction to Computation Methods in Physics and the Sciences
2
 
MA 145-146 Calculus I and II
4
4
EN 11-12 English
3
3
Foreign language core requirement
4
4
Arts Core requirements  
3
Total
17
18
Sophomore Year    
PS 285 Modern Physics
3
 
PS 226 Classical Mechanics  
3
PS 212 Circuit Analysis & Analog Systems
4
 
PS 215 Computational Physics   3
MA 245 Calculus III
4
 
CH 111-112 General Chemistry I and II
4
4
Foreign language or other core requirements
4
MA 321 Ordinary Differential Equations
 
Total
19
17
Junior Year    
PS 271 Electricity and Magnetism I
3
 
PS 371 Electricity and Magnetism II  
3
PS 222 Modern Optics  
3
PS 206L Modern Optics Laboratory  
1
PS 241 Thermal and Statistical Physics
3
 
RS 101 Exploring Religion
3
 
MA 332 Partial Differential Equations
 
PH 101 Introduction to Philosophy
3
 
Social Science core
 
3
HI 10 Origins of the Modern World
3
 
200-level history course  
3
Total
15
16
Senior Year    
PS 204 Modern Experimental Methods Laboratory
2
 
PS 386 Quantum Physics
4
 
PS 388 Nuclear Physics OR  
3
PS 390 Special Topics  
3
PS 391-392 Independent Study; credit by arrangement    
Religious studies and philosophy core requirements
3
3
Arts core requirement
3
 
Social science core requirement  3
 
English and Philosphy core requirements
3
3
Electives
3
3
Total
18
15

Provision for Physics Advanced Placement Exam C

Entering students who have passed both AP Physics C exams with scores of 4 or 5 may advance directly to the physics sophomore course PS 285 - Modern Physics, without taking the PS 15-16 prerequisites. Note: For having passed the AP exams, only 4 credits are awarded toward graduation, according to the general AP Physics policy of the University. Students who therefore do not take PS 15-16 under this provision will need to take an additional elective in physics or another discipline with the chair's permission, in order to complete the required number of credits for the major in physics.

Minor in Physics

Students who major in an area other than physics can earn a 16-credit minor in physics by completing the following minimum requirements of two courses and an advanced lab beyond the introductory physics sequence:

  • Introductory sequence: PS 15-16 General Physics I and II with lab (eight credits)
    AND
  • Modern Physics (PS 285) and a three-credit course chosen among the 200- and 300-level physics courses, with the chairman's approval (six credits).
  • Modern Experimental Methods Laboratory (PS 204, two credits).

Substitution of the Modern Physics courses must be approved by the chair.

Note: Biology and chemistry majors can minor in physics by taking two lecture courses and one laboratory course beyond the requirements of their major. Engineering majors can minor in physics by taking one lecture course and one laboratory course beyond the requirements of the major.

Physics Major with a Minor in Educational Studies and the 5-year teacher education program

Physics majors who elect a minor in Educational Studies and who have been admitted to the Five Year Integrated Bachelor's-Masters Degree and Teacher Certification program may count ED 462 Science Methods as their Physics 3 credit Independent Study project. Physics majors with an Education Minor should consult with Dr. Angela Biselli, education advisor, and Dr. Patricia Calderwood, director of the Five Year Integrated Bachelor's-Masters Degree and Teacher Certification program.