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Sample Physics Major Programs

- for Graduate School Bound Studentsfor Applied Emphasis Studentsfor Honors College Students -

Course of study

The Physics Department offers a special introductory sequence designed for physics majors. This sequence provides an excellent opportunity for incoming majors to begin their physics studies with ample individual attention. Class sizes are typically 15 to 25 students at all levels in the physics major program.The course requirements and suggested electives for graduate school bound students are shown in the chart below.

 

Sample Physics Major Program (for Graduate School Bound Students)

Major Core Minimum of BS

Recommended Enhancements

Required Related Subjects

Required University

First Year

Foundations of Physics I (251,252,253)

Physics Lab. 1 (290 each term)

15 credits

Calculus and Chemistry

20 credits

Composition

8 credits

Second Year

Foundations of Physics II (351,352,353)

Intermediate Lab (390)

16 credits

Differential Equations and Several Variable Calculus

12 credits

Group -satisfying courses from Arts and Letters and Social Sciences

(16 credit hours in each)

Third Year

Electricity, Magnetism & Electromagnetism (412,413, 422)

Mechanics (411)

6 cr. hours upper-division labs

22 credits

Electives in Physics (from Electromagnetism, Optics, Math. Methods & Astrophysics)

Electives in Mathematics

(from Complex Variables, Partial Diff. Equations, Linear Algebra)

Multicultural Courses

(2 courses)

Fourth Year

Quantum Physics (414,415,417)

12 credits

Physics Laboratories (from Electronics, Optics Advanced Lab)

 

Students who will seek employment in the technical arena with a bachelor’s degree in physics can follow the Applied Emphasis Track, outlined below:

Sample Physics Major Program (for Applied Emphasis Students)

Major Core Minimum of BS

Recommended Enhancements

Required Related Subjects

Required University

First Year

Foundations of Physics I (251,252,253)

Physics Lab. 1 (290 each term)

15 credits

Calculus and Chemistry

20 credits

Composition

8 credits

Second Year

Foundations of Physics II (351,352,353)

Intermediate Lab (390)

16 credits

Differential Equations and Several Variable Calculus

12 credits

Group -satisfying courses from Arts & Letters and Social Sciences

(16 credit hrs. each)

Third Year

Electricity & Magnetism (412,413)

Intro. Quantum Mech. (354)

Analog & Digital Electronics (431,432)

20 credits

Electives in Physics (from Electromagnetism, Optics, Math. Methods & Astrophysics)

Electives in Mathematics

(from Complex Variables, Partial Diff. Equations, Linear Algebra)

Multicultural Courses

(2 courses)

Fourth Year

Classical & Modern Optics (424,425)

Design of Experiments (481)

6 cr. hours upper-division labs

18 credits

Physics Laboratories (from Physics Instrumentation, Modern Optics Lab, Advanced Lab)

Sample Physics Major Program for Students Enrolled in the Robert D. Clark Honors College

Physics Major Core Minimum of BS

Robert D. Clark Honor College

Required and Optional Related Subjects

Undergraduate Research Activities

First Year

Foundations of Physics I (251,252,253)

Physics Lab. 1 (290 each term)

15 credits

Honors College Literature (HC 221H, 222H, 223H)

12 credits

Calculus and Chemistry(Chemistry can be taken in year 2)
12-20 credits

For advanced students:Apply for and complete NSF REU program following summer

Second Year

Foundations of Physics II (351,352,353)

Intermediate Lab (390)

16 credits

Honors College History (HC 231H, 232H, 233H)
HC Colloquia (e.g., HC 421H, 431H, 441H)16-24 credits

Chemistry (if not taken year 1)

Differential Equations and Several Variable Calculus

12-20 credits

Apply for and complete NSF REU program following summer

Third Year

Electricity & Magnetism (412,413, 422)

6 cr. hours upper-division labs (e.g., 431, 432)

Research (401)

22 credits

HC Colloquia (e.g., HC 421H, 431H, 441H) to total 5 courses between 2nd, 3rd and 4th year. 8-12 credits

Multicultural Courses (2 courses)

Math Methods for Physics (410)
{ Optional electives in Mathematics (from Complex Variables, Partial Diff. Equations, Linear Algebra) }

12+ credits

Begin research with physics-related research group. Continue work through following summer and fall.

Fourth Year

Quantum Physics (414,415,417)
Mechanics (411)
Research (401)20 credits

HC Colloquia (e.g., HC 421H, 431H, 441H) to total 5 courses between 2nd, 3rd and 4th year.
HC Thesis Prospectus (HC 477H)6 credits

{ Optional electives in Physics (e.g., 410, 424-26, 427) and Mathematics (see above) }

4-12 credits

Write Honors College Thesis (in physics research area) during fall/winter terms. Defend during spring term.

 

Students who wish to start physics their first year at the university should come prepared to study calculus.

 

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