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Back Program Website | Info Sheet
Overview
Physics is the science of matter, energy and their interactions. Physics majors learn the fundamental laws governing the natural world, and in so doing develop critical skills of observation and quantitative analysis in both experimental and theoretical settings. Because those skills are increasingly valued in diverse fields in today's technological society, persons trained in physics are found not only in science, but also in fields where analytical skills are vital to success, such as finance, medicine, law and engineering.

The Department of Physics offers two bachelor's degree programs. First, the "BS in Physics" degree program is designed for students who seek a broad, comprehensive study of the set of traditional as well as contemporary topics which together comprise the subject of physics, and who ultimately may be interested in obtaining master’s and/or doctoral degrees and becoming professional physicists or astronomers. In contrast, the “BS in Applied Physics” degree program has been developed for students who wish to combine studies in physics with studies in other areas such as biology, geology, business, computer science, engineering, mathematics, or pre-medicine, perhaps in preparation for graduate degrees in those areas. Interdisciplinary study is also possible through double majors with physics, a major in physics with minor in another subject, or minors in physics.

Prospective physics majors should contact the departmental adviser as soon as possible to guarantee an enjoyable and profitable undergraduate career. A special freshman-level course, PHYS 1001, acquaints new physics majors with the department's professors and research, as well as with each other. During their first two years, physics majors learn the laws of mechanics (forces and motion) and electromagnetism which epitomize the work of Newton and Maxwell, among others. At the same time, students develop their mathematical skills through courses in calculus and differential equations. A new sequence of calculus-based general physics courses, PHYS 2314 and 2414, is now in place for students who want to major in science fields in general, or physics, in particular. Students wanting to major in physics may take these courses in lieu of the PHYS 2014 and 2114.

During their last two years, physics majors delve into advanced topics including the quantum and relativistic physics of Schroedinger, Einstein and their colleagues. Courses in laboratory and computational methods further develop experimental abilities. Students are also encouraged to work in the department's research labs or astronomical observatory. Students pursuing the BS in physics take additional physics courses and do a senior project. Students seeking the BS in applied physics replace the additional physics courses with upper-division courses in their chosen areas.

Available Options
, B.S.
- Applied Physics, B.S.
- Secondary Teacher Certification, B.S.


Occupations
Physicists
Physics Teachers, Postsecondary
Physical Scientists

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