Physics Degree Requirements
Major: CSC 140 (Foundations of Computer Science), MAT 120 (Calculus of a Single Variable Part II) or 121 (Calculus of a Single Variable), 122 (Calculus of Several Variables), 221 (Linear Algebra), and 236 (Differential Equations); PHY 161, 162, 263, 302, 303, 312 and three additional course credits in Physics at or above the 300 level, for a minimum of 14 courses. Students planning for graduate work in Physics or Engineering should include PHY 305, 321, 322, and 334. Students planning for graduate work are also strongly encouraged to take MAT 234 (Complex Variables), and CHE 323 and 324 (Physical Chemistry I and II).
Teaching Major: MAT 120 (Calculus of a Single Variable Part II) or 121 (Calculus of a Single Variable), 122 (Calculus of Several Variables); PHY 121, 161, 162, 263, 302, 303, 312 and two additional course credits in Physics at or above the 300 level, for a minimum of 11 courses. Supporting work in the other natural sciences or mathematics is recommended. Students with other majors who intend to ask for certification in Physics as a second field are required to complete MAT 120 (Calculus of a Single Variable Part II) or 121 (Calculus of a Single Variable); PHY 161, 162, 263, and 303. In addition to the foregoing requirements, prospective teachers must also apply for admission to the Teacher Education Program (preferably at the start of their sophomore year) and complete coursework leading to secondary certification described under Education. Prospective teachers should request a current list of the specific course requirements from the Education Office.
Minor: A minimum of five course credits in Physics which include PHY 161, 162, 263, 303, and at least one other course in Physics at or above the 300 level.
Capstone: Physics majors conduct individual experimental projects of their own design in small groups during the advanced lab course. Following the advanced lab, students will conduct a literature search on the background of their experiment in more depth and then write an individualized paper, with emphasis on their particular contribution to the project. The paper must be submitted to their capstone advisor no later than two blocks after the start of the advanced lab. The student will revise the paper until it is accepted by the department. If it appears that the student is making insufficient progress towards the completion of the individual paper, then the student and Registrar will be notified that the student is in danger of not completing the major requirements. Once the paper is approved, students are then required to present their findings in a public presentation. If the presentation is judged unacceptable, then the student will have the opportunity to give another presentation privately to the department.
The Physics curriculum facilitates a wide range of interests from professional to cultural; graduate work in physics, astronomy, geophysics, medicine, meteorology, environmental engineering, business administration, law, health physics, and computer science. B.S.S. candidates and students contemplating an individualized major in the physical sciences are invited to discuss possible curricula with the Department.
Note: PHY 121, 123, and 125 have no formal prerequisites; 141 and 142 ask only reasonable facility in algebra and trigonometry.