Major

Students who major in physics develop competency in using scientific methodology: in creating mathematical models of real-world systems, manipulating these models to obtain predictions of the system's behavior, and testing the model's predictions against the observed real-world behavior. Mechanical, electro- magnetic, thermodynamic, and atomic/molecular systems are among those with which students become familiar in the building and testing of theoretical models. Problem-solving and quantitative reasoning are among the skills which are developed.

For the B.A. Degree, students majoring in physics normally take the following courses:

  • Fundamental Physics I and II
  • Waves and Relativity
  • Physical Chemistry II Interpretive
  • Electronics Laboratory
  • Sophomore Seminar
  • Classical Mechanics Interpretive*
  • Electricity and Magnetism I Interpretive*
  • Electricity and Magnetism II Interpretive*
  • Quantum Physics II Interpretive*
  • Calculus I
  • Calculus II
  • Calculus III
  • Differential Equations
  • 3 semesters of Junior/Senior Seminar
  • Physics Comprehensive Exam

*One of the four interpretive courses must be taken as investigative

For the B.S. degree, additional courses required are:

  • Quantum Physics II Interpretive*
  • Statistical Mechanics Interpretive*

*Two of the six interpretive courses must be taken as investigative

A minor in physics requires the completion of five physics courses with a grade of C- or better, of which at least three are numbered above PH 242.

An example of a program of courses leading to a B.S. in physics:

First Year

  • Calculus I and II
  • Fundamental Physics I and II

Sophomore Year

  • Calculus III
  • Differential Equations
  • Electronics
  • Statistical Mechanics Interpretive
  • Sophomore Seminar

Junior Year

  • Waves and Relativity
  • Electricity and Magnetism I and II Interpretive
  • Classical Mechanics Investigative
  • Physics Seminar

Senior Year

  • Quantum Physics I Investigative
  • Quantum Physics II Interpretive
  • Physics Seminar
  • Physics Comprehensive Exam