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Academic Affairs
Undergraduate Catalog 2008-09


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Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences


Department of Physics


John Sutherland, Chairperson, N-209 Howell Science Complex

Proficiency Requirements

A minimum grade of C in PHYS 2350 and 2360 is required before a student may take any physics course for which PHYS 2360 is prerequisite.

BA in Physics

The BA is designed for students interested in employment in nontechnical fields or in graduate study in the social sciences, medicine, public health, business, and the humanities depending on elective choices. Minimum degree requirement is 126 s.h. of credit as follows:

  1. Foundations curriculum (See Section 4, Foundations Curriculum Requirements for all Baccalaureate Degree programs), including those listed below - 42 s.h.
    MATH 1065. College Algebra (3) (F,S,SS) (FC:MA) (P: Appropriate score on mathematics placement test) or equivalent
  2. Foreign language through level 1004 - 12 s.h.
  3. Core - 19 s.h.
    PHYS 1251, 1261. General Physics Laboratory (1,1) (F,S,SS) (FC:SC) (C for 1251: PHYS 1250 or 2350; C for 1261: PHYS 1260 or 2360)
    PHYS 2350, 2360. University Physics (4,4) (FC:SC) (P for 2350: MATH 2121 or 2171; P for 2360: PHYS 2350)
    PHYS 3700, 3701. Advanced Laboratory (3,0) (3700:WI) (S) (P: PHYS 2360)
    PHYS 4416. Modern Physics I (3) (F) (P: PHYS 2360)
    PHYS 4417. Modern Physics II (3) (S) (P: PHYS 4416)
  4. Cognates - 15 s.h.
    MATH 1083. Introduction to Functions (3) (F,S,SS) (FC:MA) (P: MATH 1065 with a minimum grade of C)
    MATH 2171, 2172, 2173. Calculus I, II, III (4,4,4) (F,S,SS) (FC:MA) (P for 2171: minimum grade of C in any of MATH 1083, 1085, 2122; P for 2172: MATH 2171 with a minimum grade of C or 2122 with consent of instructor; P for 2173: MATH 2172 with a minimum grade of C)
  5. Minor and electives to complete requirements for graduation.

BS in Physics

The BS is a traditional physics program designed for students interested in graduate study in physics or engineering. Minimum degree requirement is 126 s.h. of credit as follows:

  1. Foundations curriculum (See Section 4, Foundations Curriculum Requirements for all Baccalaureate Degree Programs), including those listed below - 42 s.h.
    CHEM 1150, 1151. General Chemistry and Laboratory I (3,1) (F,S,SS) (FC:SC) (P: Chemistry placement test or passing grade in CHEM 0150; P/C: MATH 1065)
    CHEM 1160, 1161. General Chemistry and Laboratory II (3,1) (F,S,SS) (FC:SC) (P: CHEM 1150, 1151; C for 1160: CHEM 1161; C for 1161: CHEM 1160; RC: MATH 1083 or 1085)
    MATH 1065. College Algebra (3) (F,S,SS) (FC:MA) (P: Appropriate score on mathematics placement test) or equivalent
  2. Core - 40 s.h.
    PHYS 1251, 1261. General Physics Laboratory (1,1) (F,S,SS) (FC:SC) (C for 1251: PHYS 1250 or 2350; C for 1261: PHYS 1260 or 2360)
    PHYS 2350, 2360. University Physics (4,4) (FC:SC) (P for 2350: MATH 2121 or 2171; P for 2360: PHYS 2350)
    PHYS 3700, 3701. Advanced Laboratory (3,0) (3700:WI) (F) (P: PHYS 2360)
    PHYS 4120. Thermodynamics (3) (S-OY) (P: PHYS 2360)
    PHYS 4226. Mechanics I (3) (F) (P: MATH 2173; PHYS 2360)
    PHYS 4310. Modern Optics (3) (F-EY) (P: PHYS 2360)
    PHYS 4326. Electricity and Magnetism I (3) (F) (P: PHYS 2360)
    PHYS 4416. Modern Physics I (3) (F) (P: PHYS 2360)
    PHYS 4417. Modern Physics II (3) (S) (P: PHYS 4416)
    PHYS 4560. Mathematical Methods for Physics (3) (S) (P: MATH 2173; PHYS 2360)
    PHYS 4610. Electronics (3) (F-OY) (P: PHYS 2021, 2360)
    Choose 3 s.h. of PHYS electives above 2999
  3. Cognates - 18 s.h.
    MATH 1083. Introduction to Functions (3) (F,S,SS) (FC:MA) (P: MATH 1065 with a minimum grade of C)
    MATH 2171, 2172, 2173. Calculus I, II, III (4,4,4) (F,S,SS) (FC:MA) (P for 2171: minimum grade of C in any of MATH 1083, 1085, 2122; P for 2172: MATH 2171 with a minimum grade of C or 2122 with consent of instructor; P for 2173: MATH 2172 with a minimum grade of C)
    MATH 4331. Introduction to Ordinary Differential Equations (3) (F,S) (P: MATH 2173)
  4. Electives to complete requirements for graduation.

BSAP (BS in Applied Physics)

The BSAP is designed for students interested in employment in technical fields or in graduate study in engineering, business, public health, medicine, environmental science, and related technical fields depending on elective choices. Minimum degree requirement is 126 s.h. of credit as follows:

  1. Foundations curriculum (See Section 4, Foundations Curriculum Requirements for all Baccalaureate Degree Programs), including those listed below - 42 s.h.
    CHEM 1150, 1151. General Chemistry and Laboratory I (3,1) (F,S,SS) (FC:SC) (P: Chemistry placement test or passing grade in CHEM 0150; P/C: MATH 1065)
    CHEM 1160, 1161. General Chemistry and Laboratory I (3,1) (F,S,SS) (FC:SC) (P: CHEM 1150, 1151; C for 1160: CHEM 1161; C for 1161: CHEM 1160; RC: MATH 1083 or 1085)
    MATH 1065. College Algebra (3) (F,S,SS) (FC:MA) (P: Appropriate score on mathematics placement test) or equivalent
  2. Core - 28 s.h.
    PHYS 1251, 1261. General Physics Laboratory (1,1) (F,S,SS) (FC:SC) (C for 1251: PHYS 1250 or 2350; C for 1261: PHYS 1260 or 2260)
    PHYS 2350, 2360. University Physics (4,4) (FC:SC) (P for 2350: MATH 2121 or 2171; P for 2360: PHYS 2350)
    PHYS 3700, 3701. Advanced Laboratory (3,0) (3700:WI) (F) (P: PHYS 2360)
    PHYS 4310. Modern Optics (3) (P: PHYS 2360)
    PHYS 4416. Modern Physics I (3) (F) (P: PHYS 2360)
    PHYS 4417. Modern Physics II (3) (S) (P: PHYS 4416)
    PHYS 4610. Electronics (3) (F-OY) (P: PHYS 2021, 2360)
    Choose 3 s.h. of PHYS electives above 2999
  3. Cognates - 18 s.h.
    MATH 1083. Introduction to Functions (3) (F,S,SS) (FC:MA) (P: MATH 1065 with a minimum grade of C)
    MATH 2171, 2172, 2173. Calculus I, II, III (4,4,4) (F,S,SS) (FC:MA) (P for 2171: minimum grade of C in any of MATH 1083, 1085, 2122; P for 2172: MATH 2171 with a minimum grade of C or 2122 with consent of instructor; P for 2173: MATH 2172 with a minimum grade of C)
    MATH 4331. Introduction to Ordinary Differential Equations (3) (F,S) (P: MATH 2173)
  4. Electives to complete requirements for graduation.

Physics Requirements for Students Participating in MD/7 Initiative

Students pursuing a BA or BSAP in physics who are also participating in the MD/7 Program must meet all the above-specified requirements for their major and the math cognate. It should also be noted that students coming in under the MD/7 Program in physics will need to have obtained prior credit for MATH 1065, 1085. In addition, the student will need to fulfill the prehealth concentration by taking BIOL 1100, 1101, 1200, 1201; CHEM 1150, 1151, 1160, 1161, 2750, 2751, 2760, 2763. If the student is accepted for admission to the Brody School of Medicine under the MD/7 Program, the first year of medical studies will count toward fulfilling the remaining 28 s.h. of electives as required for graduation.

Physics Minor

Minimum requirement for physics minor is 24 s.h. credit as follows:

  1. Core - 10 s.h.
    PHYS 1251, 1261. General Physics Laboratory (1,1) (F,S,SS) (FC:SC) (C for 1251: PHYS 1250 or 2350; C for 1261: PHYS 1260 or 2260)
    PHYS 2350, 2360. University Physics (4,4) (FC:SC) (P for 2350: MATH 2121 or 2171; P for 2360: PHYS 2350)
  2. PHYS electives above 2999 - 14 s.h.

Bachelor of Science and Accelerated MS in Physics

Students working toward a BS degree in physics have the opportunity to earn an MS degree in two or three additional semesters of study. These students are encouraged to begin research projects as undergraduates and take advanced classes that can be used to waive some MS course requirements. As seniors they may be granted early admission to the MS program and would be eligible to receive paid teaching assistantships. To be enrolled in the MS program as a senior, students must be within 6 s.h. credit of completing all undergraduate degree requirements. Applications to the MS program should be submitted during the first semester of the senior year and must include GRE scores.