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Undergraduate Degree Programs in Physics

If you have any questions or need further information about any programs listed, please contact:

Dr. Mark Sprague

The ECU Department of Physics is a place where majors are viewed as junior partners in our mission of education, research, and service. Our program encourages close interaction between faculty and students. Undergraduate research opportunities are available along with limited financial assistance.

A career in physics is one of the most challenging, innovative, exciting, and productive a person could have. The Jobs Rated Almanac has listed physics as the third best profession. But, most people do not even know what physics is. We often say that physics is the study of matter, energy and their interaction, but such a statement does not distinguish this science from some of the others. What physics is really about is simplicity -- finding the fundamental principles which allow us to think about the world of matter and energy in a clear and straightforward fashion. The search for simplicity is itself not simple, but it is rewarding for those with the aptitude and inclination. Because of the advanced nature of the subject, education at the graduate level is usually necessary for physicists to be productive in their chosen field. Our department offers three degrees at the undergraduate level--BS in Physics, BS in Applied Physics, and BA in Physics.

BS in Physics

The Department of Physics at East Carolina University offers a Bachelor of Science Degree with a major in physics. The program is designed primarily for students interested in continuing the study of physics at the graduate level. Those interested in seeking employment after the baccalaureate degree should consider the BSAP ( BS in Applied Physics )degree. The curriculum of the BS degree requires courses in the major areas of physics along with significant component of mathematics courses. Students may also elect further courses from the mathematics department to improve their background in analytical and numerical techniques. Upon graduation the student may apply to the master's program in physics at ECU, the PhD in Biomedical Physics at ECU or to a graduate program at another university.

Curriculum: The requirements of the Bachelor of Science (BS) with a major in physics may be found in the latest ECU Catalog.

BSAP in Physics

The Bachelor of Science in Applied Physics (BSAP) program allows the student more free electives to obtain a substantial secondary course of study in another field. It can prepare the graduate to immediately enter the rapidly growing job market where people with technical training are in high demand. It also prepares the student for graduate study in areas (such as medicine and engineering) outside of the traditional physics disciplines. Suggested secondary courses of study include Industrial Physics, Biomedical Physics, Computer Science, Mathematics, Premedicine, and Business. Other secondary courses of study can be tailored to the student’s interests.

The Department of Physics at East Carolina University BSAP degree allows the graduate to bring to the applied science environment a breadth in point of view not available from traditional engineering curriculums. The department has emphasized applications of physics almost since its inception. Through the years, new curricula and applied research activities have been added that reflect new technology and respond to high priority regional and national needs. Currently the instructional and research programs include acoustics, electronics, medical physics, biophysics, biomedical laser applications, atomic collision processes, and parallel computing. The training in this program provides the graduate with the option of seeking immediate employment in a variety of technically oriented occupations or of continuing graduate work in applied physics, engineering, and related fields.

Curriculum: The requirements of the industrial physics option of the Bachelor of Science in Applied Physics (BSAP) contain a minimum of 126-semester hours (s.h.) of credit. In addition to courses needed to satisfy the General Education requirements (42 s.h.), the following specific physics and cognate courses are required:

Curriculum: The requirement of the Bachelor of Science in Applied Physics (BSAP) may be found in the latest ECU catalog.

BA Physics

The Bachelor of Arts in Physics degree at East Carolina University is a truly liberal arts degree. It is specifically designed for those students who wish a very broad undergraduate education with some specialized study in physics. It is also very useful as a pre-medical program. While not preparatory for graduate study in physics, it can be used as general preparation for post baccalaureate study in business, law, medicine, etc. All BA degrees at East Carolina University require foreign language and a minor. In many ways this represents a very flexible program.

Curriculum: The requirements of the Bachelor of Arts with a major in Physics may be found in the latest ECU catalog.