Bachelor of Science in Physics - Astrophysics

The School of Physics offers two undergraduate degrees, the Bachelor of Science in Physics and the Bachelor of Science in Applied Physics. The basis of the Bachelor of Science in Physics degree is the traditional preparation of a student for graduate study in physics.

Each of the baccalaureate programs contains the following:

  1. courses needed to meet general institutional degree requirements;
  2. a core of technical courses intended to give a strong background in mathematics and the physical principles of mechanics, electricity and magnetism, thermodynamics, and the quantum theory that governs physical phenomena at the microscopic level of molecules, atoms, and nuclei;
  3. technical electives that enable the student to explore areas of his or her choice in greater depth;
  4. courses involving undergraduate research, and
  5. free electives, about fifteen percent of the total hours, which may be employed to schedule additional technical or nontechnical courses.

The considerable flexibility inherent in the physics curricula is advantageous to students who wish to work out individual programs of study. At the same time, this flexibility suggests the need for consultation with advisors so students can make the best use of elective hours and avoid scheduling difficulties that may arise in later semesters. Students may utilize their elective freedom in the physics curricula to specialize in particular areas of physics, to prepare for careers in interdisciplinary areas of science, to compose a preprofessional program, or to gain a background in other technical or nontechnical disciplines. Students should contact their academic advisor for assistance in planning programs of study with emphasis directed toward a particular objective. Since some students who earn a degree in physics have transferred from other disciplines, the School has planned its degree programs to enable most students to transfer into physics with little or no loss of credit.

A total of 120 credit hours (exclusive of wellness) and a grade-point average of at least 2.0 in physics courses numbered 3000 and higher are requisites for the bachelor's degree in physics.

Physics: Undergraduate Information

Wellness
APPH 1040Scientific Foundations of Health2
or APPH 1050 The Science of Physical Activity and Health
Core A - Essential Skills
ENGL 1101English Composition I3
ENGL 1102English Composition II3
MATH 1552Integral Calculus4
Core B - Institutional Options
CS 1301Introduction to Computing3
Core C - Humanities
Any HUM 6
Core D - Science, Math, & Technology
PHYS 2211Introductory Physics I 14
PHYS 2212Introductory Physics II 44
MATH 1551Differential Calculus2
MATH 1553Introduction to Linear Algebra2
Core E - Social Sciences
Choose one of the following:3
The United States to 1877
The United States since 1877
American Government in Comparative Perspective
Government of the United States
American Constitutional Issues
Any SS 9
Core F - Courses Related to Major
MATH 2551Multivariable Calculus4
MATH 2552Differential Equations4
CHEM 1310General Chemistry4
PHYS 2213Introduction to Modern Physics3
PHYS 3201Classical Mechanics I3
Upper-Level Physics
PHYS 3122Electrostatics and Magnetostatics3
PHYS 3123Classical Magnetism,Electrodynamics3
PHYS 3141Thermodynamics,Thermal Physics3
PHYS 3143Quantum Mechanics I3
PHYS 4142Statistical Mechanics3
PHYS 4143Quantum Mechanics II3
PHYS 4321Advanced Laboratory I3
PHYS 4601Senior Seminar I,Senior Student Seminar1
PHYS 4602Senior Student Seminar,Senior Seminar II1
Astrophysics Concentration
PHYS 2021Introduction to Astronomy I3
or PHYS 2022 Introduction to Astronomy II
PHYS 3021Nuclear Astrophysics and Stellar Evolution3
Choose one of the following:6
Relativity
Cosmology
Fundamentals of Astrophysics
Nuclei, Particles, and Fields
Physics Electives 2,35
Free Electives
Free Electives19
Total Credit Hours122

Student must have 2.0 in all PHYS classes 3000-level or higher

1

If PHYS 2231 is taken, extra hour goes toward Free Electives

2

PHYS ** or BIOL 4478, CHEM 3411, CHEM 3412, CHEM 3511, EAS 2750, EAS 4300, EAS 4430, ECE 4501, MATH 3215, MATH 4320, MATH 4347 MATH 4348, MATH 4581

3

Minimum of one class in PHYS 3211, PHYS 3226, PHYS 4322

4

If PHYS 2232 is taken, extra hour goes toward Free Electives

Research Option in Physics

The Research Option is intended for students who seek a concentrated research experience, culminating in an undergraduate thesis, integrated into their undergraduate studies in Physics. The purpose of this program is to prepare students who plan to go on to graduate research after their BS degree. This option includes three or four semesters of focused research in the student’s junior and senior years. Students who complete this option receive a designation on their transcript. For an undergraduate to fulfill the Research Option in the School of Physics, the student must fulfill the following requirements:

PHYS 4698Undergraduate Research Assistantship 19
or PHYS 4699 Undergraduate Research
LMC 4701Undergraduate Research Proposal Writing 21
LMC 4702Undergraduate Research Thesis Writing 31
Research Thesis 4
Total Credit Hours11
1

At least three credits must be PHYS 4699.

2

LMC 4701: Undergraduate Research Proposal Writing -typically taken during the first or second semester of research.

LMC 4702: Undergraduate Research Thesis Writing -taken during the term in which the thesis is completed.

3

Write and submit an undergraduate research thesis to the School of Physics based on the student’s research that is approved by the student’s research advisor.

Course requirements are detailed in brochures available from the School of Physics. For specific questions, students should contact the Associate Chair for Undergraduate Studies in the School of Physics.