2022-2023 Catalog 
    May 26, 2024  
2022-2023 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Physics Major, B.A.

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Professors Andereck, Haring-Kaye, Harmon, Trees

Two physics degrees are offered, the Bachelor of Science and the Bachelor of Arts, designed to meet the needs of a wide variety of students. The Bachelor of Science prepares the student for graduate study in physics or astronomy and for physics- or astronomy-related positions in industry or government, while the Bachelor of Arts is appropriate for pre-engineering students and for those wishing to pursue a career in secondary education, graduate school in a field cognate to physics, or professional school in medicine, dentistry, or law. Students interested in graduate school in biophysics, geophysics, oceanography, or other cognate interdisciplinary areas will be counseled on an individual basis regarding additional course selection. As freshmen, students wishing to pursue the B.S. or B.A. in Physics will normally complete the general physics sequence (PHYS 110 C , PHYS 110 L , PHYS 111 C , and PHYS 111 L ) and the introductory calculus sequence (MATH 110  and MATH 111 ).

Learning Objectives

A.  Students will develop the ability to think analytically and reason correctly about physical systems. This includes developing a mindset that involves seeing the big picture, recognizing and articulating key physical phenomena in a complex situation, and visualizing and analyzing a situation before writing down and manipulating equations. (Think like a physicist.)

B.  Students will develop the ability to solve multi-step, quantitative problems about physical systems using appropriate physical concepts as a guide and mathematics as a tool. (Be good problem solvers.)

C.  Students will develop the ability to perform careful measurements and or computational simulations and to analyze the experimental or computational results using standard techniques. This includes the ability to make, manipulate, and interpret graphs, to use simple statistical measures to characterize data, and to assess (experimental) uncertainty. (Experimental/computational techniques.)

D.  As they progress through the courses in the physics or astrophysics major, students will develop a body of knowledge about the structure, behavior and natural history of the physical universe. (Basic physics/astrophysics knowledge)

E.  Students will develop the confidence and persistence to tackle new and challenging problems and questions in creative ways using the knowledge and tools in physics/astrophysics that they have acquired. (Independence)

Major Requirements (Bachelor of Arts)

PHYS 110 C , PHYS 110 L , PHYS 111 C , PHYS 111 L , PHYS 275   or PHYS 375 , PHYS 280 C , PHYS 310  or PHYS 320 , PHYS 345 , PHYS 360  or PHYS 380 , PHYS 498 , PHYS 499 ; and one additional course from among PHYS 310 , PHYS 320 , PHYS 360 , PHYS 380  or ASTR 310 ; MATH 110 , MATH 111 , MATH 210 , MATH 280 .

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