2023-2024 Catalog 
    Nov 28, 2023  
2023-2024 Catalog

Physics Pre-Engineering (3-2) Program

Professors Harmon, Trees
Assistant Professor Ding


The Department of Physics and Astronomy offers a Bachelor of Arts degree in physics for students who pursue the pre-engineering option. First-year students in this major 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 ).  Pre-engineering students must also take a year of introductory chemistry (CHEM 110  and CHEM 111 ) during their time at OWU.  Some of these requirements can be met by transfer of credits, proficiency examinations, or advanced placement.

This major begins with three years of study at OWU, followed by two years at an engineering school. Upon successful completion of the engineering school program, the student will receive a Bachelor of Arts in Physics-Pre-Engineering from OWU and a Bachelor of Science in Engineering degree from the engineering school. Students who meet all University graduation requirements including the completion of at least 24 courses (each a full unit course, a 1.25-unit course or two modular 0.50-unit courses in the same department) and maintain at least a 3.00 cumulative grade point average overall and in the major (with exceptions noted below) during residence on campus may transfer to an engineering school at the end of their third year for two more years of study (see Combined Bachelor’s/Professional Degrees ). Students must also complete the department’s assessment exercises before departing OWU. OWU has cooperative arrangements with several engineering schools, including: Case Western Reserve University, Washington University in St. Louis (Washington University requires a grade point average of 3.25 overall and in mathematics and science courses for admission to their program), and the California Institute of Technology (admission to Caltech is not automatic for those qualified, and is considered on a case-by-case basis by that institution). In addition, qualified students can usually transfer without difficulty to engineering schools with which OWU has no formal pre-engineering arrangements. Students are counseled individually in course selection suitable for the engineering field.

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

PHYS 110 C  and PHYS 111 L : General Physics I 

PHYS 111 C  and PHYS 111 L : General Physics II

PHYS 280 Contemporary Physics  

PHYS 345 Advanced Physics Lab  

PHYS 375 Digital Electronics  

PHYS 310 Mechanics  or PHYS 320 Thermal and Statistical Physics  

PHYS 360 Electromagnetic Theory  or PHYS 380 Quantum Mechanics I  

CHEM 110 General Chemistry I  

CHEM 111 General Chemistry II  

MATH 110 - Calculus I  

MATH 111 Calculus II  

MATH 210 Multivariable Calculus  

MATH 280 Differential Equations  

Recommended: CS 110 , MATH 270 , MATH 330 , MATH 380 . Successful completion of all course work at the engineering school is also a requirement for the B.A. in Physics from Ohio Wesleyan for this option. This option is appropriate for students wishing to pursue aeronautical, ceramic, civil, computer, electrical, electronic, environmental, industrial, materials, mechanical, or nuclear engineering.