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Physics Major

The physics curriculum begins by exposing students to a spectrum of topics ranging from Newton’s laws of motion to the foundations of quantum mechanics and ends by refining these topics conceptually and mathematically.  Since physicists eventually become preferentially oriented towards experimental, computational, or theoretical endeavors, the curriculum is designed to give students an opportunity to explore each of these orientations.  The major in physics is designed to meet the needs of students that intend to continue their study of physics in graduate school or pursue a physics-related career.

Major & Minor Requirements

Physics Major (73 hours)

Physics & Engineering 110, 121, 122, 203, 210, 310, 320, 340, 400, 430, 490, and 495
Chemistry 111 and 112
Computer Science 100, 111
Mathematics 190, 200, 230, 310, 320 and one of the following 340, 350, 420, 430 (Automatic Math Minor)
Students must take the ETS MFT in Physics in the last semester of their senior year.

Physics Minor (32 credits)

Mathematics 190, 200, and 230
Physics & Engineering 110, 121, 122, 203, 210, and 340

Typical Course Schedule (See Notes Below)

Year
Fall
Spring
1

PHEN 110 Intro to Physics and Engineering (2)
CPSC 100 Intro to Computing (3)
CHEM 111 General Chemistry I (4)
ENGL 121 English Composition (3)
IDIS 100 First Year Seminar (1)
PE 101 Concepts of Wellness (1)
Free Elective (1)

15 credits

PHEN 121 Classical Physics I (4)
MATH 190 Beginning Calculus (4)
CHEM 112 General Chemistry II (4)
Religious Understanding Elective (3)
PE 102-140 Phys. Ed. Elective (1)


16 credits

2

PHEN 122 Classical Physics II (4)
PHEN 210 Statics & Dynamics (4)
MATH 200 Intermediate Calculus (4)
IDIS 275 Arts & Humanities (3)
PE 102-140 Phys. Ed Elective (1)


16 credits

PHEN 203 Modern Physics (4)
CPSC 111 Computer Science I (3)
MATH 310 Multivariate Calculus (3)
SPCO 200 Speech Communication (3)
Free Elective (3)


16 credits

3

Free Elective (3)
PHEN 310 Optics (4)
MATH 230 Linear Algebra & Vectors (3)
Social Foundations Elective (3)
Moral Inquiry Elective (3)


16 credits

PHEN 320 Thermodynamics (4)
PHEN 340 Theoretical Physics I (3)
MATH 320 Differential Equations (3)
Western Heritage Elective (3)
Free Elective (3)

16 credits

4

PHEN 400 Electromagnetics (3)
Approved MATH Elective (3)
PHEN 490 Intro to Senior Project (1)
Western Heritage Elective (3)
International Perspectives Elective (3)

13 credits

PHEN 430 Theoretical Physics II (3)
PHEN 495 Senior Project (3)
Western Heritage Elective (3)
American Experience Elective (3)
Free Elective (3)

15 credits

Note 1: The above schedule includes all the Liberal Arts Essentials (LAE) requirements provided that two writing unit courses (with at least one at the 300 or 400 level) are included.

Note 2: There is some flexibility to deviate from the above schedule for LAE courses.

Note 3: It is strongly recommended that you follow the above schedule for all major courses and meet frequently with your academic advisor.

Note 4: When choosing electives, be sure to earn at least 9 credit hours from 300 and 400 level courses.