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The Department of Physics and Astrophysics offers a major and minor in physics, and a minor in astrophysics. Majors may elect to earn a general physics degree or to specialize in one of four tracks. The five physics degree options are:
1. No specialization
2. Applied Physics Track
3. Astrophysics Track
4. Computers in Physics Track
5. Materials Science Track
Each track leads to a Bachelor of Science with Major in Physics, awarded through the College of Arts and Sciences. A total of 125 credits is required for graduation. In addition to other University Graduation Requirements (See pages 27-31) and the courses specified for one of the five options listed below, all Physics majors must complete successfully the following set of core courses:
Phys. 251, 252, 253 University Physics I, II, III (12 cr)
Phys. 251L, 252L, 253L Laboratory Corequisites (0 cr)
Phys. 317, 318 Mechanics I, II (6 cr)
Phys. 324 Thermal Physics (3 cr)
Phys. 325 Optics (3 cr)
Phys. 325L Optics Laboratory (1 cr)
Phys. 327, 328 Electricity and Magnetism I, II (6 cr)
Phys. 415 Research Experience (3 cr)
Phys. 428 Modern Physics Laboratory (2 cr)
Phys. 431, 432 Quantum Mechanics I, II (6 cr)
Chem. 121, 122 General Chemistry I, II (6 cr)
Chem. 121L, 122L Laboratory Corequisites (2 cr)
Math 165, 166, 265 Calculus I, II, III (12 cr)
Math 226 Elementary Differential Equations (3 cr)
Math 352 Partial Differential Equations (3 cr)
Math 327 Applied Linear Algebra (3 cr)
To provide proper advisement, the Department of Physics and Astrophysics requires its majors to meet with their physics advisors prior to registration each semester. This ensures each student is enrolled in appropriate classes and helps the department schedule certain courses in a timely manner. A hold is placed on registration for physics majors until this advisement session takes place. It is the student's responsibility to schedule the advisement session.
Beyond completion of the core listed above, and the general education requirements, all physics majors must complete one of the following options, together with additional electives for a total of 125 credits.
I.General Physics option: This is a general physics degree offering maximum flexibility. It is appropriate for students who may seek advanced degrees, for instance, or who are interested in medical school. Beyond the core, the student must complete an additional 9 credits of Physics numbered above 300. No more than 3 credits of these 9 may be in Special Problems, Physics 492.
II. Applied Physics track: This choice will provide interdisciplinary training in applied physics and applied electronics with emphasis on instrumentation and measurement technique. The aim is to prepare the student to work as part of a research team in an industrial, government or academic setting. In addition to the core, the student must complete:
1. EE 206 Circuit Analysis (3 cr)
2. EE 321 Electronics I (3 cr)
3. EE 308 Electronics Lab (2 cr)
4. Phys. 402 Computers in Physics (3 cr)
5. EE 452 Microprocessor Hardware(3 cr)
In addition, students electing the applied physics track should select an instrumentation project as a means of satisfying the research core requirement, Phys 415.
III. Astrophysics track: This option is for students with special interest in astronomy, astrophysics, space exploration or aerospace applications. The following are required.
1. Phys 110 Intro. Astronomy (3cr)
2. Phys 110L Intro. Astronomy Lab (1cr)
3. Phys 434 Nuclear Physics (3 cr)
4. Phys 460 Intro. Astrophysics (3 cr)
5. Phys 461 Intro. Astrophysics II (3 cr)
To satisfy the research requirement, Phys 415, students in the astrophysics track should select an approved astrophysics project.
IV. Computers in Physics track: This choice provides extensive experience using computers for running experiments, analyzing data, doing computer simulations and calculations in physics. The student should be prepared to learn programming languages. The following are required.
1. CSci 160 Computer Sci. I (4 cr)
2. CSci 161 Computer Sci. II (4 cr)
3. Phys. 402 Computers in Phys. (3 cr)
For the Computers in Physics track, students should seek out computational research projects for Phys. 415, or laboratory projects involving computer instrumentation
V. Materials Science track: This option provides the strongest foundation in solid state and materials science. Required are:
1. Phys 320 Intro. Materials Sci. (3cr)
2. Phys 420 Topics in Materials (3 cr)
3. Phys 437 Solid State Phys (3 cr)
Students in this track should select approved research projects in materials science as a means of satisfying the Phys 415 requirement.