The curriculum offered by the Department of Physics provides knowledge of the physical concepts that are basic to the laws of nature, and the ability to use these fundamental concepts to answer questions and solve real problems. You also gain an understanding of the relationship of physics to other fields such as astronomy, biology, engineering, chemistry, and medicine.
Physics majors are encouraged to work in a research laboratory. Such experience is especially useful if you want to pursue a career in science or engineering. Involvement in laboratory experimentation provides you with knowledge of modern electronic equipment and computerized instrumentation, such as digital circuitry and microprocessors. As a contributing member of a research group, you also get a real sense of the creative processes that are part of modern physics research.
You can choose from one of three plans leading to the bachelor of arts (B.A.) degree. Plan 1 is designed primarily for students who plan to pursue graduate study in physics or go directly into professional employment. Plan 2 is intended for students who wish to combine a physics major with other areas such as applied mathematics, biophysics, chemical physics, environmental science, history and philosophy of science, or premedicine. The applied physics program is also part of Plan 2. Plan 3 is a program designed specifically for those who wish to become elementary or secondary school teachers. It includes a teaching licensure in cooperation with the School of Education.
In addition to the requirements for the bachelor of arts in physics, you must also fulfill the general graduation requirements of the College of Arts and Sciences.
Students who are interested in declaring a Physics major within the College of Arts and Sciences should contact Catherine Weldon.
Our advisors and faculty mentors provide a wealth of information about the programs and academic tracks available in the Physics Department, and they work hard to help you stay on track for graduation. Advisors can provide information on the four-year guarantee program, designed to ensure you take the correct classes in order to graduate in four years. Graduating students are advised to visit the physics advisor the semester prior to graduation, in order to ensure degree requirements have been met.
Students are assigned a faculty mentor in order to guide their academic progress while pursuing a degree in physics. Students must meet with their assigned faculty mentor at least once a semester, prior to registering for classes.
Students should prepare for a meeting with a faculty mentor by knowing their current schedule and their plans for the future. Students should bring an advising form, and should visit faculty mentors during their office hours.