Professors S. Haan, J. Jadrich, L. Molnar
Associate Professors L. Haarsma, P. Harper (chair)
Assistant Professor J. Smolinski
The Physics and Astronomy Department offers programs of concentration for students interested in careers or graduate studies in physics, astrophysics, or related disciplines, and for students interested in high school physics teaching. Students intending to major in physics are advised to enter college with four years of mathematics and to complete their 100 and 200-level courses in mathematics and physics during their first and second years.
The physical world core requirement may be met by PHYS 132 , PHYS 133 , PHYS 212 , PHYS 221 , or PHYS 223 . The entire science core requirement (both physical world and living world) may be met by the two-course sequences of PHYS 132 /PHYS 133 or PHYS 133 /PHYS 235 .
The 32-hour major is intended primarily for students seeking a flexible program, e.g., those who are also majoring in another discipline or earning an engineering degree but have an active interest in physics. The major satisfies the college’s concentration requirement for graduation with a BA degree.
Students wanting a BS degree must complete a total of at least 58 semester hours of science and mathematics. Students interested in a physics-related career who want to earn a BS degree based on a physics major should complete the minimum requirements of the 32-hour physics major, including MATH 231 , plus at least one additional 300-level physics theory course. Additional courses in mathematics and computer science are also recommended.
Students planning to pursue graduate study in physics should take all of the advanced physics theory courses and at least three advanced laboratory courses listed in the physics major, all of the mathematics and computer science cognates listed in the physics major, including MATH 231 and MATH 333 . Students are also encouraged to complete as many of the following as possible: MATH 331 , MATH 335 , MATH 355 , MATH 365 , STAT 343 , CS 112 , and CS 374 . Students are also strongly encouraged to participate in summer research.
Students interested in astronomy or astrophysics careers should major in physics, minor in astronomy, and plan their programs with L. Molnar.
Students pursuing a physics major and optics minor must follow university guidelines for overlap between a major and a minor; this is facilitated by the option in the physics major of substituting upper-level courses for introductory ones.
Elementary and Secondary Integrated Science Studies Minor and Major
Students in the elementary or secondary education program wishing to major or minor in science should consult the Science Education Studies section of the catalog.
CoursesPhysics: Introductory CoursesPhysics: Advanced Laboratory CoursesPhysics: Advanced Theory Courses