Physics Courses & Curriculum

The University’s program is exceptional in offering one of the few undergraduate physics programs in the region with biophysics, medical physics, pre-med, astrophysics, and materials science tracks.These tracks provide focus to upper-level courses and offer an applied, interdisciplinary connection with current issues in industry, medicine and research.

The culmination of the physics program is a capstone senior-level research course sequence in which each student is matched with a physics faculty mentor to complete a project and develop and deliver a formal seminar presentation.

The following is a typical curriculum for physics students entering the University in Fall 2015; other students should refer to their academic advisor for their curricula.

No Track Selected

First Year

Physics Orientation
Physics I
Principles of Chemistry I, II
Principles of Chemistry Lab I, II
Precalculus, Calculus I
Writing and Rhetoric I, II
Physical Education I, II
Humanities of Social Sciences General Education Requirement

Second Year

Physics II, III
Calculus II, III
Linear Algebra
Introduction to Probability
Humanities or Social Sciences General Education Requirement
Multidisciplinary Inquiry Requirements
Free Elective

Third Year

Modern Physics I
Mechanics
Mathematical Methods for the Physical Sciences I, II
Electronics
Differential Equations
Advanced Lab
Electricity and Magnetism
Optics and Wave Phenomena
Quantum Mechanics
Introduction to Communication

Fourth Year

Statistical Mechanics
Undergraduate Research in Physics
Advanced Research in Physics
Physics Seminar
Humanities or Social Sciences General Education Requirements
Physics Electives
Physics, Chemistry, Biology Elective
Free Electives

Astrophysics Track

First Year

Principles of Chemistry I, II
Principles of Chemistry Lab I, II
Physical Education I, II
Physics Orientation
Writing and Rhetoric I, II
Precalculus, Calculus I
Physics I
Humanities of Social Sciences General Education Requirement

Second Year

Calculus II, III
Physics II, III
Linear Algebra
Introduction to Probability
Free Elective
Humanities of Social Sciences General Education Requirement
Multidisciplinary Inquiry Requirements

Third Year

Differential Equations
Modern Physics I
Mechanics
Mathematical Methods for the Physical Sciences I, II
Electronics
Introduction to Communication
Differential Geometry
Advanced Lab
Electricity and Magnetism
Quantum Mechanics

Fourth Year

Statistical Mechanics
The Physics of Stars and Black Holes
Undergraduate Research in Physics
Physics Seminar
Optics and Wave Phenomena
Introduction to Cosmology
Advanced Research in Physics
Physics Elective
Free Electives
Humanities or Social Science General Education Requirements

Biophysics Track

First Year

Introductory Biology I, II
Principles of Chemistry I, II
Principles of Chemistry Lab I, II
Physical Education I, II
Physics Orientation
Writing and Rhetoric I
Precalculus, Calculus I
Physics I

Second Year

Principles of Organic Chemistry I, II
Principles of Organic Chemistry Lab I, II
Calculus II, III
Physics II, III
Writing and Rhetoric II
Introduction to Probability
Multidisciplinary Inquiry Requirement

Third Year

Linear Algebra
Differential Equations
Modern Physics I
Mechanics
Mathematical Methods for the Physical Sciences I, II
Electronics
Public Speaking
Advanced Lab
Electricity and Magnetism
Optics and Wave Phenomena
Quantum Mechanics

Fourth Year

Molecular Structure in Biochemistry
Statistical Mechanics
Undergraduate Research in Physics
Introduction to Communication
Physics Seminar
Biophysics I
Advanced Research in Physics
Humanities or Social Sciences General Education Requirements
Free Elective

Materials Science Track

First Year

Principles of Chemistry I, II
Principles of Chemistry Lab I, II
Precalculus, Calculus I
Physical Education I, II
Physics Orientation
Writing and Rhetoric I, II
Physics I
Humanities or Social Sciences General Education Requirement

Second Year

Calculus II, III
Physics II, III
Linear Algebra
Introduction to Probability
Free Elective
Humanities or Social Sciences General Education Requirement
Multidisciplinary Inquiry Requirements

Third Year

Differential Equations
Modern Physics I
Mechanics
Mathematical Methods for the Physical Sciences I, II
Electronics
Introduction to Communication
Advanced Lab
Electricity and Magnetism
Optics and Wave Phenomena
Quantum Mechanics

Fourth Year

Statistical Mechanics
Introduction to Materials Science
Undergraduate Research in Physics
Physics Seminar
Introduction to Nanoscience
Solid State Physics
Advanced Research in Physics
Free Electives
Humanities or Social Sciences General Education Requirements
Physics/Chemistry/Biology Elective

Medical Physics Track

First Year

Introductory Biology I, II
Principles of Chemistry I, II
Principles of Chemistry Lab I, II
Precalculus, Calculus I
Physical Education I, II
Physics Orientation
Writing and Rhetoric I
Physics I

Second Year

Principles of Organic Chemistry I, II
Principles of Organic Chemistry Lab I, II
Calculus II, III
Physics II, III
Writing and Rhetoric II
Introduction to Probability
Multidisciplinary Inquiry Requirements

Third Year

Molecular Structure in Biochemistry
Differential Equations
Modern Physics I, II
Mechanics
Electronics
Public Speaking
Advanced Lab
Electricity and Magnetism
Optics and Wave Phenomena
Humanities or Social Sciences General Education Requirements

Fourth Year

Advanced Electromagnetism
Physics of Radiation Therapy
Undergraduate Research in Physics
Physics Seminar
Biophysics I
Advanced Research in Physics
Free Elective
Humanities or Social Sciences General Education Requirements
Physics/Biology/Biochemistry Elective

Pre-Med Track

First Year

Introductory Biology I, II
Principles of Chemistry I, II
Principles of Chemistry Lab I, II
Precalculus, Calculus I
Physical Education I, II
Physics Orientation
Writing and Rhetoric I
Physics I

Second Year

Principles of Organic Chemistry I, II
Principles of Organic Chemistry Lab I, II
Calculus II, III
Physics II, III
Writing and Rhetoric II
Statistics Elective
Multidisciplinary Inquiry Requirements

Third Year

Molecular Structure in Biochemistry
Differential Equations
Modern Physics I, II
Mechanics
Electronics
Genetics
Introduction to Communication
Advanced Lab
Electricity and Magnetism
Optics and Wave Phenomena
Humanities or Social Sciences General Education Requirement

Fourth Year

Physics of Radiation Therapy
Undergraduate Research in Physics
Physics Seminar
Biophysics I
Advanced Research in Physics
Humanities or Social Sciences General Education Requirements
Physics/Biology/Biochemistry Elective
Free Elective

Additional general education courses are required as part of this program.

For detailed course descriptions and other information about the physics curriculum, see the University Catalog.

University Catalog
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