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  Jul 28, 2017
 
 
    
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2012-2013 University Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Physics – Major


Physics is the fundamental science of nature, encompassing the tiniest and largest things in the world—and every scale in-between. In past centuries, physicists have unraveled laws governing the forces of nature and explored the structure of matter at the deepest level. Today some of the most exciting discoveries in physics are at the nanoscale—the realm of atoms and molecules—and apply to biological materials as well as other types of substances.

USciences offers a unique bachelor of science in physics degree. The program is exceptional in offering one of the few undergraduate physics programs in the region with biophysics 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 student learning experience in the program is a capstone senior-level research course sequence where each student is matched with a physics faculty mentor to complete a project and develop and deliver a formal seminar presentation.

Students who obtain a bachelor of science in physics degree could potentially go on to engineering, medical, graduate, teaching, and other professional schools, as well as a career in industry or any other pursuit in which knowledge of physics is a prerequisite. By concentrating in the biophysics degree track, students will get a heavier emphasis in biological sciences that would benefit them in careers as a medical physicist, biomedical researcher, or imaging/MRI professional. In the materials science track, students will receive a heavier focus on new materials and nanostructures useful in the development of new biomedical technologies, cancer research, alternative sources of energy, the next generation of computers, and engineering functions.

Students in the physics program will:

  • Understand the discipline-specific knowledge in physics.
  • Be able to integrate knowledge of physics with knowledge from other disciplines.
  • Have strong physics reasoning and problem-solving skills and be able to apply these skills to the solution of theoretical and applied problems.
  • Have strong skills in applying experimental methods.
  • Be able to read and understand scientific literature.
  • Be able to communicate effectively, both orally and in writing, with both professionals and non-professionals.
  • Be able to work effectively within a team and to assume a leadership role.
  • Have a broad educational background.
  • Understand the application of physical techniques to biological systems (biophysics track).
  • Understand the properties of matter on the atomic and molecular scales and how these relate to macroscopic structures (materials science track).

Physics Degree Requirements – No Track Selected


The minimum number of credit hours to earn a BS in physics is 122. In addition to the university’s general education requirements, the following are needed for the program:

Unrestricted Electives (18 credits)


Footnote:


Students who select PY 330 or PY 335 will receive credit toward the major requirements only if they complete an additional mathematical research project.

Additional Requirements


In order to earn a degree from the Misher College of Arts and Sciences, a student must complete thirty (30) in-residence credits at a University campus. Fifteen (15) of the thirty in-residence credits must be at the 300 level or higher. In-residence credits are defined as credits for courses offered by the University for which a student receives credit and a grade that can contribute to the student’s calculated grade point average.

Sample Physics Curriculum Plan (No Track Selected)


Students entering in Catalog Years 2009 and beyond (graduating classes of 2013 and beyond)—with general education.

First Year


Second Year


Fall Semester


  • General Education Requirement Credits: 3
  • Free Elective Credits: 3

Intellectual Heritage I Credits: 3


(Choose one)

Credits/Semester: 17


Spring Semester


  • Free Elective Credits: 3

Intellectual Heritage II Credits: 3


(Choose one)

Credits/Semester: 16


Third Year


Credits/Semester: 15


Spring Semester


  • General Education Requirement Credits: 3

Credits/Semester: 16


Fourth Year


Fall Semester


  • Physics Elective Credits: 3
  • Physics Elective Credits: 3
  • General Education Requirement Credits: 3
  • Free Elective Credits: 3

Credits/Semester: 14


Spring Semester


  • Physics Elective Credits: 3
  • Free Elective Credits: 3
  • Free Elective Credits: 3
  • Free Elective Credits: 3

Credits/Semester: 15


Total Minimum Credits for BS Degree (No Track Selected): 122


Physic Degree Requirements – Biophysics Track


 The minimum number of credit hours to earn a BS in physics with the biophysics track is 129. In addition to the University’s general education requirements, the following are needed for the program:

Biophysics Track Biology/Biochemistry Electives (9 credits)


Unrestricted Electives (3 credits)


Additional Requirements


In order to earn a degree from the Misher College of Arts and Sciences, a student must complete thirty (30) in-residence credits at a University campus. Fifteen (15) of the thirty in-residence credits must be at the 300 level or higher. In-residence credits are defined as credits for courses offered by the University for which a student receives credit and a grade that can contribute to the student’s calculated grade point average.

Sample Physics Curriculum Plan – Biophysics Track


Students entering in Catalog Years 2009 and beyond (graduating classes of 2013 and beyond)—with general education.

First Year


Second Year


Third Year


Intellectual Heritage I Credits: 3


(Choose one)

Credits/Semester: 18


Intellectual Heritage II Credits: 3


(Choose one)

Credits/Semester: 16


Fourth Year


Fall Semester


  • Biology/Biochemistry Elective Credits: 3
  • General Education Requirement Credits: 3
  • General Education Requirement Credits: 3
  • Free Elective Credits: 3

Credits/Semester: 17


Spring Semester


  • Biology/Biochemistry Program Elective Credits: 3
  • Biology/Biochemistry Program Elective Credits: 3
  • General Education Requirement Credits: 3

Credits/Semester: 15


Total Minimum Credits for BS Degree with Biophysics Track: 129


Physics Degree Requirements – Materials Science Track


 The minimum number of credit hours to earn a BS in physics with the materials science track is 125. In addition to the University’s general education requirements, the following are needed for the program:

Materials Science Track Requirements (6 credits)


Unrestricted Electives (9 credits)


Additional Requirements


In order to earn a degree from the Misher College of Arts and Sciences, a student must complete thirty (30) in-residence credits at a University campus. Fifteen (15) of the thirty in-residence credits must be at the 300 level or higher. In-residence credits are defined as credits for courses offered by the University for which a student receives credit and a grade that can contribute to the student’s calculated grade point average.

Footnote:


Students who select PY 330 or PY 335 will receive credit toward the major requirements only if they complete an additional mathematical research project.

Sample Physics Curriculum Plan – Materials Science Track


Students entering in Catalog Years 2009 and beyond (graduating classes of 2013 and beyond)—with general education.

First Year


Second Year


Fall Semester


  • General Education Requirement Credits: 3
  • Free Elective Credits: 3

Intellectual Heritage I Credits: 3


(Choose one)

Credits/Semester: 17


Spring Semester


  • Free Elective Credits: 3

Intellectual Heritage II Credits: 3


(Choose one)

Credits/Semester: 16


Third Year


Credits/Semester: 15


Spring Semester


  • General Education Requirement Credits: 3

Credits/Semester: 16


Fourth Year


Fall Semester


  • Physics Elective Credits: 3
  • Physics Elective Credits: 3
  • General Education Requirement Credits: 3
  • Free Elective Credits: 3

Credits/Semester: 17


Spring Semester


  • Physics Elective Credits: 3
  • Free Elective Credits: 3
  • Free Elective Credits: 3

Credits/Semester: 15


Total Minimum Credits for BS Degree with Materials Science Track: 125