Guide to Academic Planning 2018-2019

Physics

First- or second-year students planning to major in physics or participate in the dual degree engineering program should take the following:

  • MATH 130 Calculus I
  • MATH 140 Calculus II
  • PHYS 230 and 240 General Physics I and II (Calculus-based) 
              or 
    PHYS 235 and 245 General Physics I and II (Workshop)

Students who plan to take only one physics course may take any of the following, based on interest:

  • PHYS 100 Introductory Topics in Physics
  • PHYS 160 Astronomy
  • PHYS 170 Introductory Earth Science
  • PHYS 210 General Physics I  (If the student has not taken nor plans to take calculus.)
  • PHYS 230 General Physics I (Calculus-based)  (If the student has had or plans to take Calculus I concurrently.)
  • PHYS 235 General Physics I (Workshop) (If the student has had or plans to take Calculus I concurrently.)

Students who plan to take two courses in physics may take the following:

  • PHYS 210 and 220 General Physics I and II (If the student does not plan to take calculus.) 
  • PHYS 230 and 240 General Physics I and II (Calculus-based)(If the student has had or plans to take Calculus I concurrently.) 
  • PHYS 235 and 245 General Physics I and II (Workshop) (If the student has had or plans to take Calculus I concurrently.)

General Comments

  1. PHYS 230/240 General Physics I/II (calculus-based) is taught in a traditional format with three 50-minute lecture periods and a 2-hour 50-minute lab per week. PHYS 235/245 General Physics I/II (workshop) employs a pedagogy wherein the student spends the entire time in lab working in small groups and discovering the laws of physics through guided activities. It meets three times per week for 1-hour, 50-minutes at a time.
  2. The sequence of courses for a physics major is designed so that a student can complete the requirements in three years, if need be, but using all four years is recommended.
  3. A first-year schedule for a student undecided between a major in physics or another natural science should include the required introductory courses from both majors, if possible.

COURSE PLANNING

Table I presents a typical course schedule for the student planning to take four years to finish the physics major.

Table I

 

Fall Spring

First Year

MATH 130 Calculus I
PHYS 230 Gen Physics I (Calc-based w/Lab) 
or 
PHYS 235 Gen Physics I (Workshop)
MATH 140 Calculus II
PHYS 240 Gen Physics II (Calc-based w/Lab) 
or 
PHYS 245 Gen Physics II (Workshop)

Second Year

PHYS 305 Vibrations and Waves

CHEM 110 Gen Chem I: Struct & Prop (w/Lab)
MATH 260 Differential Equations

PHYS 315 Modern Physics (w/Lab)

Third Year

PHYS 430 Quantum Mechanics
or                                                              
PHYS 470 Thermal Physics                                          

PHYS 340 Electronics
or
PHYS 420 Electrodynamics
or
PHYS 480 Classical Mechanics


Fourth Year

PHYS 430 Quantum Mechanics
or
PHYS 470 Thermal Physics
PHYS 420 Electrodynamics
or
PHYS 480 Classical Mechanics

Notes

  • Calculus I should be taken prior to or concurrently with PHYS 230 or PHYS 235. Calculus II should be taken prior to or concurrently with PHYS 240 or PHYS 245. These courses are prerequisites for the fall semester second year courses:  PHYS 305 and MATH 260.
  • Topics courses and research may be taken in the third and fourth years.
  • PHYS 420 and PHYS 470 are offered only in even numbered years, PHYS 480 is offered only during odd numbered years. All other courses are offered every year. 

Table II presents a course schedule of a student planning to finish the physics major in three years.

Table II

Fall

Spring

First Year

MATH 130 Calculus I
PHYS 230 Gen Physics I (Calc-based w/Lab)
or
PHYS 235 Gen Physics I (Workshop)
CHEM 110 Gen Chem I: Struct & Prop (w/Lab)
MATH 140 Calculus II
PHYS
240 Gen Physics II (Calc-based w/Lab)  
or  
PHYS 245 Gen Physics II (Workshop)

 Second Year

MATH 260 Differential Equations 
PHYS 305 Vibrations and Waves
PHYS 470 Thermal Physics (or 3rd year)

PHYS 315 Modern Physics (w/Lab)
PHYS 320 Electrodynamics  
or  
PHYS 380 Classical Mechanics
PHYS 340 Electronics (w/Lab)

Third Year

PHYS 430 Quantum Mechanics
PHYS 470 Therman Physics (or 2nd year)                      

PHYS 420 Electrodynamics
or
PHYS 480 Classical Mechanics

Pre-Engineering Program

Students interested in the Pre-engineering (dual degree) program should follow Table II for the first year. Students interested in mechanical, electrical or civil engineering should also follow the second and third years of Table ll. Students interested in chemical engineering should major in chemistry.