Physics Department

Physics Degree Requirements

The department offers both a minor and a major in physics. In addition, we support a special track for those interested in a Dual Degree Program in Engineering. We have designed the BA degree program in physics so that it is possible to complete the physics major in three years. But that is a challenging task.

The department places a strong emphasis on undergraduate research and provides the support and time for students to become actively involved in projects either on campus or off campus.

In addition to coursework, physics majors are required to complete a senior comprehensive exam. Students have two options for the examination. The first option is to take the GRE Physics test administered by the Educational Testing Service (ETS). The second option is to take an exam given by the physics faculty. The grade for the Senior Capstone Experience is based on student performance on one of these examinations.

The following degree requirements are those reflected in the fall 2014 course catalog.

Major

The major consists of the following course requirements.

  • 14 courses distributed as follows:
    • Physics (9)
      • PHYS 210 General Physics I
          or
        PHYS 230 General Physics I (Calculus-based)
      • PHYS 220 General Physics II
          or
        PHYS 240 General Physics II (Calculus-based)
      • PHYS 305 Vibrations and Waves
      • PHYS 315 Modern Physics
      • PHYS 320 Electrodynamics
      • PHYS 330 Quantum Mechanics
      • PHYS 340 Electronics
      • PHYS 370 Thermal Physics
      • PHYS 380 Classical Mechanics
    • Mathematics (3)
      • MATH 130 Calculus I
      • MATH 140 Calculus II
      • MATH 260 Differential Equations
    • Chemistry (1)
      • CHEM 110 General Chemistry I: Chemical Structure and Properties
          or
        CHEM 150 Accelerated General Chemistry
    • Electives (1)
      • CHEM 120 General Chemistry II
      • CSCI 150 Foundations of Computer Science
      • CSCI 385 Scientific Computing
      • EDUC 290 Science in Personal and Social Perspectives
      • MATH 230 Multivariable Calculus
      • MATH 270 Linear Algebra
      • PHYS 450 Directed Research
      • PHYS 490 Topics in Physics

PHYS 490 Topics in Physics, MATH 270 Linear Algebra, and CSCI 150 Foundations of Computer Science are useful preparation for graduate study in physics or engineering. All physics majors should do a research project while at Hendrix. Consult with any physics faculty member about research opportunities.

Minor

The minor degree plan normally consists of the following course requirements.

  • 7 courses distributed as follows:
    • PHYS 210 General Physics I
       or
      PHYS 230 General Physics I (Calculus-based)
    • PHYS 220 General Physics II
       or
      PHYS 240 General Physics II (Calculus-based)
    • PHYS 305 Vibrations and Waves
    • PHYS 315 Modern Physics
    • MATH 130 Calculus I
    • MATH 140 Calculus II
    • MATH 260 Differential Equations

Cooperative Programs in Engineering

Hendrix College participates in Dual Degree programs in engineering with Columbia University, Vanderbilt University, and Washington University in St. Louis.

Students will normally spend three years at Hendrix and then transfer to an engineering school to complete their studies. Under optimum conditions it is possible for students to complete both courses of study in five years and they would then receive two bachelor degrees, a BA from Hendrix College and a BS in engineering from the affiliated school.

Students should contact the engineering advisor, Dr. Ann Wright, immediately if they are interested in engineering. Only by careful planning and hard work can the program be accomplished in the planned five years of study.

Students interested in chemical engineering should normally major in chemistry. All other engineering fields would normally major in physics. Both options require accelerated sophomore and junior years, so that the the students will complete the requirements of the major in three years. Those interested in computer engineering should consult with Dr. Wright.

More information can be found in the downloadable program brochure.