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home > undergraduate studies > major tracks

Possible Major Tracks

 

(1) Professional Physics

 

This track is primarily intended for those students who are planning to continue in graduate school in physics, astronomy, or a related field. First, two courses from the following four are required:

 

a. PHYS 179 Electricity and Magnetism II (3 credits)
b. PHYS 183 Physical Mechanics II (3 credits)
c. PHYS 191 Quantum Physics II (3 credits)
d. PHYS 195 Experimental Physics II (3 credits)

 

Second, choose any two of the remaining courses, including those from the above group (a-d) that the student has not yet taken. In practice, the student has the choice of any of the 3-credit, 100-level courses offered by the Department of Physics and Astronomy.

 

e. PHYS 154 Computational Physics I (3 credits)
f. PHYS 176 Optics (3 credits)
g. PHYS 180 Electronic Physics I (3 credits)
h. PHYS 192 Introduction to Mathematical Physics I (3 credits)
i. PHYS 193 Introduction to Mathematical Physics II (3 credits)

 

(2) Applied Physics

 

These tracks are primarily intended for those students who are not planning to continue in graduate school in physics, astronomy, or a related field. Four tracks are listed below. The student is required to choose their scheme carefully in consultation with a member of the Department of Physics and Astronomy. Courses other than those listed below (e.g., courses which are listed as prerequisites to those below) might also qualify.

 

I. Atmospheric Physics Track

This track is intended primarily for those students who plan a career in any of the atmospheric sciences: meteroology, or graduate study in atmospheric physics. Choose four courses from below, with PHYS 150 required and PHYS 251 strongly recommended.

 

a. PHYS 150 Introduction to Atmospheric Physics (3 credits)
b. PHYS 251 Atmospheric Physics II (3 credits)
c. ATMS 330 Atmospheric Chemistry I** (3 credits)
d. ATMS 331 Atmospheric Chemistry II** (3 credits)
e. ATMS 340 Geophysical Fluid Dynamics I** (3 credits)
f. ATMS 341 Geophysical Fluid Dynamics II** (3 credits)
g. PHYS 154 Computational Physics I (3 credits)
h. PHYS 253 Atmospheric Radiation** (3 credits)
i. PHYS 254 Remote Sensing of the Atmosphere** (3 credits)

 

**Denotes a current graduate course that can be taken at an undergraduate level. Of course, different work will be required for undergraduate and graduate students.

 

II. Biological Physics Track

This Track is primarily intended for students interested in studying biological physics. Choose any four of the courses below with PHYS 174 required

a. PHYS 174 Introduction to Biophysics (3 credits)
b. CHEM 141 Organic Chemistry I (3 credits)
c. CHEM 142 Organic Chemistry II (3 credits)
d. CHEM 152 Biochemistry I (3 credits)
e. CHEM 153 Biochemistry II (3 credits)
f. BIOL 101 Biology I (4 credits)
g. BIOL 102 Biology II (4 credits)
h. BIOL 320 Molecular Biology (4 credits)
i. HHPL 102 Human Anatomy (3 credits)
j. HHPL 103 Physiology (3 credits)

 

III. Computational Physics Track

This track is intended primarily for students interested in using computational techniques for solving complex physical problems.  Physics 154 and 155 are required for the track.  In addition, choose two additional courses from the following list:

a. SYCS 235 Computer Science I Lab
b. SYCS 363 Large Scale Programming
c. SYCS 135 Computer Science I
d. SYCS 410 Modeling and Simulation
e. MATH 181 Discrete Structures
f. MATH 164 Introduction to Numerical Analysis

An alternate elective can be petitioned to the curriculum committee.

IV. Physics Education Track  


This track is intended primarily for those students who plan a career in physics education. Required courses are EDUC 210, EDUC 310, EDUC 410.  One final 3 credit 100 level physics elective course or a 3 credit education course is required for the physics education track, but it is highly recommended that students take EDUC 450 (12 credits).  All of the education courses, 210, 310 410, and 450, are required for certification to become a physics teacher for grades 9 through 12.

Required:
a. EDUC 210 Foundations & Urban Education (3 credits)
b. EDUC 310 Educational Psychology & Special Education (3 credits)
c. EDUC 410 Pedagogy & Content Literacy (3 credits)
d. upper level physics or education course(3 credits) - or take EDUC 450(12 credits).

Highly recommended:
d. EDUC 450 Internship & Classroom Management (12 credits)

 V. Astrophysics and Astronomy Track

This track is intended for students who plan to pursue a career in astronomy or astrophysics.  Required courses are Phys 140, 141, 143, and 145.

a. PHYS 140 Introduction to Astronomy and Astrophysics I (3 credits)
b. PHYS 141 Introduction to Astronomy and Astrophysics II (3 credits)
c. PHYS 143 Observational Astronomy (3 credits)
d. PHYS 145 Cosmology and Modern Astrophysics (3 credits)