UNDERGRADUATE MAJOR: _B.A. in Physics___ CREDITS REQUIRED IN MAJOR: _61______
A student majoring in physics must take 37 credit hours of physics courses including some requirements and some electives as outlined below. In addition, the major requires 16 credits of mathematics courses, 8 credits of chemistry courses, and a demonstration of competency in computer programming.
To graduate as a physics major, a student must maintain a minimum GPA of 2.0 in all courses which satisfy the major requirement, and a minimum overall GPA of 2.0.
FOUNDATION/REQUIRED MAJOR COURSESCOURSE NUMBER / COURSE NAME / CREDITS / PREREQUISITES
PHY 121 / General Physics I / 4 / Completion of MAT 152 (recommended) or concurrent registration in MAT 152, or equivalent experience.
PHY 114 / Introductory Physics Laboratory I / 1 / Concurrent registration in PHY 121
PHY 123 / General Physics II / 4 / PHY 121 or equivalent and one semester of calculus
PHY 116 / Introductory Physics Laboratory II / 1 / Co-requisite: PHY 112 or PHY 123
PHY 211 / Nonclassical Physics I / 3 / PHY 123 or PHY 112, and MAT 152
PHY 213 / Nonclassical Physics II / 3 / PHY 211
PHY 221 / Classical Physics I / 3 / PHY 121 and prior or concurrent registration in MAT 252
PHY 223 / Classical Physics II / 3 / PHY 123, PHY 221, and MAT 252
PHY 225 / Classical Physics III / 3 / PHY 223
PHY 240 / Intermediate Laboratory I / 3 / Prior or concurrent registration in a 200-level physics course and two semesters of calculus
CHY 373 / Physical Chemistry II / 3 / Grade of C or better in CHY 115, MAT 152, and PHY 123
NON MAJOR REQUIREMENTS: ___25__ CreditsMAT 152 / Calculus A / 4 / MAT 140 or appropriate score on the College Level Math exam (for MAT 152)
MAT 153 / Calculus B / 4 / MAT 152
MAT 252 / Calculus C / 4 / MAT 153
MAT 350 / Differential Equations / 4 / MAT 252
CHY 113 / Principles of Chemistry I / 3 / Pre- or co-requisite: EYE (or concurrent), and MAT 108 (or concurrent) or MAT 140 (placement or concurrent) or MAT 152 (placement or concurrent) or permission.
CHY 114 / Laboratory Techniques I / 1.5 / Co-requisite: CHY 113
CHY 115 / Principles of Chemistry II / 3 / Grade of C or better in CHY 113
CHY 116 / Laboratory Techniques II / 1.5 / Co-requisite: CHY 115
SELECT Three credits from each of group A and B below
Group APHY 251 / Principles of Electronics / 3 / MAT 152 or equivalent, or permission of instructor
PHY 261 / Computational Physics / 3 / PHY 121 and prior or concurrent registration in MAT 153, or permission of instructor
PHY 281 / Astrophysics / 3 / PHY 221
PHY 375 / Optics / 3 / PHY 223 and two semesters of calculus
Group BPHY 242 / Intermediate Laboratory II / 3 / Prior or concurrent registration in a 200-level physics course and two semesters of calculus
PHY 311 / Quantum Mechanics / 3 / PHY 211, PHY 221, MAT 252, or permission from instructor.
MAJOR ELECTIVES: ___minimum 6___ CREDITS of physics courses 200 level or higher
CAPSTONE: 3 CREDITS
Students must fulfill the University Core curriculum requirements, including a Capstone course in the physics major (course varies by term).
Suggestions for demonstrating competency in computer programming include:PHY 261 / Computational Physics (recommended) / 3 / PHY 121 and prior or concurrent registration in MAT 153, or permission of instructor.
COS 160 / Structured Problem Solving: Java / 3 / Successful completion of the USM mathematics readiness requirement
COS 170 / Structured Programming Laboratory / 1 / Must be taken concurrently with COS 160
To graduate as a physics major, a student must maintain a minimum GPA of 2.0 in all courses that satisfy the major requirement, and a minimum overall GPA of 2.0.
MAJOR COURSES OVERLAPPING IN THE CORE:CORE AREA / COURSE NUMBER / COURSE NAME / REQUIRED BY MAJOR?
SE/ PHY 114 / Introductory Physics Laboratory I / yes
SE/ PHY 121 / General Physics I / Yes
CAP/ PHY ___ / Varies / Yes(see department)
QR / MAT 152 / Calculus A / Yes
SE / CHY 113 CHY 114 / Principles of Chemistry I
Laboratory Techniques I / Yes
Text from the 2017 – 2018 Catalog:
Students who major in physics are usually interested in the fundamental laws that describe how nature works. These laws are inherently mathematical in nature, so physics majors also are typically interested in and skilled at mathematics. Studying physics will educate students in the core areas of physics, from Newtonian Mechanics to Electromagnetism, Optics, and Quantum Mechanics. In addition, students will have advanced courses available from Optics, Electronics, Computational Physics, and Astrophysics. In their junior year, all physics majors take Intermediate Physics laboratory, where they work together in groups to perform more advanced laboratory experiments, learn more serious data and error analysis techniques, learn how to present data in a 10 minute talk, and learn how to typeset reports in a format suitable for professional journal publication. Physics majors will graduate with a good skill set for further scientific research or graduate school. Today, with computers playing such a vital role as tools to gather and analyze data, and to perform simulations, the department encourages students to take PHY 261 to satisfy their computing requirement.
All majors are strongly encouraged to get involved with research with a member of the faculty, as there is no better way to learn physics than being actively involved with research. Students who do well in their courses and are engaged in research within the department typically have a very good acceptance rate to graduate school Ph.D. programs in physics. Past graduates have attended graduate programs at State University of New York at Stony Brook, University of Rhode Island, Brandeis University, UCLA, Pennsylvania State University, all with full scholarships.
The physics program is small, but it has a dedicated faculty that teach all lectures and discussion sections, something that students will not find at larger institutions.
Core curriculum codes
EYE – Entry Year Experience
CW – College Writing
QR – Quantitative Reasoning
CE – Creative Expression
SCA – Socio-cultural Analysis
CI – Cultural Interpretation
SE – Science Exploration
EISRC – Ethical Inquiry, Social Responsibility, & Citizenship
DIV – Diversity
INT – International
CAP - Capstone