Bachelor of Science in Applied Physics

The School of Physics offers two undergraduate degrees, the Bachelor of Science in Physics and the Bachelor of Science in Applied Physics.

The degree program in applied physics may be better suited for entry into industry or government upon graduation, preparation for further professional training (medicine, law, dentistry, or business), or preparation for graduate study in some other discipline. The applied physics program differs from the traditional one in that a few courses intended primarily as preparation for graduate study in physics are replaced by courses oriented toward the applications of physics.

Each of the baccalaureate programs contains the following: a) courses needed to meet general institutional degree requirements; b) a core of technical courses intended to give a strong background in mathematics and the physical principles of mechanics, electricity and magnetism, thermodynamics, and the quantum theory that governs physical phenomena at the microscopic level of molecules, atoms, and nuclei; c) technical electives that enable the student to explore areas of his or her choice in greater depth; d) courses involving undergraduate research, and e) free electives, about fifteen percent of the total hours, which may be employed to schedule additional technical or nontechnical courses.

The considerable flexibility inherent in the physics curricula is advantageous to students who wish to work out individual programs of study. At the same time, this flexibility suggests the need for consultation with advisors so students can make the best use of elective hours and avoid scheduling difficulties that may arise in later semesters. Students may utilize their elective freedom in the physics curricula to specialize in particular areas of physics, to prepare for careers in interdisciplinary areas of science, to compose a preprofessional program, or to gain a background in other technical or nontechnical disciplines. Students should contact their academic advisor for assistance in planning programs of study with emphasis directed toward a particular objective.

Since some students who earn a degree in physics have transferred from other disciplines, the School has planned its degree programs to enable most students to transfer into physics with little or no loss of credit.

A total of 120 credit hours (exclusive of wellness) and a grade-point average of at least 2.0 in physics courses numbered 3000 and higher are requisites for the bachelor's degree in physics.