Physics (BSc Program)

Ahmed Hussein, Professor Emeritus

Erik Jensen, Professor and Chair
Ian Hartley, Professor
Elie Korkmaz, Professor
Matthew Reid, Professor
Mark Shegelski, Professor
Patrick Mann, Adjunct Professor
Jamie Sanchez-Fortun Stoker, Adjunct Professor
George Jones, Senior Lab Instructor

Physics is the study of nature at its most fundamental level. As such it is the science upon whose principles all other sciences and technologies are based. Because it is so basic, a major in physics is ideal preparation, not only for further study in physics, but also for advanced study in such diverse fields as biophysics, medicine, astrophysics, chemical physics, engineering, meteorology, and computer science.

Major in Physics

A major in Physics requires students to complete 49 credit hours of Physics; 27 credit hours of these must be at the upper-division level.
PHYS 307-3 (Selected Topics in Environmental Physics) may not be used as Physics credit toward any Physics major, minor, or joint major.

The minimum requirement for completion of a Bachelor of Science degree with a major in Physics is 120 credit hours.

Program Requirements

Lower Division Requirement

100 Level
CHEM 100-3General Chemistry I
MATH 100-3Calculus I
     or MATH 105-3Enriched Calculus
MATH 101-3Calculus II
PHYS 110-4Introductory Physics I: Mechanics
PHYS 111-4Introductory Physics II: Waves and Electricity
CPSC 100-4Computer Programming I
     or CPSC 110-3Introduction to Computer Systems and Programming

200 Level
MATH 200-3Calculus III
MATH 201-3Introduction to Complex Analysis
MATH 220-3Linear Algebra
MATH 230-3Linear Differential Equations and Boundary Value Problems
PHYS 200-3Thermal Physics
PHYS 202-4Electromagnetism and Optics
PHYS 205-3Modern Physics I

Four additional credit hours of Physics at the 200 level [other than PHYS 215-3 (Energy, Physics and the Environment)].

Upper-Division Requirement

300 Level
MATH 336-3Intermediate Differential Equations
PHYS 300-3Classical Mechanics
PHYS 302-3Quantum Mechanics I
PHYS 310-3Classic Electromagnetism I

400 Level
PHYS 400-3Quantum Mechanics II
PHYS 401-3Seminar on Contemporary Topics in Physics
PHYS 407-3Statistical Mechanics

Nine additional credit hours of Physics at the 300 or 400 level.

Elective and Academic Breadth Requirement

Elective credit hours as necessary to ensure completion of a minimum of 120 credit hours, including any additional credits necessary to meet the Academic Breadth requirement of the University (see Academic Regulation 15).

Recommended electives include:

CPSC 101-4Computer Programming II
     or CPSC 311-3Computer Applications Programming
CHEM 101-3General Chemistry II
CHEM 200-3Physical Chemistry I
MATH 335-3Numerical Analysis I
STAT 371-3Probability and Statistics for Scientists and Engineers

BSc Honours - Physics

The Honours Program in Physics offers students a higher level of physics education and physics research experience for proceeding to postgraduate studies in physics or related fields. Honours students must complete the program requirements for the BSc degree in Physics (Major in Physics). In addition, they must complete PHYS 402 for a minimum of 3 credit hours and submit for approval an undergraduate thesis or research project report under the supervision of a faculty member.

Students can seek entry to the Honours program after the completion of 60 credit hours with a Cumulative GPA of at least 3.33, and their continuance in the program also requires maintaining a Cumulative GPA of 3.33 or better. Entry to the Honours Program is at the discretion of the Physics Department.

Chemistry/Physics Joint Major

See Calendar entry under Chemistry.

Computer Science/Physics Joint Major

See Calendar entry under Computer Science.

Mathematics/Physics Joint Major

See Calendar entry under Mathematics.

Minor in Physics

Students interested in obtaining a minor in Physics must complete 27 credit hours of Physics, of which 12 must be at the upper level.

A maximum of four courses (consisting of two 100-level courses plus two courses at the 200 level or beyond to a maximum of 15 credit hours) which are used to fulfillrequirements for a major (or another minor) may also be used to fulfill requirements for a minor in Physics.

The following courses are required:
PHYS 110-4Introductory Physics I: Mechanics
PHYS 111-4Introductory Physics II: Waves and Electricity
PHYS 202-4Electromagnetism and Optics
PHYS 205-3Modern Physics I
 Twelve credit hours of 300 or 400 level PHYS. 

The upper division courses are selected in consultation with an advisor from the Physics Department to reflect the student's specific interests.  PHYS 307-3 (Selected Topics in Environmental Physics) may not be used as Physics credit toward any Physics major, minor, or joint major.