The Physics major gives students a solid understanding of the most fundamental laws of nature – from the microscopic world of subatomic particles to the scale of the whole Universe. As an exact natural science, physics is an invaluable venue to understand the method of scientific investigation, its powers and limitations. Our students develop strong analytical and quantitative skills and the ability to apply a variety of mathematical models to natural phenomena. The laboratory component of the curriculum trains them to perform real-world observations, collect and analyze data, and compare experimental results with theoretical predictions.
Classical and modern physics cannot be separated from mathematics. Mathematics seems to be the language in which the laws of nature are written and thus mathematical theories have influenced enormously the development of physics. At the same time, many fields of mathematics emerged driven by the needs of physics. A student completing our physics major develops a strong working mathematical knowledge, intuition and skills.
Our core curriculum gives the necessary theoretical and practical minimum for every physicist with courses on general physics, mechanics, quantum physics, electricity and magnetism, and thermodynamics and statistical physics. Then our students can choose different paths ranging from theoretical and mathematical physics to applied areas such as materials science and computational physics.
Students completing the major can continue their education or pursue a career not only in physics, but also in chemistry, biology, mathematics, engineering, economics and finance.
The Physics curriculum is designed to ensure that students achieve the following competencies and skills:
- Acquire solid understanding of the basic laws of nature;
- Develop experimental, observational, and other technical skills and the ability to collect, process and analyze data ;
- Practice the application of various mathematical methods and theories to solving physics problems and achieve working understanding of the mathematics involved;
- Build an understanding of the method of scientific investigation – from observation to building a model/hypothesis to verification;
- Develop strong analytical and quantitative skills; and,
- Explore a wide range of applications of the acquired knowledge and methods in and outside of physics.
Students graduating with a Bachelor's degree in Physics are well-prepared for a graduate study in physics, but also in other STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) fields. According to a study of the American Institute of Physics, about 60% of Physics graduates with Bachelor's degrees in the US continue their studies in graduate school, while the remaining 40% enter directly the workforce at various job positions, requiring analytical, technical and problem-solving skills.
Among the latter more than 50% enter the STEM private sector, about 10% become high school teachers and the same number take jobs in government and national laboratories.
The Physics major provides a good option for students pursuing double major, and whose other major requires strong analytical, quantitative, deductive, and modeling skills.
Total: 38 credit hours
Required Courses (23 credit hours)
MAT 212 Calculus III – Multivariate Calculus and Geometry
PHY 110 Physics I
PHY 120 Physics II
PHY 210 Classical Mechanics
PHY 220 Theory of Electromagnetism
PHY 230 Quantum Physics
PHY 310 Thermodynamics and Statistical Mechanics