The Physics Major
The physics program includes a core of physics courses that will give students the quantitative problem solving skills that are the hallmark of a physics degree. For students wishing to continue to graduate school in physics, the faculty in physics at RWU engage in research and have been active in incorporating students into their work. The physics major also allows students who choose to work in industry to select electives from a variety of departments to tailor their degree plan to any of the number of fields open to physics graduates.
After completing the requirements for a B.S. in Physics, students will be able to:
1. Construct mathematical solutions to quantitative problems at the advanced undergraduate level from the four major branches of physics: classical mechanics, quantum mechanics, electromagnetism, and thermodynamics/statistical physics.
2. Communicate the major ideas of physics to a non-technical audience.
3. Communicate both advanced and fundamental concepts and ideas in physics to a technical audience.
4. Demonstrate a breadth of knowledge of disciplines outside of physics that prepares the student for further work either in industry or academia.
5. Apply the principles of problem solving used in physics to real world scenarios to find innovative solutions.
Majors pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Physics must satisfy University Core Curriculum requirements and the College speech requirement, COMM 210. In addition, they must complete the following courses and a sufficient number of electives to total 120 credits. Majors are encouraged to apply electives toward a minor or second major.
Students must maintain a GPA of 2.0 or better in these courses.
MATH 213 Calculus I and Lab
MATH 214 Calculus II and Lab
MATH 317 Differential Equations
MATH 331 Linear Algebra
PHYS 201 Physics I with Calculus and Lab
PHYS 202 Physics II with Calculus and Lab
PHYS 320 Modern Physics
PHYS 340 Classical Mechanics
PHYS/MATH 370 Mathematical Methods for the Physical Sciences
PHYS405 or ENGR460 Electricity and Magnetism
PHYS 420 Quantum Mechanics
ENGR330 or CHEM391 Thermodynamics
PHYSICS ELECTIVE COURSES
Students must take at least 6 credit hours of additional physics (PHYS) courses with 3 credit hours at the 300 level or above.
ADDITIONAL ELECTIVE COURSES
Students must take an additional 6 credit hours selected from the list of approved out of department electives or any physics (PHYS) courses at the 300 level or above. Some of the courses listed have prerequisites below the 300-level which may be taken as part of a student’s free electives.
Approved out of department elective courses
Chemistry: CHEM392 Quantum Chemistry
CHEM433 Advanced Physical Chemistry
Computer Science: COMSC 330 Software Design
COMSC 335 Theory of Computation
COMSC 340 Analysis of Algorithms
COMSC410 Artificial Intelligence
COMSC415 Machine Learning
Engineering: ENGR300 Mechanics of Materials and Lab
ENGR305 Fluid Mechanics and Lab
ENGR310 Materials Science
ENGR337 Finite Element Analysis
ENGR 350 Theory and Design of Mechanical Measurements
ENGR360 Signals and Systems
ENGR431 Mechanical Vibrations
ENGR433 Heat Transfer
Environmental Science: NATSC305 Marine Geology
NATSC315 Meteorology and Climatology
Mathematics:MATH305 Mathematical Modeling
MATH 315 Probability and Statistics
MATH342 Numerical Analysis
MATH 351 Calculus of Several Variables
MATH 371 Real Analysis
MATH 381 Complex Analysis