Students who wish to major in physics will take courses which will prepare them for industrial or governmental positions or for graduate study in physics or allied fields.
The department offers two degree programs as well as a minor in physics. The Bachelor of Arts degree and the minor are designed for students who desire a flexible program so they can develop interdisciplinary competence. The Bachelor of Science degree places greater emphasis on physics and is designed to prepare students for careers in the physics profession or a closely allied profession. The Bachelor of Science degree is obtained in one of the following options: physics, applied physics, physics-computer science. These programs consist of a set of required core courses plus a selection of courses in a particular field. The core courses include the basic physics and mathematics courses which serve as a foundation for more advanced study.
In addition to the more traditional physics programs, the department also offers the B.S. and M.S. options in Health Physics. Health Physics, an applied science concerned with the protection of people and the environment from the detrimental effects of radiation and radioactive pollutants, is a relatively new branch of science which incorporates both the physical and biological sciences. The B.S. option in health physics will prepare the student for work in government, university, medical or industrial settings dealing with such areas as operational health physics, regulatory issues and environmental quality.
A student planning to do graduate work in physics should elect the B.S. physics option. Students may enter the M.S. program in Health Physics from several undergraduate majors including: health physics, physics, biology, chemistry and other science or engineering majors. Additional course work to correct deficiencies in undergraduate preparation may be required.
To declare a major in one of the physics programs, a student must have completed at least 24 semester hours and not be on probation. Declaration of major should be done as soon as possible in the student's program. For further details concerning the various B.S. options, please consult the Department of Physics.