Physics and Astronomy

Physics and Astronomy

Physics and Astronomy
Hours68 - 69 Credit Hours
MAPMajor Academic Plan

Program Requirements

No more than 3 hours of D credit is allowed in major courses.
requirement 3 Complete 1 option
requirement 4 Complete 1 option
Senior thesis:
Complete a senior thesis, including the following:
A. Choose a research mentor and group as early as possible, starting with information in Phscs 191 and 192, and discussions with faculty, your advisor, and the senior thesis coordinator. It is best to start as a freshman or sophomore. Some internships may qualify for your project.
option 4.1 Complete 2.0 hours from the following course(s)
requirement 5
Students are required to take the Physics "Major Field Test" the last semester before they graduate. The test is a standardized assessment of undergraduate physics written by ETS (Educational Testing Service). The ETS website contains a description of the exam and sample problems: Results of the exam do not appear on the transcript or affect the GPA. Students should contact the Physics undergraduate secretary to make arrangements for taking the exam; typically it's done in the Testing Center before mid-semester.
Note: Students planning on graduate school in astronomy should consider taking all four of Phscs 360, 442, 452, 471, instead of only two. Gain statistics and computer programming skills beyond what you get in this major by taking courses such as Stat 201 (Statistics for Engineers and Scientists) and courses such as Phscs 430 (Computational Physics 3) and Me En 373 (Introduction to Scientific Computing).
Program Outcomes: 

Physics Theory and Application

Students will be able to apply principles to model and solve representative problems both analytically and computationally, at an introductory level from the primary physical theories (classical mechanics, quantum mechanics, special relativity, thermodynamics, electromagnetism and optics), and at an advanced level from classical mechanics, electricity and magnetism, and in topics chosen from quantum mechanics, optics and thermal physics. Apply physical theories to the solution of astrophysical problems.

Observation and Computational Skills

Students will be able to locate and observe astronomical objects, write scientific programs to simulate physical systems, and analyze astrophysical data.

Effective Communication

Communicate professionally to a technical audience both orally and in writing. Be able to understand scientific ideas by reading books and journal articles.

Professional Ethics

Students will be able to understand scientific ethical practices and demonstrate them in the conduct of scientific research.

Research and Professional Preparation

Students will be able to conduct astronomical or astrophysical research under the direction of a faculty mentor to contribute to the generation of new knowledge, and prepare to do this professionally.