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Physics Courses & Requirements

Degrees Offered:

  • B.A.: Physics
  • B.S.: Physics
  • Minor: Physics

Course Listings

Click here to read complete descriptions of the Physics courses offered at Wittenberg.

Degree Overview:

Does the origin of the universe and its ultimate fate interest you? Do you want to know how space and time are related and if quarks are fundamental particles? If so, join the company of physicists who enjoy studying such fundamental questions. Do you have a desire to understand how devices operate? How efficient an engine can be? How to design a digital circuit to interface a computer to an instrument? How fiber optics can be used to transmit signals across the continent? These are practical questions that can be addressed using physics. Physics is the science that explores the fundamental behavior of nature.

Fascinating questions such as these provide the stimuli for physicists, yet the quest begins in an ordinary laboratory, learning that nature is orderly and its patterns can be discovered and comprehended. The behavior of ordinary particles and waves needs to be mastered before more complicated systems are examined. Concepts such as forces and energy provide the context for such explorations, and the results are far reaching. Broad areas such as astrophysics, high energy physics, condensed matter physics, nuclear physics, optics and acoustics have provided primary insights into the essence of nature. These results have in turn been applied by many other disciplines such as medicine, geology, chemistry and biology. Many fields of engineering such as electrical, mechanical, nuclear and aeronautical are based on the principles developed in physics. Training in physics provides a broad basis for careers in a vast number of science and engineering disciplines.

Our graduates often continue their studies in graduate school, furthering their education in a specific branch of physics or another science. Others seek careers in disciplines such as geophysics, oceanography, mathematics, computer science and engineering. In addition, some find areas such as law, business and education to be attractive. These are professions for which the technical information and the quantitative patterns of thinking learned in physics are highly relevant. Physicists are regarded as the generalists of the scientific community with the knowledge and skills that are applicable to a wide range of professions, and consequently, are always in demand.

Degree Requirements:

Checklist of course requirements for B.A./B.S. in physics

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Physics

Required in Physics (37 credits)
PHYS 200, 213, 214, 215, 218, 220, 311, 313, 350, 360, 460, a senior thesis, and eight additional credits taken at the 300-level or above, which must include at least four credits from one of the following: PHYS 330, 332 or 411.

Required in Related Departments
MATH 201, 202, and either MATH 212 or 215; either COMP 150 or a chemistry course taken at the 121-level or above, with CHEM 162 suggested.

Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Physics

Required in Physics (47 credits)
PHYS 200, 213, 214, 215, 218, 220, 311, 313, 350, 360, 460, a senior thesis, and 18 additional credits taken at the 300-level or above, which must include two credits of research and at least four credits from one of the following: PHYS 330, 332 or 411.

Required in Related Departments
MATH 201, 202, 212 and 215; COMP 150; CHEM 121 and 162.

Recommended for the Major
PHYS 312, 320, 321, 325, 330, 332 and 411; COMP 250; MATH 360

Department of Physics - Course schedules

When are the 200-level courses offered?

Course Fall Spring
Physics 200 X X
Physics 213/214/215   X
Physics 218 X  
Physics 220   X
Physics 205 X  

Typical first-year courses for physics or pre-engineering majors:
Option 1 (for students ready to take MATH 201):
Fall: PHYS 200, MATH 201
Spring: PHYS 213/214/215, MATH 202 and/or COMP 150

Option 2 (for students who can start with MATH 202):
Fall: PHYS 200, COMP 150
Spring: PHYS 213/214/215, MATH 202

Option 3 (for students who need to start with MATH 120):
Fall: MATH 120, COMP 150
Spring: PHYS 200, MATH 201

Minor in Physics

Requirements in Physics (19 credits)

  • PHYS 200, PHYS 215 and twelve additional credits taken at the 200-level or above

Required in Related Departments

  • MATH 201 (MATH 202 is suggested)

 

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