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The University of Maine    
 
    
 
  Oct 19, 2017
 
2017-2018 Undergraduate Catalog

Physics


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OVERVIEW OF DEGREE REQUIREMENTS - Bachelor of Arts in Physics

Minimum number of credits required to graduate: 120

Minimum Cumulative GPA required to graduate: 2.0

Minimum Grade requirements for courses to count toward major: None.

Other GPA requirements to graduate: A minimum accumulative GPA of 2.0 (“C”) in the major.

Required Course(s) for fulfilling Capstone Experience: PHY 400 and PHY 481 or PHY 400 and PHY 482

Contact Information:  John R. Thompson, Chair, Department of Physics and Astronomy, (207) 581-1030, thompsonj@maine.edu


OVERVIEW OF DEGREE REQUIREMENTS - Bachelor of Science in Physics

Minimum number of credits required to graduate: 120

Minimum Cumulative GPA required to graduate: 2.0

Minimum Grade requirements for courses to count toward major: A minimum accumulative GPA of 2.0 (“C”) in the major.

Other GPA requirements to graduate: None.

Required Course(s) for fulfilling Capstone Experience: PHY 400 and PHY 481 or PHY 400 and PHY 482

Contact Information: Michael Wittmann, Chair of Department of Physics and Astronomy, 120 Bennett Hall, (207) 581-1015


The Department of Physics and Astronomy offers programs of study in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences that lead to the degrees of Bachelor of Science in Physics and Bachelor of Arts in Physics. The BS degree is customarily the prerequisite for graduate education in physics, astronomy or related areas, preparatory for careers in basic or applied research and development. The B.S. degree places a strong emphasis on physics and mathematics. The BS degree is the recommended program for students planning further study of physics in graduate school or who desire a more in-depth physics experience. The B.A. degree in physics is a traditional liberal arts program emphasizing physics, together with a substantial distribution of course work outside the areas of science and mathematics. The BA degree, in addition to preparing the student for an entry level position in industry, can accommodate pre-medical preparation, secondary science education certification, pre-law, and technical writing careers, to name only a few.

The Department also offers a Bachelor of Science in Engineering Physics in the College of Engineering. This BS degree is designed for students who are interested in both a particular engineering field and the physics and mathematics that provide a foundation for that field. This program is described under Engineering Physics in the College of Engineering section of this catalog.

Physics and Cooperative Education
Physics majors in good standing who have completed 18 credits in physics may participate in the Cooperative Education Program. Cooperative Education is the integration of practical work experience, obtained through specific periods of employment in industry, business, or government, into the on-campus classroom and laboratory course curriculum. A student in the Cooperative Education Program works as a paid employee in a professional environment at a job selected by mutual agreement with the student, employer, and the Cooperative Education Coordinator in the Department of Physics and Astronomy. Academic credit is received through enrollment in PHY 496, Field Experience in Physics.

The requirements listed on this page are specific to this particular major. Students are also responsible for meeting any graduation requirements set out by their college. Students in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS) should make sure to review those requirements as stated on the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences  page of the catalog.

The Bachelor of Arts in Physics


Requirements:
The B.A. degree in physics requires a minimum of 35 credits in physics, CHY 121/123, ENG 101and 15 credits in mathematics. The 35 credits in physics (above PHY 100) must include PHY 121 and PHY 122 (or PHY 111 and PHY 112), PHY 200, PHY 223, PHY 229, PHY 230, PHY 236, PHY 238, PHY 441 and/or PHY 442, PHY 454, and PHY 476 and PHY 481. It must also include at least one 400-level course chosen from AST 451, PHY 447, PHY 455, PHY 462, PHY 463, PHY 469, PHY 470, PHY 472, and PHY 480. The 15 credits in mathematics must include MAT 126, MAT 127, MAT 228 and MAT 259 or their equivalents. First-year students must also take PHY 100.

The student must include among elective courses those needed to satisfy the University’s General Education requirements and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences B.A. requirements, and six credits of approved science, engineering or mathematics electives.  A minimum of 72 credits must be outside the major.

A student preparing for graduate work in physics is advised to take some or all of the following electives in his or her junior or senior year: PHY 462, Physical Thermodynamics; PHY 463, Statistical Mechanics; PHY 470, Nuclear Physics; PHY 480, Physics of Materials; as well as additional courses in mathematics.

Required Courses in a Suggested Sequence for the B.A. in Physics


First Year - First Semester


First Year - Second Semester


Second Year - First Semester


Second Year - Second Semester


Third Year - First Semester


Third Year - Second Semester


Fourth Year - Second Semester


  • Electives Credits: 15
     

1 With the approval of the Chair of the Department of Physics and Astronomy and in consultation with the student’s academic advisor, students may substitute PHY 111/112, for PHY 121/122.

The Bachelor of Science in Physics


Requirements:
The B.S. degree requires a minimum of 52 credits of physics (9 of which are elective) above PHY 100, 18 credits of mathematics (3 of which are elective) and 10 credits of approved science and computer sciences courses (3 of which are elective). In addition, the student must take ENG 101 and 36 credits of additional electives (18 of which satisfy the minimum credits to satisfy the University’s General Education requirements) for an overall total of 120 credits. The mathematics elective is usually chosen from MAT 262, STS 332, STS 434, MAT 452, MAT 453, MAT 454, or MAT 471. PHY 574 may be used here as the math elective, provided it is not also used as a physics elective. The three physics electives must be chosen from AST 451, PHY 447, PHY 462, PHY 470, PHY 471, PHY 472, PHY 473, PHY 480, PHY 482, PHY 496, PHY 501, or PHY 574.

The following course schedule represents the suggested curriculum for a typical student in the Bachelor’s of Science in Physics program. Courses listed by number and name are required for the B.S. degree. Substitutions may be made for some courses on approval of the student’s advisor and of the Chairperson of the Department of Physics and Astronomy. First-semester, first-year students must also take PHY 100.

Required Courses in a Suggested Sequence for the B.S. in Physics


First Year - First Semester


First Year - Second Semester


Second Year - First Semester


Second Year - Second Semester


Third Year - First Semester


Third Year - Second Semester


Fourth Year - First Semester


Fourth Year - Second Semester


  • PHY 463 - Statistical Mechanics Credits: 3
  • Electives Credits: 9
  • Physics Elective III Credits: 3
  •  

    1Approved science elective must be from a discipline other than AST, COS, MAT or PHY

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