2018-2019 Undergraduate Catalog 
    
    Dec 19, 2018  
2018-2019 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 Thompson, Chair, Department of Physics and Astronomy, 120 Bennett Hall, (207) 581-1015, umphysicschair@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: John Thompson, Chair, Department of Physics and Astronomy, 120 Bennett Hall, (207) 581-1015, umphysicschair@maine.edu 


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.

Scholarships 

The Department of Physics and Astronomy has several large scholarship endowments. The department awards between 25 and 35 scholarships each year to its undergradute majors. 

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


The B.A. degree in physics requires a minimum of 35 credits in physics, CHY 121/CHY 123, ENG 101 and 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 231, PHY 236, PHY 262, PHY 364 (or PHY 365), PHY 400, PHY 451, PHY 454, and PHY 481. The 15 credits in mathematics must include MAT 126, MAT 127, MAT 228, MAT 259 or their equivalents. First-year students must also take PHY 100.

The student must meet the necessary requirements to satisfy the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences BA requirements as stated on the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences  page of the catalog and six credits of approved science, engineering or mathematics electives. 

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 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 Model 1


The following curriculum shows how a typical student can complete the requirements with physics courses spread out over four years.  There are many other possible arrangements, and usually the student will design an individualized program with an advisor from the Department of Physics and Astronomy.

Minimum Total Credits in the BA in Physics Program: 120 (without PHY 100).

First Year - First Semester


First Year - Second Semester


Second Year - First Semester


Second Year - Second Semester


Third Year - First Semester


Third Year - Second Semester


  • 2  PHY 365 - Mechanics Laboratory Credits: 2
  • Physics Elective Credits: 3
  • Human Value/Social Context and Ethics Elective VI1 Credits: 3
  • Elective Credits: 6

Fourth Year - First Semester


Fourth Year - Second Semester


  • Electives Credits: 15

Required Courses in a Suggested Sequence for the B.A. in Physics Model 2


The following curriculum is designed for those students who desire a degree in Physics but who wish greater breadth in background in other areas of science - such as biological, geological, chemical or environmental sciences.  The program outlined below enables a student to begin a major in Physics during the sophomore year.

Minimum Total Credits in the BA in Physics Program: 120 (without PHY 100)

First Year - First Semester


First Year - Second Semester


  • Human Value/Social Context and Ethics Elective II Credits: 3
  • Electives Credits: 12

Second Year - First Semester


Second Year - Second Semester


Third Year - First Semester


Third Year - Second Semester


Fourth Year - Second Semester


  • 2  PHY 365 - Mechanics Laboratory Credits: 2
  • Physics Elective Credits: 3
  • Human Value/Social Context and Ethics Elective VI1 Credits: 3
  • Electives Credits: 6

Footnote:


1Human Values/Social Context and Ethics (HV/SC & E), part of the University General Education Requirement, can be satisfied by a careful  selection of at least six three-credit courses. 

2Two writing intensive courses are required to satisfy the University’s General Education Requirement.  A student must choose one of the following options:

  1. Take both PHY 364 and PHY 365;
  2. Take either PHY 364 or PHY 365 and another writing intensive course.

The Bachelor of Science in Physics


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 physics elective must be chosen from AST 451, PHY 447, PHY 470, PHY 471, PHY 482, PHY 496, PHY 501, or PHY 574.

Five courses in mathematics (in addition to a computer programming course) are required for the BS degree. A minor in mathematics can be earned with one additional mathematics course beyond these five and our required PHY 231. 

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 - Second Semester


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