Sep 25, 2020  
2020-2021 UMaine Undergraduate Catalog 
    
2020-2021 UMaine Undergraduate Catalog

Physics


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OVERVIEW OF DEGREE REQUIREMENTS - Bachelor of Arts  and Bachelor of Science in Physics

Minimum number of credits required to graduate: 120

Minimum Cumulative GPA required to graduate: 2.0

Minimum number of credits required to complete the major: BA 38; BS 55 (plus requirements in related disciplines)

Minimum Grade requirements for courses to count toward major: Physics courses require a C- or better to satisfy a prerequisite.

Other GPA requirements to graduate: Cumulative GPA of 2.0 or better in the courses in the major field that are credited toward the major.

Required Course(s) for fulfilling Capstone Experience: PHY 400 and PHY 481 or PHY 400 and PHY 482. HON 498/ 499 are exempt from taking PHY481 (Project Laboratory in Physics I) and PHY482 (Project Laboratory in Physics II) but do have to complete the project assignments in those courses.  Honors thesis proposal form must have the signature of the chair of the Department of Physics and Astronomy.

Courses satisfying the writing intensive requirement within the major: PHY 364 and PHY 365

Residency requirement:  Majors in the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences require a minimum of 15 institutional credits in the major.

Contact Information:  John Thompson, Chair, Department of Physics and Astronomy, 120 Bennett Hall, (207) 581-1039, umphysicschair@maine.edu 


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.

For more information about our undergraduate and graduate programs, program learning outcomes, internships, special resources and programs, and research and career opportunities, see our web site at https://physics.umaine.edu/.

Information about the Physics major

  • 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.

Requirements for the BA in Physics


Note: 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.

Suggested four-year plan 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 - Second Semester


Third Year - First Semester


Third Year - Second Semester


  • Credits: 2
  • Human Values/Social Context and Ethics Elective(s)and/or Elective(s) and/or Physics Elective(s) Credits: 12

Fourth Year - First Semester


Fourth Year - Second Semester


  • Human Values/Social Context and Ethics Elective(s)and/or Elective(s) and/or Physics Elective(s) Credits: 15

Suggestedfour-year plan 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 Elective1 Credits: 3
  • Electives Credits: 12

Second Year - Second Semester


Third Year - First Semester


Third Year - Second Semester


Fourth Year - First Semester


Fourth Year - Second Semester


  • Credits: 2
  • Human Values/Social Context and Ethics Elective(s)and/or Elective(s) and/or Physics Elective(s) Credits: 13

Note


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. 

Requirements for the BS in Physics


  • A minimum of 55 credits of physics (3 of which are elective; 56 credits if PHY 100  , our first-year success course, is taken). The physics electives must be chosen from AST 451 PHY 447 , PHY 470 , PHY 471 , PHY 482 , PHY 496 , PHY 501, or PHY 574.
  • 18 credits of mathematics (3 of which are elective; 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 mathematics elective, provided it is not also used as a physics elective.)
  • 7 credits of approved science and computer science courses.
  • ENG 101  
  • 36 credits of additional electives (18 of which satisfy the University’s General Education Human Values/Social Context and Ethics requirements), for an overall total of 120 credits.
  • First-year students must take PHY 100  . 
  • Note: 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 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 Chair of the Department of Physics and Astronomy.

Suggested four-year plan for the B.S. in Physics


First Year - First Semester


First Year - Second Semester


Second Year - Second Semester


Third Year - First Semester


Third Year - Second Semester


Fourth Year - First Semester


Fourth Year - Second Semester


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