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Science and Mathematics

Physics

Professors Bambakidis (chair), Martin (Emeritus) Associate Professors Clark, Farlow, Foy, Hemsky (Emeritus), Listerman (Emeritus), Skinner, Wood (Emeritus)

Assistant Professor Basista, Kozlowski 

The Department of Physics offers programs leading either to a Bachelor of Science degree or a Bachelor of Arts degree in physics. The Department of Physics and the Department of Electrical Systems Engineering jointly offer a program leading to the Bachelor of Science in Engineering degree in engineering physics; see the Electrical Systems Engineering section of the College of Engineering and Computer Science chapter for more information on this program. Students in secondary education may earn the Bachelor of Arts degree in physics and enter the Professional Year Experience program of the College of Education and Human Services for licensure in physical sciences (life sciences/physics or earth sciences/physics).

 Minimum requirements for the Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Arts degrees in physics include successfully completing the required courses, with a GPA of at least 2.0 for all physics courses, as well as completing university and college degree requirements.

In addition to the required courses, the department requires, for the Bachelor of Science degree, that every physics major take PHY 494 or 499. The physics major who plans to pursue graduate study is also strongly urged to take the following courses: PHY 480, 481, 482; one to two years of a foreign language, either French, German, or Russian; and additional mathematics courses.

Degree Requirements—Physics 

Bachelor of Science Degree 

 

General Education Requirements 42
Areas one through four (not counting substitutions listed below)

Required Substitutions, which are also major program requirements:

MTH 229, 230 
PHY 240/200, 242/202, 244/204
 
 

Departmental Requirements

 

67 

PHY 240/200, 242/202, 244/204; or equivalent   16
 PHY 260, 371, 372 10
 PHY 315, 316, 322 10
PHY 420, 450, 451, 452, 460, 461, 462   25
PHY 494 6
 

Related Course Requirements

 

53

MTH 229, 230, 231, 232, 233, 253 28
MTH 332, 333 6
CHM 121, 122, 123, or 191, 192, 193 (or 361)  15
 EGR 153 or equivalent  4 
Electives 30
 

Total

 

192

Since the order in which courses are taken is important, students should closely follow the suggested programs for the required courses. 

Bachelor of Arts Degree 

 

General Education Requirements 42
Areas one through four (not counting substitutions listed below)
 Required Substitutions, which are also major program requirements: PHY 240/200, 242/202, 244/204 MTH 229, 230
 
 

Departmental Requirements

 

45

PHY 240/200, 242/202, 244/204, or equivalent 16
PHY 260, 315, 371, 450 13
PHY 316, 322, 372, 420, 451 (for licensure in physical sciences, PHY 446 is a required substitution for one of these courses) 16
 

Related Course Requirements

 

40

CHM 121, 122, 123 15
MTH 229, 230, 231, 232, 233 25
Electives outside of the Colleges of Science and Mathematics and Engineering and Computer Science 27
 General Electives 29
 

Total

 

183

  The department will use the results of the mathematics placement examination to determine the initial mathematics course best suited for the student. Students who do not have a strong science and mathematics background might choose to delay PHY 240, 242, 244. If these students are in the honors program, their schedule will need to be adjusted in the junior and senior years. They should consult their advisor as soon as possible to arrange a suitable program.

The Department of Physics encourages students interested in interdisciplinary study to pursue a double major in physics and a related discipline. A departmental advisor will help students arrange a suitable program of study. In addition, there are three formal physics degree option programs that follow.

Degree Requirements— Physics/Geophysics Option

Bachelor of Science Degree

 The Department of Physics, in cooperation with the Department of Geological Sciences, offers a program leading to a Bachelor of Science in Physics with a geophysics option. This option is designed for students who plan a career in physics in a geology-related setting or who plan to pursue graduate study in geophysics.

Students following the physics program with the geophysics option must meet the requirements of the basic physics degree program. In addition, the following courses are required.

 

Geophysics Option Requirements 34
GL 251, 253  6
GL 252, 254
PHY 422, 423, 424 13
Electives chosen from: 
GL 255, 311, 333, 420, 450, 463 
12 

In addition to these required courses, the department recommends that students pursuing the geophysics option also take GL 434 and participate in the geophysics seminars.

Degree Requirements— Physics/Computing Option 

Bachelor of Science Degree 

The Department of Physics offers a program leading to a Bachelor of Science degree in physics with a computing option. This option is designed for students who plan a career in any of the many areas of theoretical or experimental physics that involve extensive use of digital computers. 

Students following the physics program with the computing option must meet the requirements of the basic physics degree program. In addition, the following courses are required. 

 

Computing Option Requirements  27 
CS 240, 241, 242 12 
MTH 257   3
CS 400
CS 316, 317 8

    Students who wish to learn about micro-processors may wish to take further courses in computer engineering, such as CEG 260, 320, and 360. For these students, CEG 430 and 431 may be taken in place of CS 316 and 317.

Degree Requirements— Physics/Biology Option 

Bachelor of Science Degree 

The Department of Physics, in cooperation with the Department of Biological Sciences, offers a program leading to a Bachelor of Science degree in physics with a biology option. This option is designed for students who plan a physics career in a biology-related setting or who want to pursue graduate study in biophysics or medical physics.

 Students following the physics program with the biology option must meet the requirements of the basic physics degree program. In addition, the following courses are required.

 

 Biology Option Requirements 35 
BIO 112, 114, 115 12 BIO 492 (biophysics emphasis)  2
CHM 211, 212  12
 Electives chosen from:
 BIO 202, 306, 307, 402/405; BMB 421, 422
 9

Physics Education

 Students who wish to teach physical sciences in Ohio public high schools can pursue the B.A. degree in physics. Upon completion of this under-graduate degree program in the College of Science and Mathematics, students then need to complete the Professional Educators Program (PEP) through Wright State’s College of Education and Human Services. Graduates of the B.A. in physics and the Professional Educators Program are then eligible to seek licensure from the Ohio Department of Education in Physical Sciences. Licensure in Life Sciences/Physics, or Earth Sciences/Physics, can also be sought upon completion of programs based on the B.A. in Physics and PEP. 

Degree Requirements— Physical Sciences Education

Bachelor of Arts Degree (Physical Sciences) 

The Adolescence to Young Adult Physical Sciences Licensure Program is based on an undergraduate Bachelor of Arts degree in physics. 

 

General Education Requirements  42
Required Substitutions: 
PHY 240/200, 242/202, 244/204
 MTH 229, 230
 
Departmental Requirements 48–49
PHY 240/200, 242/202, 244/204   
PHY 107/117, 315, 371, 446, 450 36 
Physics Electives (15 cr. chosen from the following): 
PHY 316, 322, 372, 420, 451
12–13 
Related Course Requirements 117
BIO 112, 114  8 
CHM 121, 122, 123  15
CHM 211/215, 212/216, 213/217, 312/314, 451 28.5
GL 251/252, 253/254, 255/256  13.5
 MTH 229, 230, 231, 232, 233  25 
Electives outside the Colleges of Science and Mathematics and Engineering and Computer Science (must include ED 221, 223, 301, 303, EDS 333)  27 
Total 207 

Degree Requirements— Life Sciences/Physics Education 

Bachelor of Arts Degree 

The Adolescence to Young Adult Life Sciences/Physics Licensure Program is based on an under-graduate Bachelor of Arts degree in physics. 

 

General Education Requirements  42
Required Substitutions: 
PHY 240/200, 242/202, 244/204 
MTH 229, 230
 
 

Departmental Requirements 

 

 48–49 

PHY 240/200, 242/202, 244/204   
PHY 107/117, 260, 315, 371, 446, 450  36 
Physics Electives Select from the following: 
PHY 316, 322, 372, 420, 451 
12–13 
 

Related Course Requirements 

 

114.5 

BIO 112, 114, 115, 210, 211, 212, 252, 278, 279, 426, 492  43 
CHM 121, 122, 123  15 
GL 251/252  4.5
MTH 229, 230, 231, 232, 233  25 
Electives outside the Colleges of Science and Mathematics and Engineering and Computer Science (must include ED 221, 223, 301, 303, EDS 333)  27
Total  204.5-
205.5

Degree Requirements— Earth Sciences/Physics Education 

Bachelor of Arts Degree 

The Adolescence to Young Adult Earth Sciences/Physics Licensure Program is based on an undergraduate Bachelor of Arts degree in physics. 

 

General Education Requirements  42
Required Substitutions: 
PHY 240/200, 242/202, 244/204 
MTH 229, 230
 
 

Departmental Requirements 

 

 48–49 

PHY 240/200, 242/202, 244/204   
PHY 107/117, 260, 315, 371, 446, 450  36
Physics Electives Select from the following: 
PHY 316, 322, 372, 420, 451 
12–13 
 

Related Course Requirements 

 

114.5 

BIO 112 
GL 201 or 304, 251/252, 253/254, 255/256, 309, 311 or 420, 401, 485, 486 or 342 or 399 (four cr.), 499 (Oceanography)  43.5 
MTH 229, 230, 231, 232, 233  25 
Electives outside the Colleges of Science and Mathematics and Engineering and Computer Science (must include GEO 330 or 331, and ED 221, 223, 301, 303; EDS 333)  27 
Total  204.5-
205.5

Physics Honors Program 

The Department of Physics has an Honors Program designed to provide superior students with a program that offers greater creativity and intellectual challenge. Students who wish to participate in this program must apply to the department during the spring quarter before they plan to enter the Honors Program. Interested students should have at least a 3.0 GPA overall and at least a 3.0 in physics courses numbered 300 and above. To graduate with honors in physics, students are required to complete PHY 480, 481, 482, and nine hours of honors research (499) with grades of “B” or better. 

Dual Major Program in Physics and Mathematics 

The dual major in physics and mathematics is designed for students majoring in physics who wish to gain a strong background in mathematics. This can be particularly valuable for those planning graduate study.

Since the physics major program for the Bachelor of Science degree requires 34 hours of mathematics, and the mathematics component of the major requires 45 hours, 11 additional hours of mathematics need to be taken. To earn a dual major, students must take the following mathematics courses:

 

1.MTH 229, 230, 231, 232, 233, 332, 333  31
2.MTH 255 and 355 (Matrix Algebra) must be taken in place of MTH 253. If MTH 253 has already been taken, the student must still take MTH 355 6
3.Eight hours of electives must be selected from restricted lists of courses. For a student in this program, the natural choice would be to select three courses from MTH 431, 432, 433, 480, 481, 482. 8
 

Total

 

45

 

In addition, students must: 

 

4. take CS 141 and CS 142 or EGR 153 or equivalent (total eight hours); and
5.complete the other nonmathematical requirements of the physics major.

Minor Programs 

Students majoring in another department may earn a minor in physics. A minor can help prepare students for an interdisciplinary graduate program or serve as a supportive credential for employment. The minor requires a minimum of 35 credit hours as specified in the following: 

Minor Requirements—Physics 

 

Departmental Requirements 35
Required Courses 
PHY 240/200, 242/202, 244/204 (or PHY 111/101, 112/102, 113/103, 240, 242) 
16 
PHY 260, 315, 371  10
Elective Courses 
(Nine hours chosen from the following courses as approved in advance by the Department of Physics) 
PHY 316, 322, 372, 400, 401, 420, 432, 450, 451, 452, 460, 461, 462, 494 (maximum three hours) 
9

.

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