Undergraduate Catalog
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Physics

Department of Physics

Physics Major (B.S.)

Program objectives for a B.S. in Physics are: (a) knowledge of core principles in classical mechanics, electromagnetism, thermal physics, quantum mechanics, mathematical methods, optics, and modern physics; (b) ability to discriminate between relevant and irrelevant principles and facts in problem solving; (c) an understanding of research methodology in physics; (d) ability to effectively communicate scientific results in both oral and written reports; (e) ability to use computers for data analysis, literature search, scientific writing, and the ability to use other specialized research equipment; (f) ability to collaborate with other students in and out of the laboratory and during problem-solving.

A. University General Education Program (41 hours)

See Graduation from the University for the University General Education Program requirements. Note the following requirements specified for the Physics major: Mathematics - MATH 1910; Natural Science - CHEM 1110/1111, 1120/1121.

B. College and Degree (B.S.) Requirements (12 hours)

The College and Bachelor of Science requirements are in addition to the University General Education Program requirements and are listed above.

C. The Major: (51-54 hours in addition to University General Education Program and B.S. degree requirements)

1. Completion of PHYS 2110/2111, 2120/2121 (PHYS 2010/2011, 2020/2021 are acceptable, but not recommended), 3010, 3011, 3111, 3211, 4211, 4410, 4510; CHEM 1110/1111, 1120/1121 (the CHEM courses are included in the University General Education Program requirements); MATH 1910 (this course is included in the University General Education Program requirements), MATH 1920, MATH 2110, 3120, or equivalent courses.

2. Concentrations:

a) General Physics (12 hours): PHYS 3060, plus nine hours of elective PHYS courses, six of which must be upper division.

b) Materials Science (15 hours): PHYS 4610, 4720, 4820, 4994, plus one of PHYS 4020, 4060, 4230, MECH 3320, MECH/CIVL 3322.

D. Electives

Electives may be chosen to bring the total number of hours to 120.

E. Dual-Degree Programs

Highly motivated and talented students may pursue an undergraduate degree (B.S.) in Physics followed by a graduate (M.S.) in either Physics or Biomedical Engineering in a special five-year program. This option requires serious commitment, careful planning with the student's advisor, and summer research work leading toward a Master's thesis. Students interested in pursuing this option should contact an undergraduate advisor in the Physics department.

F. Second Major for Engineering Students

A total of twenty-nine (29) semester hours beyond PHYS 2110/2111 and PHYS 2120/2121, many of which will count toward the engineering degree or are already required by the engineering major. Since Biomedical, Civil, Computer, Electrical, and Mechanical engineering students take different courses to satisfy their degree requirements, the program for the second major in physics is different for each engineering discipline. For details, please contact the Department of Physics or the Physics web site at:

http://www.memphis.edu/physics/academics_undergrad_2ndmajor.htm

 G. Second Major for the Bachelor of Science Degree

A total of twenty-nine (29) semester hours beyond PHYS 2110/2111 and PHYS 2120/2121, many of which are already required by the primary major. Since the students in each B.S. degree-granting department take different courses to satisfy their degree requirements, the program for the second major in Physics is different for each discipline. For details, please contact the Department of Physics or check the Physics website at:

http://www.memphis.edu/physics/academics_undergrad_2ndmajor.htm

Physics Minor

Completion of 20 semester hours in physics courses, including PHYS 2110/2111, 2120/2121 (PHYS 2010/2011, 2020/2021 are acceptable but not recommended), and 12 additional upper division hours.

Honors Program

This program is open to physics majors who maintain a grade point average of at least 3.25, both overall and in physics, have achieved junior standing, and have completed PHYS 3060. Students admitted to the honors program must complete 8 hours of upper-division physics honors courses: (1) PHYS 4991/4992 Honors Research in Physics, where the student will conduct original scholarly work under the direction of an honors research advisor; (2) PHYS 4999 Senior Honors Thesis, where the student will write a thesis based upon background reading and the experimental research completed in PHYS 4991/4992; (3) PHYS 4911 Senior Honors Seminar, where the student will give a presentation based on the work completed in PHYS 4991/4992.

Those students who complete the physics honors program and the regular college requirements will be recognized at the commencement ceremony by having their degree conferred "With Honors in Physics." Moreover, the student's diploma and record at the University of Memphis will reflect this distinction.

Accelerated B.S./M.S. Program in Physics

This program allows outstanding undergraduates to begin the coursework for the Master of Science in Physics during their senior year. Students are encouraged to begin planning to enter the Accelerated B.S./M.S. program early in their undergraduate career, in consultation with their advisor in the Department of Physics.

Working with the undergraduate and graduate academic coordinators, undergraduates selected into this program begin a carefully tailored course of study which will allow them to complete their B.S. degree while they also begin the coursework toward their M.S.

To apply, students must have a minimum 3.25 grade point average, and must submit two reference letters and a copy of their transcript to the Physics department. Each applicant will complete an interview with the graduate academic coordinator in physics.

Students must also apply to the Graduate School for the accelerated B.S./M.S. program, which allows them to take graduate courses in physics. To continue in the program past the B.S., students must apply for full admission into the Graduate School and into the Physics department's M.S. program.

Only in ABM programs, up to 9 hours of graduate course work may be applied to both the undergraduate and graduate programs. However, any graduate coursework will not apply to undergraduate GPA.

Typical 4-Year Physics Sequence
General Physics Concentration

Freshman Year

PHYS 2110/2111 4 PHYS 2120/2121 4
MATH 1910 4 MATH 1920 4
Foreign Language/B.S. 3 Foreign Language/B.S. 3
ENGL 1010 3 ENGL 1020 3
       
Semester Totals 14 hrs   14 hrs

Sophomore Year

PHYS 3010 3 PHYS 3011 3
MATH 2110 4 MATH 3120 3
CHEM 1110/1111 4 Humanities* 3
COMM 2381 3 CHEM 1120/1121 4
    Social/Behavioral Sciences* 3
       
Semester Totals 14 hrs   16 hrs

Junior Year

PHYS 3111 3 PHYS 3211 3
PHYS 4211 3 PHYS 4510 3
PHYS 3610 1 PHYS 3611 1
History* 3 History* 3
Social/Behavioral Sciences * 3 Humanities* 3
ENGL 2201 or 2202 3 Social Science/B.S. 3
       
Semester Totals 16 hrs   16 hrs

Senior Year

PHYS 4410 3 UD PHYS 3
UD PHYS 3 UD PHYS 3
UD elective 3 Elective 3
Humanities/B.A. 3 Elective 3
Elective 3 Elective 3
       
Semester Totals 15 hrs   15 hrs

Total Hours: 120

Total Hours Required for Graduation: 120

*Must satisfy University General Education Program Requirement

Typical 4-Year Physics Sequence
Material Science Concentration

Freshman Year

PHYS 2110/2111   

4     PHYS 2120/2121     4      
MATH 1910 4 MATH 1920 4
Foreign Language/B.S. 3 Foreign Language/B.S. 3
ENGL 1010 3 ENGL 1020 3
       
Semester Totals 14 hrs   14 hrs

 

 

 

 

 

Sophomore Year

PHYS 3010 3 PHYS 3011 3
MATH 2110 4 MATH 3120 3
CHEM 1110/1111 4 CHEM 1120/1121 4
COMM 2381 3 Fine Arts* 3
    Social/Behavioral Sciences* 3
       
Semester Totals 14 hrs   16 hrs

Junior Year

PHYS 3111 3 PHYS 3211 3
PHYS 4211 3 PHYS 4510 3
History* 3 PHYS 4720 3
ENGL 2201 or 2202 3 History* 3
Social/Behavioral Sciences* 3 Humanities/Fine Arts* 3
       
Semester Totals 15 hrs   15 hrs

Senior Year

PHYS 4410 3 PHYS 4610 3
PHYS 4820 3 PHYS 4994 3
UD PHYS/MECH/CIVL** 3 UD Social Science/B.S. 3
Humanities/B.S. 3 Elective 3
Elective 4 Elective 4
       
Semester Totals 16 hrs   16 hrs

Total Hours: 120

Total Hours Required for Graduation: 120

*Must satisfy University General Education Program Requirement

**One of PHYS 4020, 4060, 4230, MECH 3320, MECH/CIVL 3322

 

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Last Updated: 2/27/14