Physics is the study of the fundamental laws that govern our universe. Our curriculum is designed to give our students a solid foundation for understanding these laws and how they were uncovered. The language that best expresses these laws is mathematical, so there are a significant number of mathematics courses that serve as prerequisites for our courses.
However, since physics describes the real world, our curriculum also incorporates a significant laboratory component to ensure our students will learn how to interrogate Nature and understand the answers it gives. Only by balancing theoretical concepts with experimental reality can one reach a more complete understanding of the world.
Our physics majors and minors will master valuable analysis and problem-solving skills, which can be applied to a wide variety of situations beyond physics. By integrating these skills with their liberal arts experiences, our students are prepared for a vast spectrum of careers. Recent graduates have gone on to work in physics research, engineering, computer programming, teaching, environmental studies, law, business, and other fields.
For Senior Comprehensives
Majors must pass a multi-part exam which requires them to demonstrate a coherent understanding of all the major areas of physics covered in the required courses, including computational and laboratory methods, and the ability to apply this understanding to solve specific problems.
Students must have completed PHY-111 Physics I - Calculus, PHY-112 Physics II - Calculus, PHY-209 Intro Thermal Phy & Relativity, PHY-210 Intro Quantum Theory & Apps, PHY-381 Advanced Laboratory I, and two out of the three 300-level theory courses (PHY-310 Classical Mechanics, PHY-314 Electromagnetic Theory, PHY-315 Quantum Mechanics) prior to taking the exam.
Finally, student portfolios will be utilized as a part of the assessment of the comprehensive exams.