Jul 18, 2024  
Undergraduate Catalog 2017-2018 
Undergraduate Catalog 2017-2018 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Physics, BS

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Physics is the study of our universe, from atoms to galaxies, from quarks to baseballs.  Physics covers fields as diverse as astrophysics, which tells us about the structure of stars, to condensed matter physics, which tells us how silicon chips work. Students at our department get a firm education in the fundamentals of physics, and some gain research experience in cutting edge labs across the nation in summer REU programs. The faculty here covers a diverse range of expertise: acoustics, optics, solid state experiment and theory, and nuclear theory.

Our physics degree has prepared students for a dazzling array of careers, from Ph.D research, to management in the hi-tech manufacturing, from museum curators to corporate executives to university professors, the list is long. Historically, our graduates in their first years in the workforce are the highest paid compared to their peers in any other department in the University.

The mission of the physics program is to develop knowledgeable and competent physicists who exemplify the humanistic, Catholic and Jesuit traditions of commitment to social justice, service to others, life-long learning, ethical and moral responsibility, and concern for the environment.  The integration of The University of Scranton core curriculum is an essential part of the physics curriculum.  The University core curriculum includes a structured program in theology, philosophy, ethics, and written and oral communication. Roughly half of the credits in the physics program is devoted to physics topics. 

We have made a department that is a pleasant and productive place for students and faculty.

For more information about the Physics and Electrical Engineering department, visit its website

Physics Curriculum

  Department and Number - Descriptive Title of Course Fall Cr.
Spr. Cr.

First Year

MAJOR PHYS 140/PHYS 140L - (E) Elements of Physics I  – PHYS 141/PHYS 141L - (E) Elements of Physics II   4 4
COGNATE MATH 103 - (Q) Pre-Calculus Mathematics 1MATH 114 - (Q) Calculus I  or MATH 114 - (Q) Calculus I  – MATH 221 - Calculus II 2 4 4
COGNATE CMPS 134 - Computer Science I / CMPS 134L - Computer Science I Lab     4
GE WRTG - GE HUMN WRTG 107 - (FYW) Composition  – HUMN ELECT - Humanities Elective 3 3
GE EP PHYS 150 - (FYOC, FYDT) Foundations of Physics and Engineering   3  
GE PHIL PHIL 120 - Introduction to Philosophy   3  
GE FSEM First Year Seminar 3    
    17 15

Second Year

MAJOR PHYS 270/PHYS 270L - (W) Elements of Modern Physics  – PHYS 352 - Statistical and Engineering Thermodynamics     4 3
COGNATE ENGR 253L - An Introduction to Computer-Aided Design  – ENGR 254L - 3D Computer-aided Design   1 1
MAJOR PHYS 250L - Electronics for Physicists   1  
COGNATE MATH 221 - Calculus II  – MATH 222 - Calculus III  or MATH 222 - Calculus III  – MATH 341 - Differential Equations   4 4
GE S/BH S/BH ELECT - Social/Behavioral Electives 3 3
GE HUMN HUMN ELECT - Humanities Elective   3
GE T/RS–PHIL T/RS 121 - (P) Theology I: Introduction to the Bible  – PHIL 210 - Ethics   3 3
    16 17

Third Year

MAJOR PHYS 447 - Electromagnetics I  – PHYS 448/PHYS 448L - Electromagnetics II   3 4
MAJOR PHYS 371 - Advanced Mechanics  – PHYS 372 - Quantum Mechanics   3 3
MAJOR PHYS 350 - Applied and Engineering Mathematics  — PHYS 333 - Experimental Methods in Physics   3 3
COGNATE/MAJOR MATH 341 - Differential Equations  or ELECT - Elective 3-4  
GE T/RS T/RS 122 - (P) Theology II: Introduction to Christian Theology     3
GE PHIL or T/RS PHIL ELECT–Philosophy Elective or T/RS ELECT–T/RS Elective   3
GE HUMN HUMN ELECT - Humanities Electives 3  
    15-16 16

Fourth Year

MAJOR PHYS 493 - Undergraduate Physics Research I  – PHYS 494 - (EPW) Undergraduate Physics Research II   1 1
MAJOR PHYS/EE - Physics/EE Electives   6
MAJOR PHYS 473 - Optics /PHYS 473L   4  
COGNATE COGNATE ELECT - Cognate Elective 3  
GE HUMN HUMN ELECT - Humanities Electives 3 3
GE ELECT FREE ELECT - Free Electives 6 6
    17 16

Total: 129-130 Credits

1 Physics majors starting with MATH 103  due to placement test results take one less Physics elective.

2Math Placement may affect the order in which these classes are taken.

3 The selection of a First Year Seminar is likely to fulfill requirements both for the First Year Seminar and a General Education Requirement.  Thus, the First Year Seminar will not add to the total credits for the semester.  Talk with your advisor if you have any questions.

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