Jul 22, 2024  
Undergraduate Catalog 2021-2022 
Undergraduate Catalog 2021-2022 [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 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 109 - (Q) Pre-Calculus Mathematics 1MATH 114 - (Q) Calculus I  or MATH 114 - (Q) Calculus I  – MATH 221 - Calculus II 2 4 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 - GE T/RS  PHIL 120 - Introduction to Philosophy  — T/RS 121 - (P) Theology I: Introduction to the Bible   3 3
 GE FSEM  First Year Seminar 3    
                                          17 14

Second Year

 MAJOR  PHYS 270/PHYS 270L - (EPW: Lab only) Elements of Modern Physics  — PHYS 352 - Statistical and Engineering Thermodynamics     4 3
 COGNATE  EE 250/EE250L - Computational Tools for Physics and Engineering  — PHYS 260L - Electronics for Physicists   4 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 PHIL  PHIL 210 - Ethics     3
    15 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–Theology 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: 127-128 Credits

1 Physics majors starting with MATH 109  due to placement test results take one less Physics elective. Math placement score may require additional Mathematics courses to be taken prior to MATH 109 .

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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