College of Sciences

Physics Department

The Bachelor of Science (BS) degree offered in Physics is intended to prepare a student for a career in industry, teaching, or graduate study in a number of fields by providing him/her with a flexible course of study which superimposes a specialization chosen by the student (at least 13 credits of technical electives) on a general physics foundation (47 credits of required courses in the Kernel). At least 53 credits total must be taken in physics courses to satisfy the requirements for the BS in Physics. Some of the technical electives may be chosen from appropriate courses outside the Department or from the list of Physics Elective courses. There are five courses of study available: Standard, Optics Option, Radiological Health Physics Option, preparation for Graduate School, and preparation for teaching. Successful completion of either option program will be certified by the Department on the student’s transcript.

The Bachelor of Science in Physics

Physics is the science of matter and is concerned with its fundamental structure, properties and behavior. The fields of chemistry, biology, geology, astronomy and engineering, among basic understanding.

A present day physicist engages in research, development and design, teaching or administration. The employer may be an educational institution, a small business, a large industrial firm, a government laboratory or a non-profit research center. Those physicists who obtain a doctorate (Ph.D.) are prepared for a research career and are expected to have a high level of initiative with responsibility for a research program. This program can fall anywhere in the range from “basic” through “applied” depending upon one’s interests and those of his/her employer. The physics program is designed to give the student a continuum of career choices.

Accordingly, the University of Massachusetts Lowell program can prepare students for a research career. The required and elective courses develop a sound understanding of the principles of experimental and theoretical physics and can successfully prepare the physics major for graduate study. The program also accommodates students who will seek employment after receiving the Baccalaureate degree. It allows these students to develop a remunerable talent in some specialized field. This is possible because of the number of technical electives in the curriculum. Through these electives the student acquires at least 13 credits in some field of specialization.

The program is very flexible allowing the student to match his/her special interests with the study of physics. Specialties may be as far a field as economics or management or as close as mathematics or chemistry. They may be in any of the engineering fields or computer science. A student pursuing this course of study develops a solid foundation in physics and concurrently acquires a good background in a specialized field thereby obtaining the necessary practical knowledge to solve applied problems competently.

This combination of the general and the specialization prepares the student for immediate employment after graduation. Some graduates of this program have chosen industry, government work, or teaching. While such business employment may be the primary goal of the student, it is also possible to pursue graduate studies in either the specialized field or physics.

Students who complete the undergraduate program in physics often receive awards for complete support for graduate study. In the past, graduating seniors have received awards of complete tuition for graduate study and additional stipends from graduate schools such as Harvard University, the University of Chicago, Brown University, the University of Illinois, Johns Hopkins University, Brandeis University, Purdue University, the State University of New York at Stony Brook, Boston University, the University of Maryland, Rochester University, University of Arizona and Rensselaer Polytechnic