Physics is the study of all natural phenomena. As such, almost all science and engineering fields, from archaeology and astronomy to metallurgy and medicine, draw upon physics for their basic understanding.

The standard course of study superimposes technical elective courses chosen by the student and his/her academic advisor on a general physics foundation of the kernel courses. The special non-physics electives may be in any of the engineering fields, computer science, mathematics, biology or chemistry. A student pursuing this course of study develops a solid foundation in physics (with 60 credits of Physics coursework required for graduation), and concurrently acquires a background in a specialized field, thereby obtaining the necessary practical knowledge to solve applied problems competently. The department requires every student finishing the standard course of study to take the Major Field Test for Physics to assess their understanding of fundamental concepts and problem-solving skills.

Students enrolled in BS program may, if they wish, choose Radiological Health Physics option.

Radiological Health Physics Option

Radiological Health Physics involves the study of the effects of radiation and radioactivity on life processes. It also can be called radiation protection science and is particularly involved with the effects of radiation on the human body and the control of such radiation. A graduate of this curriculum would enter the profession of health physics, which is devoted to the protection of man and the environment from the harmful effects of radiation, while at the same time making it possible for our advancing civilization to enjoy all of the benefits resulting from uses of radiation.

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To encourage outstanding undergraduate students to continue their studies toward an advanced degree, the Department of Physics and Applied Physics has instituted a program of accelerated study which leads to a combined bachelor’s and master’s degree. Every full-time student with a grade point average of 3.0 or above at the end of the junior year is eligible to be admitted to this program. Admission to the combined bachelor’s and master’s degree program is an honor conferred on the student that carries with it distinct benefits, for example, Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores are not required for admittance into the graduate program. The student may or may not decide to take advantage of the honor conferred, and can graduate with a bachelor’s degree in exactly the same way as a student not admitted to the accelerated program. For more information, see graduate catalog.

For additional information about programs, contact the Department of Physics & Applied Physics.