Selected Educational Outcomes

The program leading to the Bachelor of Science degree with a major in physics is designed to prepare students to enter graduate programs in physics or in astronomy, or to embark upon careers in government, industry, or education. Examples of these outcomes include the following:

  1. students will demonstrate knowledge in the fundamental branches of physics: mechanics, electromagnetism, and quantum mechanics;
  2. students will demonstrate knowledge in several elective areas within the field of physics, including (but not limited to) thermodynamics, electronics, optics, and computational physics;
  3. students will apply the techniques of mathematical analysis (algebra, geometry, trigonometry, and calculus) to physical problems;
  4. students will effectively use computers and calculators for scientific calculation, programming, and word processing.

Examples of Outcome Assessments

Assessment of the education outcomes for the physics major is primarily the responsibility of the departmental Physics Area Committee, comprised of faculty with expertise in physics and cognate disciplines. The Committee assesses the extent to which the program requirements create the desired outcomes by using a variety of techniques. Examples of these assessments include the following:

  1. All student majors must make oral presentations of their research results to the departmental faculty and submit written copies of their research papers to the departmental office as part of the required Capstone Seminar (PHYS 4501).
  2. Students must submit a departmental copy of their portfolios of undergraduate coursework, research projects, and professional activity at the end of their last semester of residence.
  3. At the time of major coursework completion, students must complete an exit questionnaire to determine the students’ perception of achievement of the major’s educational outcomes.
  4. Periodic surveys of alumni who have completed the physics program will be conducted to evaluate the relevancy of the major program to graduates’ present employment, their perception of success, and their personal satisfaction with the program. The surveys will also solicit suggestions for improvement of the physics major program.

Requirements for the Bachelor of Science Degree with a Major in Physics

Core Curriculum 60
Core Curriculum Areas A-E (See VSU Core Curriculum)42
Physics majors are required to take MATH 1113 in Area A and MATH 2261 in Area D2. They are advised to take PHYS 2211K, PHYS 2212K in Area D2.
Core Curriculum Area F
Analytic Geometry and Calculus I (1 hour left over from Area D)
Analytic Geometry and Calculus II
and Analytic Geometry and Calculus III
Modern Physics
Principles of Physics I
and Principles of Physics II (if not taken in Area D2)
Lab Sciences, if PHYS 2211K, PHYS 2212K are taken in Area D2
Senior College Curriculum60
Upper-Level Courses in Physics
PHYS 3810Mathematical Methods of Physics3
PHYS 3820Computational Physics I4
PHYS 4111
PHYS 4112
Theoretical Mechanics I
and Theoretical Mechanics II
6
PHYS 4211
PHYS 4212
Electromagnetism I
and Electromagnetism II
6
PHYS 4310Thermodynamics3
PHYS 4411
PHYS 4412
Quantum Mechanics I
and Quantum Mechanics II
6
MATH 3340Ordinary Differential Equations3
or PHYS 3800 Differential Equations in Physical Systems
Select two courses from the following:8
Electronics
Optics
Experimental Physics
Other Supporting Courses6-9
MATH 2150Introduction to Linear Algebra3
Language Requirement (Students may choose to take CS 1301 and CS 1302 to satisfy the language requirement. The additional 2 hours from CS 1301 and CS 1302 can count as part of the guided electives) 3-6
Guided Electives (recommended that at least one be a MATH course) 112-15
Total hours required for the degree120

 Requirements for the Bachelor of Science Degree with a Major in Physics--Applied Physics Track

Core Curriculum60
Core Curriculum Areas A-E (See VSU Core Curriculum)42
Physics majors are required to take MATH 1113 in Area A and MATH 2261 in Area D.2. They are advised to take PHYS 2211K and PHYS 2212K in Area D.2.
Core Curriculum Area F 1
PHYS 2700Modern Physics1
CS 1301Principles of Programming I4
MATH 2262Analytic Geometry and Calculus II4
MATH 2263Analytic Geometry and Calculus III4
MATH 2261Analytic Geometry and Calculus I (1 hour left over from Area D)4
Select one of the following sequences:4
Principles of Chemistry I
and Principles of Chemistry Laboratory I
Principles of Biology I
and Principles of Biology Laboratory I
Senior College Curriculum60
Required Courses 233
CS 1302Principles of Programming II4
Select one of the following sequences:4
Principles of Chemistry II
and Principles of Chemistry Laboratory II
Principles of Biology II
and Principles of Biology Laboratory II
PHYS 3040Electronics4
PHYS 3100Optics4
PHYS 3820Computational Physics I4
PHYS 4040Experimental Physics4
PHYS 4111Theoretical Mechanics I3
PHYS 4211Electromagnetism I3
PHYS 4411Quantum Mechanics I3
Supporting Courses and Electives27
MATH Electives: Select two from the following courses:6
Introduction to Linear Algebra
Set Theory
Ordinary Differential Equations
Probability and Statistics
Linear Algebra
Mathematical Analysis
Functions of a Complex Variable
Topology
Modern Foreign Language (3 hours may be taken in Area C)3-6
Other Guided Electives15-18
Introductory Genetics
Ecology and Evolution
Environmental Science
Animal Physiology
Human Physiology
Dendrology
Plant Systematics
Plant Pathology
Neuroscience
Introduction to Biogeography
Morphology of Land Plants
Human Anatomy
Theory and Practice of Scanning Electron Microscopy
Biology Internship
Directed Study
Sophomore Seminar
Quantitative Analysis
Environmental Chemistry
Organic Chemistry I
Organic Chemistry II
Inorganic Chemistry
Biochemistry I
and Laboratory Techniques in Biochemistry
Biochemistry II
Physical Chemistry I
Physical Chemistry II
Seminar
Instrumental Analysis
Physical Organic Chemistry
Computational Chemistry
Special Topics
Algorithmic Problem Solving
Computer Organization
Assembly Language
UNIX Programming
The C Programming Language
Web Programming
Data Structures
Algorithms
Data Communications and Networks I
Data Communications and Networks II
Software Engineering I
Software Engineering II
Systems Programming
Database Design I
Database Design II
Topics in Computer Science
Total hours required for the degree120

Requirements for the Bachelor of Science Degree with a Major in Physics--Medical Physics Track 

Core Curriculum60
Core Curriculum Areas A-E (See VSU Core Curriculum)42
Physics majors are required to take MATH 1113 in Area A and MATH 2261 in Area D.2. They are advised to take PHYS 2211K and PHYS 2212K in Area D.2.
Core Curriculum Area F 1
PHYS 2700Modern Physics1
CHEM 1211
1211L
Principles of Chemistry I
and Principles of Chemistry Laboratory I
4
CHEM 1212
1212L
Principles of Chemistry II
and Principles of Chemistry Laboratory II
4
MATH 2262Analytic Geometry and Calculus II4
MATH 2263Analytic Geometry and Calculus III4
MATH 2261Analytic Geometry and Calculus I (1 hour left over from Area D.2)1
Senior College Curriculum60
Required Courses 233
BIOL 1107
1107L
Principles of Biology I
and Principles of Biology Laboratory I
4
BIOL 1108
1108L
Principles of Biology II
and Principles of Biology Laboratory II
4
BIOL 2251KHuman Anatomy and Physiology I4
BIOL 2252KHuman Anatomy and Physiology II4
BIOL 3200Introductory Genetics3
BIOL 3700Neuroscience3
PHYS 3100Optics4
PHYS 3810Mathematical Methods of Physics3
PHYS 4310Thermodynamics3
Select two of the following:6
Theoretical Mechanics I
Electromagnetism I
Quantum Mechanics I
Supporting Courses and Electives21
MATH 3340Ordinary Differential Equations3
Modern Foreign Language (3 hours may be taken in Area C)3-6
Other Guided Electives13-16
History of the Life Sciences
Ecology and Evolution
Cell Biology
Molecular Biophysics
Molecular Genetics
Protein Biochemistry
Biology Internship
Organic Chemistry I
Organic Chemistry II
Inorganic Chemistry
Biochemistry I
and Laboratory Techniques in Biochemistry
Biochemistry II
Physical Chemistry I
Physical Chemistry II
Seminar
Special Topics
Computational Physics I
Experimental Physics
Theoretical Mechanics II
Electromagnetism II
Quantum Mechanics II
Internship in Physics
Directed Study in Physics
Trigonometry
Set Theory
Probability and Statistics
Modern Algebra I
Mathematical Analysis
Mathematical Statistics I
Special Topics in Mathematics
Total hours required for the degree120