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:
- students will demonstrate knowledge in the fundamental branches of physics: mechanics, electromagnetism, and quantum mechanics;
- students will demonstrate knowledge in several elective areas within the field of physics, including (but not limited to) thermodynamics, electronics, optics, and computational physics;
- students will apply the techniques of mathematical analysis (algebra, geometry, trigonometry, and calculus) to physical problems;
- 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:
- 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).
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 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
|Principles of Physics I|
and Principles of Physics II (if not taken in Area D2)
|Senior College Curriculum||60|
|Upper-Level Courses in Physics|
|PHYS 3810||Mathematical Methods of Physics||3|
|PHYS 3820||Computational Physics I||4|
& PHYS 4112
|Theoretical Mechanics I|
and Theoretical Mechanics II
& PHYS 4212
and Electromagnetism II
& PHYS 4412
|Quantum Mechanics I|
and Quantum Mechanics II
|MATH 3340||Ordinary Differential Equations||3|
|or PHYS 3800||Differential Equations in Physical Systems|
|Select two courses from the following:||8|
|Other Supporting Courses||6-9|
|MATH 2150||Introduction to Linear Algebra||3|
|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 (must include at least one MATH course) 1||12-15|
|Total hours required for the degree||120|
chosen from: any 3000- or 4000-level CS, ASTR, GEOL, CHEM, BIOL, or PHYS course or MATH 3040, MATH 3600, or any 4000-level MATH course except MATH 4161.