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Undergraduate Program

Minor in Physics or in Astronomy

The Department of Physics and Astronomy offers two minors and seven clusters.

Minors

The department offers minors in both physics and astronomy.

Physics

To minor in physics, a student must attain an average of at least 2.0 in the introductory physics sequences and in all introductory mathematics courses.

Physics Minor Requirements

One of the following introductory sequences:

  • PHY 121, 122 and 123
  • PHY 141,142 and 143

Three of the following courses:

  • PHY 217: Electricity and Magnetism I
  • PHY 218: Electricity and Magnetism II
  • PHY 227: Thermodynamics and Statistical Mechanics
  • PHY 235W: Classical Mechanics
  • PHY 237: Quantum Mechanics of Physical Systems
  • PHY 243W: Advanced Experimental Techniques I
  • PHY 244W: Advanced Experimental Techniques II
  • PHY 245W: The Advanced Nuclear Science Education Laboratory
  • PHY 246: Quantum Theory
  • PHY 251: Introduction to Condensed Matter Physics
  • PHY 252: Biomedical Ultrasound
  • PHY 253: Biological Physics
  • PHY 254: Nuclear and Particle Physics
  • PHY 256: Computational Physics
  • PHY 258W: Energy Science Tech Society

The undergraduate physics advisor must approve all course choices.

Astronomy Minor

To minor in astronomy, a student must attain an average of at least a 2.0 in all the introductory 100-level astronomy, physics and mathematics courses. Physics majors can minor in astronomy.

Minor Requirements

One of the following introductory sequences:

  • PHY 121, 122 and 123
  • PHY 141, 142 and 143

AST 142: Elementary Astrophysics

Two 200-level astronomy courses.

One descriptive astronomy course:

  • AST 102: Relativity, Black Holes and The Big Bang
  • AST 104: The Solar System
  • AST 105: Milkyway Galaxy
  • AST 106: Cosmic Origins of Life
  • AST 111: The Solar System and Its Origin*

*AST 111 is preferred.

The undergraduate astronomy advisor must approve all course choices.

Clusters 

The department offers seven clusters, all in the natural sciences and engineering academic division.

An Introduction to the Physical World (N1PAS002)

This cluster is designed especially for students in the humanities and other non-scientific fields who are interested in learning about the physical world. No background knowledge is required and the material will be presented with very little mathematics.

Science — Discovery, History and Methodology (N1PAS001)

Students examine scientific discoveries in physics and astronomy from the scientist's point of view and compare them to the understanding of science and the scientific process from other disciplines. No background knowledge is required and the material will be presented with very little mathematics.

The Nature of the Universe (N1PAS003) 

This cluster provides students with an overview of the study of the universe. Emphasis is on the important concepts with a minimal amount of mathematics.

Quantitative Physics (N1PAS004) 

Students in this cluster get an overview of physics using mathematics, including calculus, so that quantitative calculations can be performed.

Honors Physics (Quest) (N1PAS005) 

This cluster provides students with an overview of physics using honors-level mathematics, including calculus, so that quantitative calculations can be performed.

Physics in Seafaring (N1PAS006) 

Students in this cluster explore the nature of forces affecting or employed by a ship on the high seas.

Science and Technology by Inquiry (N1PAS007)

Students explore what constitutes a scientific theory by engaging in scientific hypothesis testing in the laboratory. This cluster will also expose the students to the design process, specifically the process of determining constraints and optimization of a design.