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USF 2008-2009 Undergraduate Catalog - Pages 110-111

Physics (PHY/PHS)

Course Descriptions - Faculty

The Department of Physics offers undergraduate programs leading to a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) or a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree. The B.A. program is designed for students interested in a more general education in physics. The curriculum allows enough flexibility in electives to enable students to combine a physics major with another major in such areas as mathematics, biology, chemistry, computer science, engineering, business, and teacher education. The B.S. program is for students planning to pursue graduate studies in physics, applied science or engineering. For those students who desire additional capabilities in physics beyond the General Physics sequence, they may pursue a Minor in Physics or Biomedical Physics.

At the graduate level, the Department of Physics offers three Master’s degree programs (Master of Science in Physics, Master of Science in Applied Physics and Dual-Master Degrees in Physics and Engineering Science) and a Ph.D. degree program in Applied Physics.

Requirements for the Majors in Physics

Prerequisites (State Mandated Common Prerequisites)
Students wishing to transfer to USF should complete the A.A. degree at the community college. Some courses required for the major may also meet General Education Requirements thereby transferring maximum hours to the university. If students transfer with fewer than 60 semester hours of acceptable credit, the students must meet the university’s entering freshman requirements including ACT or SAT test scores, GPA, and course requirements.

The transfer student should also be aware of the immunization, foreign language, and continuous enrollment policies of the university.

Students should complete the following prerequisite courses listed below at the lower level prior to entering the university. If these courses are not taken at the community college, they must be completed before the degree is granted. Unless stated otherwise, a grade of “C” is the minimum acceptable grade.

CHM 1045/1045L General Chemistry I (with lab) or CHM 1040 & CHM 1041 or CHM 1045C or CHM 1045E
CHM 1046/1046L General Chemistry II (with lab) or CHM 1046C or CHM 1046E

It is recommended that students complete the following common prerequisite courses listed below prior to enrolling in upper division courses as a major. Unless stated otherwise, a grade of “C” is the minimum acceptable grade.

MAC 2311 Calculus I or MAC X281
MAC 2312 Calculus II or MAC X282
MAC 2313 Calculus III or MAC X283
PHY 2048/2048L General Physics I or PHY 2048C
PHY 2049/2049L General Physics II or PHY 2049C

Coursework for Majors in Physics

  1. Physics Courses

    B.A. PHYSICS (PHY) (34 credit hours)
    PHY 2048 General Physics I (3)
    PHY 2048L General Physics I Lab (1)
    PHY 2049 General Physics II (3)
    PHY 2049L General Physics II Lab (1)
    PHY 3101 Modern Physics (3)
    PHY 3221 Mechanics I (3)
    PHY 3822L Intermediate Lab (3)
    PHY 3323 Electricity and Magnetism I (3)
    PHY 4222 Mechanics II (3)
    PHY 4930 Undergraduate Seminar (1)
    PHY 4324 Electricity and Magnetism II (3)
    PHY 4910 Undergraduate Research (1-4)
    PHY 4823L Advanced Laboratory (3)
    PHY 4604 Intro. to Quantum Mechanics (3)

    B.S. PHYSICS (44 credit hours)
    PHY 2048 General Physics I (3)
    PHY 2048L General Physics I Lab (1)
    PHY 2049 General Physics II (3)
    PHY 2049L General Physics II Lab (1)
    PHY 3101 Modern Physics (3)
    PHY 3221 Mechanics I (3)
    PHY 3822L Intermediate Lab (3)
    PHY 3323 Electricity and Magnetism I (3)
    PHY 4222 Mechanics II (3)
    PHY 4930 Undergraduate Seminar (1)
    PHY 4324C Electricity and Magnetism II (3)
    PHY 4523 Statistical Physics (3)
    PHY 4604 Intro. Quantum Mechanics (3)
    PHY 4910 Undergraduate Research (1-4)
    PHY 4823L Advanced Laboratory (3)
    Plus 6 credit hours of Physics electives subject to approval of undergraduate advisor.

  2. Required Supporting Courses in Natural Sciences
    CHM 2045 General Chemistry I (3)
    CHM 2045L General Chemistry I Lab (1)
    CHM 2046 General Chemistry II (3)
    CHM 2046L General Chemistry II Lab (1)
    MAC 2311 or 2281 Calculus I (4)
    MAC 2312 or 2282 Calculus II (4)
    MAC 2313 or 2283 Calculus III (4)

  3. Liberal Arts Requirements
    [General Education Requirements (36 credit hours); Exit Requirements (9 credit hours)]
    The student is required to complete the university’s Liberal Arts Requirements.

  4. Free Electives
    Courses over and above required courses should be taken to complete a 120-hour program.

  5. Residency Requirement
    A minimum of 20 credit hours of physics courses (see 1 above) in residency.

  6. D and F grades earned in attempting to satisfy major requirements will be used in calculating the major GPA.

Requirements for the Minor in Physics

A minor in Physics consists of 19 credit hours which includes:

Required Courses
PHY 2048 or 2053 General Physics I (3)
PHY 2048L or 2053L General Physics I Lab (1)
PHY 2049 or 2054 General Physics II (3)
PHY 2049L or 2054L General Physics II Lab (1)
PHY 3101 Modern Physics (3)

Elective Courses (Pick from list below) (8 credit hours)
PHY 3221 Mechanics I (3)
PHY 3323 Electricity and Magnetism I (3)
or Physics electives subject to approval of undergraduate advisor.

Required Supporting Courses
Correct prerequisites for any course required.

A "C-" is the minimum acceptable grade for any course in the minor.

A minimum "C" (2.0) average in the 19 credit hours is required for obtaining this minor.

Requirements for the Minor in Biomedical Physics

A minor in Biomedical Physics consists of 16 credit hours which includes:
PHY 2048 or 2053 General Physics I (3)
PHY 2048L or 2053L General Physics I Lab (1)
PHY 2049 or 2054 General Physics II (3)
PHY 2049L or 2054L General Physics II Lab (1)
PHZ 4702 Appl of Phy to Bio. & Medicine I (4)
PHZ 4703 Appl of Phy to Bio. & Medicine II (4)

This minor combines fundamental knowledge of physics acquired through the General Physics lectures and laboratories to applications that cover a wide spectrum of topics of interest to students pursuing a future clinical or research career in the areas of biology, medicine, biophysics, and other related areas.

A "C-" is the minimum acceptable grade for any course in the minor. A minimum "C" (2.0) average in the 16 credit hours is required for obtaining this minor.

Teacher Education Programs

For information concerning the degree programs for secondary school teachers, see College of Education, Department of Secondary Education; for junior college teachers, see USF Graduate Catalog.


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