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Bachelor of Science Degree in Physics

Program Features

  • Physics majors enjoy the benefit of small classes, hands-on laboratories, and opportunities to engage in research under the guidance of faculty advisers.
  • A dynamic freshmen physics sequence exposes our students to Classical and Modern Physics right from the start. Elective sequences in biology are available for those preparing to enter biophysics or medicine, and advanced topics for those interested in atomic, nuclear, particle, solid-state, or theoretical physics.
  • We offer our majors the opportunity to take as broad a selection of courses as possible providing choices in the curriculum.
  • Scientific computing via Maple (mathematical and analytical software) and Python (computer programming language) are offered as subject courses.
  • High-Performance Computational Physics exposes students to numerical techniques, parallel processing, electronic communication, basic computer languages and software relevant to advanced studies and research in Physics.
  • The curriculum concludes with a capstone Senior Thesis project.
  • Observational Astrophysics course describes the basic ideas in astronomy. It uses the Joseph R. Lynch Observatory on campus for hands on observations and analysis of data.

Areas of Research

The physics degree provides a sound basis either for entering graduate school or for pursuing a variety of industrial careers. The Department of Physics exposes students to both traditional and cutting-edge areas of physics: astrophysics and general relativity; atomic physics; biological physics; condensed-matter physics, including superconductivity and nanotechnology; laser physics and quantum optics; nonlinear physics and chaos; nuclear physics; nuclear astrophysics; and particle and cosmic ray physics.


Elective Opportunities

Virtually every course in the physics major is designed to extend the students' ability to handle real-world problems solved by state-of-the-art techniques. An important feature of the program is the large number of electives, which allow a student to pursue topics of special interest. There are numerous elective courses in areas as diverse as biophysics and cosmology, nanoscience and particle physics. Students can also choose electives to meet teacher certification requirements.


Co-op Options

Drexel University has long been known for its prestigious co-operative education programs, which allow students to alternate six-month periods of full-time employment with their classroom studies. Students are strongly encouraged to participate in co-op to gain hands-on experience in the field(s) of their interest. The Department offers two co-op options: the Five Year, 3 Co-op Option and the Four Year, No Co-op Option.

Students in the Four Year, No Co-op Option are not required to pursue studies during any of the summer terms. However, students in this track may elect to take one six-month period of co-op employment during the spring and summer terms of their junior year.


Degree Requirements

Bachelor of Science Degree: 180.0 credits

The coursework in our curriculum is divided into three categories:

  • Core physics courses (to be taken by all majors; 62 credits).
  • Methods courses, focusing on techniques in experimental, computational, or mathematical physics. (Completion of 12 credits from the list; at least 6 credits must have a PHYS subject)
  • Subject courses, focusing on intermediate or advanced material that is not considered essential for a BS degree in physics, but which will round out the student's undergraduate education. (Completion of 15 credits from the following list; except for PHYS 480, courses at the 400 level and above will also be accepted)

Core Physics Courses

   PHYS 113 Contemporary Physics I
   PHYS 114 Contemporary Physics II
   PHYS 115 Contemporary Physics III
   PHYS 105 Computational Physics I
   PHYS 223 Modern Physics Laboratory
   PHYS 217 Thermodynamics
   PHYS 311 Classical Mechanics I
   PHYS 317 Statistical Mechanics
   PHYS 321
Electromagnetic Fields I
   PHYS 322 Electromagnetic Fields II
   PHYS 326 Quantum Mechanics I
   PHYS 327 Quantum Mechanics II
   PHYS 328 Advanced Laboratory
   PHYS 491 Senior Research I
   PHYS 492 Senior Research II
   PHYS 493 Senior Research III
   PHYS 408 Physics Seminar (To be taken 3 times.)

Methods Physics Courses

   PHYS 160 Introduction to Scientific Computing
   PHYS 226 Instrumentation for Scientists I
   PHYS 227 Instrumentation for Scientists II
   PHYS 232 Observational Astrophysics
   PHYS 305 Computational Physics II
   PHYS 315 Computational Physics III
   PHYS 324 Topics in Mathematical Physics
   PHYS 405 Advanced Computational Physics
   MATH 322 Complex Variables
   MATH 323 Partial Differential Equations
   MATH 331 Abstract Algebra I
   MATH 489 Tensor Analysis

Subject Courses

   PHYS 231 Introductory Astrophysics
   PHYS 261 Introduction to Biophysics
   HNRS 301 Colloquium II (Special Relativity )
   PHYS 330 Introduction to Nuclear Physics
   PHYS 312 Classical Mechanics II
   PHYS 428 Quantum Mechanics III
   PHYS 431 Galactic Astrophysics
   PHYS 432 Cosmology
   PHYS 452 Solid State Physics
   PHYS 453 Nanoscience
   PHYS 461 Biophysics
   PHYS 462 Computational Biophysics
   PHYS 463 Single Molecule Methods
   PHYS 471 Nonlinear Dynamics
   PHYS 476 Particle Physics

Math and Technical Requirements

   MATH 121 Calculus I
   MATH 122 Calculus II
   MATH 123 Calculus III
   MATH 200 Multivariate Calculus
   MATH 201 Linear Algebra
     or MATH 261 Linear Algebra
   MATH 210 Differential Equations

Science Requirements

   CHEM 101 General Chemistry I
   CHEM 102 General Chemistry II
   CHEM 103 General Chemistry III (OR Any Bio OR an ENGR class at 200 or higher)
   CS 171 Computer Programming I

General Education

   ENGL 101 Expository Writing and Reading
   ENGL 102 Persuasive Writing and Reading
   ENGL 103 Analytical Writing and Reading
   UNIV S101 The Drexel Experience

 

Recommended Plan of Study

Five Year, 3 Co-op (schedule A - matriculated in even year)

Freshman:

Fall Winter Spring
PHYS 113 (5.0)
Contemporary Physics I
PHYS 114 (5.0)
Contemporary Physics II
PHYS 115 (5.0)
Contemporary Physics III
MATH 121 (4.0)
Calculus I
MATH 122 (4.0)
Calculus II
MATH 123 (4.0)
Calculus III
PHYS 223 (3.0)
Modern Phys. Lab
CS 171 (3.0)
Computer Progr. I
PHYS 105 (3.0)
Computational Physics I
ENGL 101 (3.0)
Expository W & R.
ENGL 102 (3.0)
Persuasive W & R
ENGL 103 (3.0)
Analytical W & R
UNIV S101 (1.0)
The Drexel Experience
   
15 Credits
15 Credits
15 Credits

Sophomore:

Fall Winter Spring
PHYS 217 (4.0)
Thermodynamics
PHYS 311 (4.0)
Classical Mech. I
CO-OP
CHEM 101 (3.5)
General Chemistry I
CHEM 102 (4.5)
General Chemistry II
 
MATH 200 (4.0)
Multivariate Calculus
MATH 210 (4.0)
Differential Equations

MATH 201 or MATH 261 (4.0)
Linear Algebra
Subject (3.0)
15.5 Credits
12.5 + 3.0 Credits

Pre-Junior:

Fall Winter Spring
PHYS 321 (4.0)
Electromagnetic Fields I
PHYS 322 (4.0)
Electromagnetic Fields II
CO-OP
CHEM 103/ANY BIO (5.0/3.0)
Gen. Chemistry III/Any Bio
PHYS 328 (3.0)
Advanced Laboratory

Method (3.0)
Method (3.0)

Free Elective (3.0)
Liberal Elective (3.0)
 
Business Elective (3.0)
 
9.0 + 6.0 Credits
7.0 + 9.0 Credits
 

Junior:

Fall Winter Spring
PHYS 326 (4.0)
Quantum Mechanics I (4.0)
PHYS 327 (4.0)
Quantum Mechanics II
CO-OP
Subject (3.0) PHYS 317 (3.0)
Statistical Mechanics

Subject (3.0)
Method (3.0)
Technical Elective (3.0)
Liberal Elective (3.0)

Free Elective (3.0)
Business Elective (3.0)

4.0 + 12.0 Credits
7.0 + 8.0 Credits
 

Senior:

Fall Winter Spring
PHYS 491 (3.0)
Senior Research I
PHYS 492 (3.0)
Senior Research I
PHYS 493 (3.0)
Senior Research I
PHYS 408 (1.0)
Physics Seminar
PHYS 408 (1.0)
Physics Seminar
PHYS 408 (1.0)
Physics Seminar
Subject (3.0) Subject (3.0)
Method (3.0)
Liberal Elective (3.0)
Free Elective (3.0)
Free Elective (3.0)
Free Elective (3.0) Free Elective (3.0) Free Elective (3.0)
4.0 + 10.0 Credits
4.0 + 10.0 Credits
4.0 + 10.0 Credits

Five Year, 3 Co-op (schedule B - matriculated in odd year)

Freshman:

Fall Winter Spring
PHYS 113 (5.0)
Contemporary Physics I
PHYS 114 (5.0)
Contemporary Physics II
PHYS 115 (5.0)
Contemporary Physics III
MATH 121 (4.0)
Calculus I
MATH 122 (4.0)
Calculus II
MATH 123 (4.0)
Calculus III
PHYS 223 (3.0)
Modern Phys. Lab
CS 171 (3.0)
Computer Progr. I
PHYS 105 (3.0)
Computational Physics I
ENGL 101 (3.0)
Expository W & R.
ENGL 102 (3.0)
Persuasive W & R
ENGL 103 (3.0)
Analytical W & R
UNIV S101 (1.0)
The Drexel Experience
   
15 Credits
15 Credits
15 Credits

Sophomore:

Fall Winter Spring
PHYS 217 (4.0)
Thermodynamics
PHYS 311 (4.0)
Classical Mech. I
CO-OP
CHEM 101 (3.5)
General Chemistry I
CHEM 102 (4.5)
General Chemistry II
 
MATH 200 (4.0)
Multivariate Calculus
MATH 210 (4.0)
Differential Equations

MATH 201 or MATH 261 (4.0)
Linear Algebra
Subject (3.0)
15.5 Credits
12.5 + 3.0 Credits

Pre-Junior:

Fall Winter Spring
PHYS 326 (4.0)
Quantum Mechanics I (4.0)
PHYS 327 (4.0)
Quantum Mechanics II
CO-OP
CHEM 103/ANY BIO (5.0/3.0)
Gen. Chemistry III/Any Bio
PHYS 317 (3.0)
Statistical Mechanics

Method (3.0)
Method (3.0)

Free Elective (3.0)
Liberal Elective (3.0)
 

Business Elective (3.0)
 
9.0 + 6.0 Credits
7.0 + 9.0 Credits
 

Junior:

 Fall
 Winter  Spring
PHYS 321 (4.0)
Electromagnetic Fields I
PHYS 322 (4.0)
Electromagnetic Fields II
 CO-OP
Subject (3.0) PHYS 328 (3.0)
Advanced Laboratory

Subject (3.0)
Method (3.0)
Technical Elective (3.0)
Liberal Elective (3.0)

Free Elective (3.0)
Business Elective (3.0)

4.0 + 12.0 Credits
7.0 + 8.0 Credits
 

Senior:


Fall Winter Spring
PHYS 491 (3.0)
Senior Research I
PHYS 492 (3.0)
Senior Research I
PHYS 493 (3.0)
Senior Research I
PHYS 408 (1.0)
Physics Seminar
PHYS 408 (1.0)
Physics Seminar
PHYS 408 (1.0)
Physics Seminar
Subject (3.0) Subject (3.0)
Method (3.0)
Liberal Elective (3.0)
Free Elective (3.0)
Free Elective (3.0)
Free Elective (3.0) Free Elective (3.0) Free Elective (3.0)
 4.0 + 10.0 Credits
 4.0 + 10.0 Credits
 4.0 + 10.0 Credits

Dual Degree Bachelor's Programs

With careful planning, students can complete two full degrees in the time usually required to complete one. The double major option works best in closely related areas. This option gives students an overview of multiple disciplines and increases the value of each degree. It offers students an amazing breadth of knowledge that is often appealing to prospective graduate schools and future employers. Students may elect to pursue research in each topic separately or in integrated projects.

For detailed information please contact:

David Goldberg, PhD
Director of Undergraduate Studies
Department of Physics
goldberg@drexel.edu