Twin Cities campus
 
Twin Cities Campus

Physics B.A.

School of Physics & Astronomy
College of Liberal Arts
  • Program Type: Baccalaureate
  • Requirements for this program are current for Spring 2012
  • Required credits to graduate with this degree: 120
  • Required credits within the major: 40
  • Degree: Bachelor of Arts
The undergraduate physics program prepares students for employment, often in industrial or governmental laboratories, or for further study at graduate or professional schools in physics, engineering, biophysics, medicine, education, law, or business. The program integrates a broad foundation in physics that can be flexibly combined with coursework in other technical disciplines or used to specialize in physics. Students should consult a physics adviser to help formulate objectives for undergraduate study.
Program Delivery
This program is available:
  • via classroom (the majority of instruction is face-to-face)
Admission Requirements
For information about University of Minnesota admission requirements, visit the Office of Admissions website.
General Requirements
All students are required to complete general University and college requirements including writing and liberal education courses. For more information about University-wide requirements, see the liberal education requirements. Required courses for the major or minor in which a student receives a D grade (with or without plus or minus) do not count toward the major or minor (including transfer courses).
Program Requirements
Students are required to take 4 semester(s) of any second language.
Mathematics
Complete four courses from either the calculus or honors calculus sequence.
Calculus Sequence
MATH 1271 - Calculus I [MATH] (4.0 cr)
or MATH 1371 - CSE Calculus I [MATH] (4.0 cr)
MATH 1272 - Calculus II (4.0 cr)
or MATH 1372 - CSE Calculus II (4.0 cr)
MATH 2243 - Linear Algebra and Differential Equations (4.0 cr)
or MATH 2373 - CSE Linear Algebra and Differential Equations (4.0 cr)
MATH 2263 - Multivariable Calculus (4.0 cr)
or MATH 2374 - CSE Multivariable Calculus and Vector Analysis (4.0 cr)
or Honors Sequence
MATH 1571H - Honors Calculus I [MATH] (4.0 cr)
MATH 1572H - Honors Calculus II (4.0 cr)
MATH 2573H - Honors Calculus III (4.0 cr)
MATH 2574H - Honors Calculus IV (4.0 cr)
Major Courses
PHYS 1301W - Introductory Physics for Science and Engineering I [PHYS, WI] (4.0 cr)
or PHYS 1401V - Honors Physics I [PHYS, WI] (4.0 cr)
PHYS 1302W - Introductory Physics for Science and Engineering II [PHYS, WI] (4.0 cr)
or PHYS 1402V - Honors Physics II [PHYS, WI] (4.0 cr)
PHYS 2503 - Physics III: Intro to Waves, Optics, and Special Relativity (4.0 cr)
or PHYS 2403H {Inactive} (4.0 cr)
PHYS 2201 - Introductory Thermodynamics and Statistical Physics (3.0 cr)
PHYS 2601 - Quantum Physics (4.0 cr)
PHYS 2605 - Quantum Physics Laboratory (3.0 cr)
PHYS 4051 - Methods of Experimental Physics I (5.0 cr)
Take 2 or more course(s) from the following:
· PHYS 4001 - Analytical Mechanics (4.0 cr)
· PHYS 4002 - Electricity and Magnetism (4.0 cr)
· PHYS 4101 - Quantum Mechanics (4.0 cr)
Senior Project and Electives (5 cr)
Completion of a physics project, either by the completion of 4052W, Methods of Experimental Physics II (5 cr), or by some alternate means subject to departmental approval. Should the approved alternate physics project total fewer than 5 credits, an additional physics elective at the 3XXX-level or higher is required to fulfill the 5 credit requirement.
PHYS 4052W - Methods of Experimental Physics II [WI] (5.0 cr)
Program Sub-plans
A sub-plan is not required for this program.
Honors UHP
This is an honors sub-plan.
Students admitted to the University Honors Program (UHP) must fulfill UHP requirements in addition to degree program requirements. Honors courses used to fulfill degree program requirements will also fulfill UHP requirements. Current departmental honors course offerings are listed at: http://www.honors.umn.edu/academics/curriculum/dept_courses_current.html Honors students complete an honors thesis project in the final year, most often in conjunction with an honors thesis course, or with an honors directed studies or honors directed research course. Students select honors courses and plan for a thesis project in consultation with their UHP adviser and their departmental faculty adviser.
 
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· College of Liberal Arts
View future requirement(s):
· Fall 2014
· Spring 2014
· Fall 2012

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· Physics

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· Physics B.A.
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MATH 1271 - Calculus I (MATH)
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Course Equivalencies: Math 1142/1271/1281/1371/1571H
Typically offered: Every Fall, Spring & Summer
Differential calculus of functions of a single variable, including polynomial, rational, exponential, and trig functions. Applications, including optimization and related rates problems. Single variable integral calculus, using anti-derivatives and simple substitution. Applications may include area, volume, work problems. prereq: 4 yrs high school math including trig or satisfactory score on placement test or grade of at least C- in [1151 or 1155]
MATH 1371 - CSE Calculus I (MATH)
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Course Equivalencies: Math 1142/1271/1281/1371/1571H
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Differentiation of single-variable functions, basics of integration of single-variable functions. Applications: max-min, related rates, area, curve-sketching. Use of calculator, cooperative learning. prereq: CSE or pre-bioprod concurrent registration is required (or allowed) in biosys engn (PRE), background in [precalculus, geometry, visualization of functions/graphs], instr consent; familiarity with graphing calculators recommended
MATH 1272 - Calculus II
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Course Equivalencies: Math 1272/1282/1252/1372/1572
Typically offered: Every Fall, Spring & Summer
Techniques of integration. Calculus involving transcendental functions, polar coordinates. Taylor polynomials, vectors/curves in space, cylindrical/spherical coordinates. prereq: [1271 or equiv] with grade of at least C-
MATH 1372 - CSE Calculus II
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Course Equivalencies: Math 1272/1282/1252/1372/1572
Typically offered: Every Spring
Techniques of integration. Calculus involving transcendental functions, polar coordinates, Taylor polynomials, vectors/curves in space, cylindrical/spherical coordinates. Use of calculators, cooperative learning. prereq: Grade of at least C- in [1371 or equiv], CSE or pre-Bioprod/Biosys Engr
MATH 2243 - Linear Algebra and Differential Equations
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Course Equivalencies: Math 2243/2373/2573
Typically offered: Every Fall, Spring & Summer
Linear algebra: basis, dimension, matrices, eigenvalues/eigenvectors. Differential equations: first-order linear, separable; second-order linear with constant coefficients; linear systems with constant coefficients. prereq: [1272 or 1282 or 1372 or 1572] w/grade of at least C-
MATH 2373 - CSE Linear Algebra and Differential Equations
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Course Equivalencies: Math 2243/2373/2573
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Linear algebra: basis, dimension, eigenvalues/eigenvectors. Differential equations: linear equations/systems, phase space, forcing/resonance, qualitative/numerical analysis of nonlinear systems, Laplace transforms. Use of computer technology. prereq: [1272 or 1282 or 1372 or 1572] w/grade of at least C-, CSE or pre-Bio Prod/Biosys Engr
MATH 2263 - Multivariable Calculus
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Course Equivalencies: Math 2263/2373/2573H/3251
Typically offered: Every Fall, Spring & Summer
Derivative as linear map. Differential/integral calculus of functions of several variables, including change of coordinates using Jacobians. Line/surface integrals. Gauss, Green, Stokes Theorems. prereq: [1272 or 1372 or 1572] w/grade of at least C-
MATH 2374 - CSE Multivariable Calculus and Vector Analysis
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Course Equivalencies: Math 2263/2373/2573H/3251
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Derivative as linear map. Differential/integral calculus of functions of several variables, including change of coordinates using Jacobians. Line/surface integrals. Gauss, Green, Stokes theorems. Use of computer technology. prereq: [1272 or 1282 or 1372 or 1572] w/grade of at least C-, CSE or pre-Bioprod/Biosys Engr
MATH 1571H - Honors Calculus I (MATH)
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Course Equivalencies: 00067 - Math 1142/1271/1281/1371/1571H
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall
Differential/integral calculus of functions of a single variable. Emphasizes hard problem-solving rather than theory. prereq: Honors student and permission of University Honors Program
MATH 1572H - Honors Calculus II
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Course Equivalencies: 00068 - Math 1272/1282/1252/1372/1572
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Spring
Continuation of 1571. Infinite series, differential calculus of several variables, introduction to linear algebra. prereq: 1571H, honors student, permission of University Honors Program
MATH 2573H - Honors Calculus III
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Course Equivalencies: 00069 - Math 2263/2374/3251
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall
Integral calculus of several variables. Vector analysis, including theorems of Gauss, Green, Stokes. prereq: Math 1572H or Math 2574H, honors student and permission of University Honors Program
MATH 2574H - Honors Calculus IV
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Course Equivalencies: 00561 - Math 2243/Math 2373/Math 2573H
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Spring
Advanced linear algebra, differential equations. Additional topics as time permits. prereq: Math 1572H or Math 2573H, honors student and permission of University Honors Program
PHYS 1301W - Introductory Physics for Science and Engineering I (PHYS, WI)
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Course Equivalencies: 00078 - Phys 1101W/1201W/1301W/1401V/1
Typically offered: Every Fall, Spring & Summer
Use of fundamental principles to solve quantitative problems. Motion, forces, conservation principles, structure of matter. Applications to mechanical systems. prereq: concurrent registration is required (or allowed) in Math 1271 or concurrent registration is required (or allowed) in Math 1371 or concurrent registration is required (or allowed) in Math 1571
PHYS 1401V - Honors Physics I (PHYS, WI)
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Course Equivalencies: 00078 - Phys 1201W/Phys1301W/Phys1401V
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall
Comprehensive, calculus-level general physics. Emphasizes use of fundamental principles to solve quantitative problems. Description of motion, forces, conservation principles. Structure of matter, with applications to mechanical systems. prereq: honors student and permission of University Honors Program
PHYS 1302W - Introductory Physics for Science and Engineering II (PHYS, WI)
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Course Equivalencies: Phys 1202W/1302W/1402V
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Use of fundamental principles to solve quantitative problems. Motion, forces, conservation principles, fields, structure of matter. Applications to electromagnetic phenomena. prereq: 1301W, concurrent registration is required (or allowed) in Math 1272 or Math 1372 or Math 1572
PHYS 1402V - Honors Physics II (PHYS, WI)
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Course Equivalencies: 00079 - Phys 1202W/1302W/1402V
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Spring
Fundamental principles to solve quantitative problems. Description of motion, forces, conservation principles, fields. Structure of matter, with applications to electro-magnetic phenomena. prereq: 1401V, honors student or permission of University Honors Program
PHYS 2503 - Physics III: Intro to Waves, Optics, and Special Relativity
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Course Equivalencies: Phys 2303/2403H/2503
Typically offered: Every Fall
Third semester of introductory physics. Mechanical/electromagnetic waves, optics, special relativity. prereq: 1302W, [MATH 1272 or MATH 1372 or MATH 1572H]
PHYS 2201 - Introductory Thermodynamics and Statistical Physics
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall
Thermodynamics, its underlying statistical nature. prereq: [1302W or 1402V], [concurrent registration is required (or allowed) in MATH 1272 or MATH 1372 or MATH 1572H]
PHYS 2601 - Quantum Physics
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Typically offered: Every Spring
Introduction to quantum mechanics. Applications to atomic, molecular, condensed-matter, nuclear, elementary-particle, and statistical physics. Associated lab is 2605. prereq: [2403H or 2503], [concurrent registration is required (or allowed) in Math 2243 or Math 2373 or Math 2574H]
PHYS 2605 - Quantum Physics Laboratory
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Laboratory experiments in atomic, solid state, and nuclear physics offered in conjunction with 2601. prereq: concurrent registration is required (or allowed) in 2601
PHYS 4051 - Methods of Experimental Physics I
Credits: 5.0 [max 5.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall
Contemporary experimental techniques. Introduction to modern analog and digital electronics from an experimental viewpoint. Use of computers for data acquisition and experimental control. Statistics of data analysis. prereq: concurrent registration is required (or allowed) in 2605 or equiv lab experience or instr consent
PHYS 4001 - Analytical Mechanics
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall
Analytic Newtonian mechanics. Mathematics beyond prerequisites developed as required. prereq: [2303 or 2601 or Chem 3501 or Chem 3502], two sems soph math
PHYS 4002 - Electricity and Magnetism
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Typically offered: Every Spring
Classical theory of electromagnetic fields using vector algebra and vector calculus. prereq: [2303 or 2601 or Chem 3501 or Chem 3502], two sems soph math
PHYS 4101 - Quantum Mechanics
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall
Mathematical techniques of quantum mechanics. Schrodinger Equation and simple applications. General structure of wave mechanics. Operator methods, perturbation theory, radiation from atoms. prereq: [2303 or 2601 or Chem 3502], two sems soph math
PHYS 4052W - Methods of Experimental Physics II (WI)
Credits: 5.0 [max 5.0]
Typically offered: Every Spring
Second semester of laboratory sequence. Contemporary experimental techniques illustrated by experiments with data analysis. Students design and execute an experimental project. Lectures on specialized topics of professional concern. prereq: 4051