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Duluth Campus

Physics B.A.

UMD-Physics & Astronomy
Swenson College of Science and Engineering
  • Program Type: Baccalaureate
  • Requirements for this program are current for Fall 2020
  • Required credits to graduate with this degree: 120
  • Required credits within the major: 55 to 82
  • Degree: Bachelor of Arts
The bachelor of arts degree in physics is a liberal arts degree that allows considerable freedom in the planning of upper level courses and can easily be combined with other majors and interests. The physics courses emphasize conceptual foundations, problem-solving skills, and experimental techniques. Honors requirements: To graduate with honors, students must complete and present a research project, and are suggested to maintain a GPA above 3.50 overall and in the major. They are also expected to attend department colloquia. Interested students should contact the physics honors program coordinator.
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.
Required prerequisites
Learning In Community (1 cr)
Transfer students with 24 or more credits and current students who change from a BS degree or change colleges may request to be waived from this requirement. New first-year students with 24 or more PSEO credits may request to be waived from this requirement.
UST 1000 - Learning in Community (1.0-2.0 cr)
General Requirements
The Board of Regents, on recommendation of the faculty, grants degrees from the University of Minnesota. Requirements for an undergraduate degree from University of Minnesota Duluth include the following:
  1. Students must meet all course and credit requirements of the departments and colleges or schools in which they are enrolled including an advanced writing course. Students seeking two degrees must fulfill the requirements of both degrees. However, two degrees cannot be awarded for the same major.
  2. Students must complete all requirements of the Liberal Education Program.
  3. Students must complete a minimum of 120 semester credits.
  4. At least 30 semester credits must be earned through UMD, and 15 of the last 30 degree credits earned immediately before graduation must be awarded by UMD.
  5. Students must complete at least half of their courses at the 3xxx-level and higher at UMD. Study-abroad credits earned through courses taught by UM faculty and at institutions with which UMD has international exchange programs may be used to fulfill this requirement.
  6. If a minor is required, students must take at least three upper division credits in their minor field from UMD.
  7. For certificate programs, at least 3 upper-division credits that satisfy requirements for the certificate must be taken through UMD. If the program does not require upper division credits students must take at least one course from the certificate program from UMD.
  8. The minimum cumulative UM GPA required for graduation will be 2.00 and will include only University of Minnesota coursework. A minimum UM GPA of 2.00 is required in each UMD undergraduate major and minor. No academic unit may impose higher grade point standards to graduate.
  9. Diploma, transcripts, and certification will be withheld until all financial obligations to the University have been met.
Program Requirements
1. A subplan is not required. a. Students interested in broadening analytical thinking through computer science may consider the Computational Physics subplan (see SCSE Advising to declare this subplan). b. Students interested in develops skills in analytical thinking, and data analysis are encouraged to add a Business Administration minor (see LSBE Advising to declare this minor). c. Student who do not chose a subplan are required a second field of study (either a minor or another major). 2. Students interested in teaching 9-12 physics may enroll concurrently in secondary licensure requirements in the Department of Education and apply for admission to the Secondary Teacher Education Program. 3. Taking the "Honors" General Physics I course and General Physics II is recommended but not required for physics majors.
Physics (22 cr)
Topics in Physics
PHYS 1021 - Exploring Current Topics in Physics (1.0 cr)
General Physics I
PHYS 2013 - General Physics I [LE CAT5, NAT SCI] (4.0 cr)
or PHYS 2017 - Honors: General Physics I [NAT SCI] (4.0 cr)
General Physics I lab
PHYS 2014 - General Physics Lab I [NAT SCI] (1.0 cr)
General Physics II
PHYS 2015 - General Physics II (4.0 cr)
or PHYS 2018 - Honors General Physics II (4.0 cr)
General Physics II lab
PHYS 2016 - General Physics Lab II (1.0 cr)
Physics
PHYS 2021 - Relativity and Quantum Physics (4.0 cr)
PHYS 2022 - Classical Physics (4.0 cr)
PHYS 2033 - Classical and Quantum Physics Lab (2.0 cr)
Physics Seminar
PHYS 4090 - Undergraduate Physics Seminar (1.0 cr)
Electives (11 cr)
Take 11 or more credit(s) from the following:
· LIM 5101 - Physical Limnology (3.0 cr)
· AST 3xxx
· AST 4xxx
· PHYS 3xxx
· PHYS 4xxx
· PHYS 5xxx
Mathematics (18 cr)
Calculus I
MATH 1296 - Calculus I [LE CAT, LOGIC & QR] (5.0 cr)
Calculus II
MATH 1297 - Calculus II [LOGIC & QR] (5.0 cr)
Advanced Mathematics
MATH 3280 - Differential Equations with Linear Algebra (4.0 cr)
MATH 3298 - Calculus III (4.0 cr)
Advanced Writing (3 cr)
WRIT 3130 - Advanced Writing: Engineering (3.0 cr)
or WRIT 3150 - Advanced Writing: Science (3.0 cr)
Program Sub-plans
A sub-plan is not required for this program.
Computational Physics
This sub-plan is ideal for students who seek a strong grounding in physics and the computational techniques used in physics research. Computational physics connects physics, computer science, and applied mathematics to provide scientific solution to realistic and other complex problems. Students who will find this sub-plan valuable are interested in moving directly into a quantitative career after graduation and students double majoring with another science or engineering major and considering graduate school.
Computational Physics (25 cr)
Take all of the following courses, PHYS 4052 counts toward the electives in the main part of the program.
Computer Science I
CS 1511 - Computer Science I [LE CAT, LOGIC & QR] (5.0 cr)
or CS 1581 - Honors: Computer Science I [LE CAT3, LOGIC & QR] (5.0 cr)
Computer Science II
CS 1521 - Computer Science II (5.0 cr)
Additional Computer Science
CS 2511 - Software Analysis and Design (4.0 cr)
CS 2531 - Discrete Structures for Computer Science (4.0 cr)
or MATH 3355 - Discrete Mathematics (4.0 cr)
Mathematics
MATH 3810 - Applied Mathematics: Numerical Methods (4.0 cr)
Physics
PHYS 4052 - Computational Methods in Physics (3.0 cr)
Business Administration
By adding a subplan in Business Administration, students can apply practical computing, data analysis, and logical thinking learned through physics to enhance their foundation of business knowledge.
An overall UM GPA of 2.60 is required for automatic admission to this specialty, along with completion of the Pre-Sub-plan core.
Pre Sub-Plan Core (12 cr)
ACCT 2005 - Survey of Accounting [LE CAT] (3.0 cr)
ECON 1003 - Economics and Society [LE CAT, SOC SCI] (3.0 cr)
ECON 2030 - Applied Statistics for Business and Economics [LOGIC & QR] (3.0 cr)
MIS 2201 - Information Technology in Business (3.0 cr)
Upper Division Requirements (15 cr)
FIN 3601 - Corporate Finance (3.0 cr)
MGTS 3301 - Production and Operations Management (3.0 cr)
MGTS 3401 - Organizational Behavior and Management (3.0 cr)
MGTS 3801 - Human Resource Management (3.0 cr)
MKTG 3701 - Principles of Marketing (3.0 cr)
 
More program views..
View college catalog(s):
· Swenson College of Science and Engineering

View sample plan(s):
· Physics BA
· Computational Physics Sample Plan
· Business Administration Sample Plan

View checkpoint chart:
· Physics B.A.
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UST 1000 - Learning in Community
Credits: 1.0 -2.0 [max 2.0]
Course Equivalencies: 02403
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Facilitates the successful transition into college learning and student life at UMD. Credit will not be granted if already received for EHS 1000.
PHYS 1021 - Exploring Current Topics in Physics
Credits: 1.0 [max 1.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall
Introduction to current topics in the field of physics, with emphasis on recent research developments and local research activities.
PHYS 2013 - General Physics I (LE CAT5, NAT SCI)
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall, Spring & Summer
Calculus-based introduction to Newtonian Mechanics, fluid mechanics, and heat. The companion laboratory, PHYS 2014 should be taken concurrently. The combination of PHYS 2013 and 2014 meets liberal education category 4. prereq: previous or concurrent registration in PHYS 2014. Prerequisite of Math 1290 or 1296 or 1596; credit will not be granted if already received for PHYS 2011.
PHYS 2017 - Honors: General Physics I (NAT SCI)
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall
Advanced coverage of General Physics topics that include Newtonian Mechanics, fluid mechanics, and heat. Mathematically and conceptually demanding problem solving techniques. The companion laboratory, PHYS 2014, should be taken concurrently. The combination of PHYS 2014 and PHYS 2017 meets liberal education natural science with lab. prereq: Previous or concurrent registration in PHYS 2014. Previous or concurrent registration in Math 1290 or Math 1296 or 1596, or physics major or instructor permission. Credit will not be granted if already received for PHYS PHYS 2011 or PHYS 2013.
PHYS 2014 - General Physics Lab I (NAT SCI)
Credits: 1.0 [max 1.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall, Spring & Summer
Calculus-based introduction to Newtonian Mechanics, fluid mechanics, and heat exemplified by laboratory study. This laboratory accompanies lecture PHYS 2013 and should be taken concurrently. The combination of PHYS 2013 and 2014 meets liberal education category 4. prereq: previous or concurrent enrollment in PHYS 2013 or 2017
PHYS 2015 - General Physics II
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Calculus-based introduction to electricity, magnetism and optics. The companion laboratory, PHYS 2016, should be taken concurrently. prereq: previous or concurrent registration in 2016. Prerequisite of 2011 or 2013 or 2017 and 2014, Math 1297 or 1597; credit will not be granted if already received for PHYS 2012.
PHYS 2018 - Honors General Physics II
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Spring
Advanced coverage of calculus-based introduction to electricity magnetism and optics. Mathematically and conceptually demanding problem solving techniques. The companion laboratory, PHYS 2016 should be taken concurrently. Prerequisites: Previous or concurrent registration in PHYS 2016; PHYS 2013 or 2017; co-registration in or prior completion of Math 1287 or 1597 or instruction permission. Credit will not be granted if already received for PHYS 2012 or 2015.
PHYS 2016 - General Physics Lab II
Credits: 1.0 [max 1.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Calculus-based introduction to electricity, magnetism and optics exemplified by laboratory study. This laboratory accompanies lecture PHYS 2015 and should be taken concurrently. prereq: Previous or concurrently enrollment in PHYS 2015 or 2018.
PHYS 2021 - Relativity and Quantum Physics
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Spring
Descriptive course; relativity, quantum mechanics, hydrogen atom, multielectron atoms, molecular structure, quantum statistics, thermal radiation, solid state physics, nuclear physics. prereq: 2015 and 2016 or 2018 and 2016 (or 2012)
PHYS 2022 - Classical Physics
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall
Survey of various topics in classical physics: vector angular momentum, AC circuits, oscillatory motion, waves, physical optics. prereq: 2015 or 2018 and 2016 as pre or co-req
PHYS 2033 - Classical and Quantum Physics Lab
Credits: 2.0 [max 2.0]
Course Equivalencies: 01568 - PHYS 2033/2031
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Spring
Experiments and computer simulations selected to provide experience with both concepts and techniques in classical and quantum physics. prereq: 2021 and 2022 (concurrent registration is allowed)
PHYS 4090 - Undergraduate Physics Seminar
Credits: 1.0 [max 1.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Spring
Preparation and presentation of oral reports on approved physics topics, research projects, and journal articles. Discussion of professional ethics. Not for graduate credit. pre-req: minimum 90 credits
LIM 5101 - Physical Limnology
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: 01569 - LIM 5101/5001
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Fall Odd Year
Physical description of lake dynamics including: lake morphometry, water budget, light distribution, circulation, fronts, waves and mixing. Descriptive, mathematical, numerical and data-analysis techniques are used to investigate the various topics. prereq: Math 1297, Phys 2012 or 2015 and 2016, or grad student
MATH 1296 - Calculus I (LE CAT, LOGIC & QR)
Credits: 5.0 [max 5.0]
Course Equivalencies: 01420
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall, Spring & Summer
First part of a standard introduction to calculus of functions of a single variable. Limits, continuity, derivatives, integrals, and their applications. prereq: Math ACT 27 or higher or a grade of at least C- in Math 1250 or department consent
MATH 1297 - Calculus II (LOGIC & QR)
Credits: 5.0 [max 5.0]
Course Equivalencies: 01421
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall, Spring & Summer
Second part of a standard introduction to calculus. Vectors, applications of integrals, transcendental functions, series, and multivariable functions and partial derivatives. prereq: A grade of at least C- in 1290 or 1296 or 1596
MATH 3280 - Differential Equations with Linear Algebra
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall, Spring & Summer
First, second, and higher order equations; series methods; Laplace transforms; systems; software; modeling applications; introduction to vectors; matrix algebra, eigenvalues. prereq: A grade of at least C- in 1297 or 1597
MATH 3298 - Calculus III
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall, Spring & Summer
Third part of a standard introduction to calculus. Conic sections, vectors and vector-valued functions, partial derivatives and multiple integrals, vector fields, Green's and Stokes' theorems. prereq: A grade of at least C- in 1297 or 1597
WRIT 3130 - Advanced Writing: Engineering
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Study and practice of writing tasks in engineering, including oral presentations. Exploration of rhetorical situations in professional practice, including research methods, document design, editing, effective collaboration, and ethical issues in the production of professional documents, such as instructions, lab reports, proposals, short and long reports, and career documents. pre-req: 1) WRIT 1120 or MNTC completed 2) minimum 60 credits earned
WRIT 3150 - Advanced Writing: Science
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall, Spring & Summer
Study and practice of writing tasks in science, including oral presentations. Exploration of rhetorical situations in professional practice, including research methods, document design, editing, effective collaboration, and ethical issues in the production of professional documents, such as instructions, lab reports, proposals, short and long reports, and career documents. prereq: 1) WRIT 1120 or MNTC completed 2) minimum 60 credits earned
CS 1511 - Computer Science I (LE CAT, LOGIC & QR)
Credits: 5.0 [max 5.0]
Course Equivalencies: 01383
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
A comprehensive introduction to computer programming using the C++ language. The course covers program design, C++ programming basics, control structures, functions and parameter passing. Students write and implement programs with data structures (arrays), pointers and files. Object-oriented programming is also introduced, along with concepts of abstraction, ADTs, encapsulation and data hiding. prereq: 3 1/2 yrs high school math or instructor consent
CS 1581 - Honors: Computer Science I (LE CAT3, LOGIC & QR)
Credits: 5.0 [max 5.0]
Course Equivalencies: 01383 - CS 1211/1511/1581
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall
Similar to 1511, but in greater depth and with more challenging assignments. For high-ability students. prereq: Honors student, 3 1/2 yrs high school math
CS 1521 - Computer Science II
Credits: 5.0 [max 5.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Continuation of introduction to computer science. Methods for procedural and data abstraction. Focus on classical data structures, procedural and data abstraction, and the abstract data type. Introduction to software engineering technique. Algorithm analysis, principles of object-oriented programming issues in ethical use of computers. Requires implementation of significant programming projects. prereq: 1511 or 1581, a grade of C- or better is required in all prerequisite courses
CS 2511 - Software Analysis and Design
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Techniques for analyzing, designing, and creating medium-scale software through object-oriented design and implementation. Analysis and use of data structures. Introduction to design patterns. Emphasis on polymorphism and abstraction to increase software modularity, reusability, and flexibility. prereq: 1521 or instructor consent, a grade of C- or better is required in all prerequisite courses
CS 2531 - Discrete Structures for Computer Science
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Introduction to mathematical foundations for computer science; sets, relations, functions, propositional logic, quantified statements, proof methods, including mathematical induction, countability. pre-req: Math 1296 or instructor consent; a grade of C- or better is required in all prerequisite courses
MATH 3355 - Discrete Mathematics
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Introduction to mathematical logic, predicates and quantifiers, sets, proof techniques, recursion and mathematical induction, recursive algorithms, analysis of algorithms, assertions and loop invariants, complexity measures of algorithms, combinatorial counting techniques, relations, graph theory. prereq: 1297 or 1597 or instructor consent, a grade of C- or better in is required in all prerequisite courses
MATH 3810 - Applied Mathematics: Numerical Methods
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Spring
Methods for the numerical solution of mathematical problems. Computer representation of numbers; courses of error; introduction to interpolation, approximation, numerical integration, solution of linear and nonlinear systems, initial-value problem approximation; use of highly structured computer software such as MATLAB, Octave, Mathematical and/or SAGE. prereq: previous or concurrent registration in 3280
PHYS 4052 - Computational Methods in Physics
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Fall Even Year
Applications of numerical methods to problems in classical and quantum physics, emphasizing ordinary and partial differential equations. Computer modeling of physical systems and experimentation with simulations of physical systems. pre-req: PHYS 2021, MATH 3280
ACCT 2005 - Survey of Accounting (LE CAT)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall
Survey of Accounting provides an overview of fundamental concepts and procedures in financial and managerial accounting. The emphasis is on helping students to develop a basic understanding of the contexts of accounting reports provided to decision makers. Credit cannot be applied toward the BAcc or BBA degree programs or the Accounting minor.
ECON 1003 - Economics and Society (LE CAT, SOC SCI)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Periodic Spring
General description of U.S. economy and analysis of contemporary economic problems. Introduction to major economic issues and problems of the day, providing a simple framework used by economists for analysis. prereq: Cannot apply credit to economics major or minor or BAc or BBA majors
ECON 2030 - Applied Statistics for Business and Economics (LOGIC & QR)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall, Spring & Summer
Introduction to modern business statistics, emphasizing problem solving applications through statistical decision making using case studies. Topics include organization and presentation of data, summary statistics, distributions, statistical inference including estimation, and hypothesis testing. prereq: minimum 30 credits, LSBE student, pre-business or pre-accounting or Econ BA major or Graphic Design and Marketing major or Graphic Design with Marketing subplan major or Econ minor or Accounting minor or Business Admin minor or Arts Administration; credit will not be granted if already received for Econ 2020, Stat 1411, Stat 2411, Stat 3611, Soc 3151, Psy 3020
MIS 2201 - Information Technology in Business
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: 01392
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Introduction to information technology (IT) concepts: computer hardware and software; use of personal productivity tools (spreadsheet, database, and presentation software); system development processes; Web technologies; applications of IT in business processes. prereq: LSBE major or minor student or Graphic Design and Marketing major or Graphic Design with Marketing subplan major or Computer Information Systems majors or minors, or Arts Administration, minimum 15 credits or college consent; credit will not be granted if already received for FMIS 2201
FIN 3601 - Corporate Finance
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall, Spring & Summer
Fundamental concepts of managerial financial decision making. Time value of money, valuation, risk and return, financial statement analysis, short-run financial management, capital budgeting, cost of capital, long-term financing, and corporate taxation. prereq: LSBE candidate or approved non-LSBE business administration minor or approved Finance minor or college consent; credit will not be granted if already received for FMIS 3601
MGTS 3301 - Production and Operations Management
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall, Spring & Summer
Introductory survey of production and operations as a functional area of management, including operations strategy, process design, forecasting, resource allocation, inventory management, scheduling, quality management, and project management. Computer applications of quantitative techniques to support operations decision making. prereq: LSBE candidate or approved non-LSBE business administration minor or college consent; credit will not be granted if already received for FMIS 3301
MGTS 3401 - Organizational Behavior and Management
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Introduction to organizations, management processes, and understanding human behavior at work. Covers the effects of the external environment, organizational structure, job design, teams, and leadership on employees, attitudes, motivation, and behavior. prereq: LSBE candidate or management minor or approved Organizational Management minor or college consent
MGTS 3801 - Human Resource Management
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Introduction to theory and practice of human resource management in private and public organizations. Organizational, legal, and ethical influences on major personnel functions, including planning, staffing, training, performance appraisal, compensation, and labor-management relations. prereq: LSBE candidate or approved non-LSBE business administration or approved non-LSBE HRM minors or college consent
MKTG 3701 - Principles of Marketing
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Marketing as a process of exchange management. Emphasis on conceptual tools necessary to deal with both strategic marketing management issues and tactical management of product, price, promotion, and distribution. prereq: LSBE candidate or non-LSBE Marketing minor or approved non-LSBE business administration minor or college consent