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Duluth Campus

Physics B.A.

College of Liberal Arts - Adm
UMD-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: 53
  • Degree: Bachelor of Arts
The B.A. 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 participate in the department honors program, complete and present a research project, and maintain a GPA above 3.00 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
Introductory Requirement (1 cr)
Transfer students with 24 or more credits and current UMD students who change colleges to CLA are exempt from this requirement. New first-year students with 24 or more PSEO credits may request to be waived from this requirement.
UST 1000 - UMD Seminar (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 of the last 60 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. 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.
  8. Diploma, transcripts, and certification will be withheld until all financial obligations to the University have been met.
Program Requirements
Requirements for the B.A. in physics include: * A second field of study (either a minor or another major). * 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.
Core Courses (20 cr)
The department also recommends the supplementary courses PHYS 2111 and PHYS 2112.
PHYS 1021 - Exploring Current Topics in Physics (1.0 cr)
PHYS 2011 {Inactive} [LE CAT4, NAT SCI] (4.0 cr)
PHYS 2012 {Inactive} (4.0 cr)
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)
PHYS 5090 - Physics Seminar (1.0 cr)
Electives (11 cr)
Take 11 or more credit(s) from the following:
· AST 4110 - Observational Astronomy (3.0 cr)
· LIM 5101 - Physical Limnology (3.0 cr)
· PHYS 3061 - Instrumentation (3.0 cr)
· PHYS 4001 - Classical Mechanics (4.0 cr)
· PHYS 4011 - Electromagnetic Theory (4.0 cr)
· PHYS 4021 - Quantum Physics II (4.0 cr)
· PHYS 4031 - Thermal and Statistical Physics (4.0 cr)
· PHYS 5041 - Optics (3.0 cr)
· PHYS 5043 - Environmental Optics (3.0 cr)
· PHYS 5052 - Computational Methods in Physics (3.0 cr)
· PHYS 5053 - Data Analysis Methods in Physics (3.0 cr)
· PHYS 5061 - Experimental Methods (3.0 cr)
· PHYS 5531 - Introduction to Solid State Physics (3.0 cr)
· PHYS 5541 - Fluid Dynamics (3.0 cr)
· PHYS 3561 - Astrophysics (3.0 cr)
or PHYS 5561 - Astrophysics (3.0 cr)
Courses From Other Programs (21 cr)
MATH 1296 - Calculus I [LE CAT2, LOGIC & QR] (5.0 cr)
MATH 1297 - Calculus II [LOGIC & QR] (5.0 cr)
MATH 3280 - Differential Equations with Linear Algebra (4.0 cr)
MATH 3298 - Calculus III (4.0 cr)
WRIT 3130 - Advanced Writing: Engineering (3.0 cr)
or WRIT 3150 - Advanced Writing: Science (3.0 cr)
 
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UST 1000 - UMD Seminar
Credits: 1.0 -2.0 [max 2.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Facilitates the successful transition into college learning and student life at UMD.
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 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: 1202 or 1204 or 2012 or (2015 and 2016)
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 and 2016 as pre or co-req; credit will not be granted if already received for 1203 or 1205 or 2001
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 5090 - Physics Seminar
Credits: 1.0 [max 2.0]
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. prereq: Sr or grad student
AST 4110 - Observational Astronomy
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Fall Even Year
Applied principles of astronomical observation; review of optical telescopes and mounts; locating and tracking objects; remote telescope operation, CCD, CMOS, and film astrophotography, astrometry, photometry, spectroscopy, astronomical image processing and analysis. prereq: Phys 2012 or instructor consent
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
PHYS 3061 - Instrumentation
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Fall Even Year
Introduction to electronics for scientific applications. DC and AC circuits, linear and nonlinear devices, integrated circuits. Analog electronics. Transducers. Digital electronics. Applications of microcomputers to lab data acquisition. prereq: 2022 or 1203 or 1205, 1 sem programming
PHYS 4001 - Classical Mechanics
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Fall Odd Year
Theoretical mechanics, including Lagrangian and Hamiltonian functions, symmetries, and conservation laws. prereq: 2022 or 2001, Math 3280
PHYS 4011 - Electromagnetic Theory
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Spring Even Year
Electric and magnetic fields, Maxwell's equations and applications, radiation. prereq: 3033
PHYS 4021 - Quantum Physics II
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Spring Even Year
Quantum wave mechanics with applications; Schrodinger equation, angular momentum, hydrogen atom, symmetries, identical particles. prereq: 3033
PHYS 4031 - Thermal and Statistical Physics
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Fall Even Year
Elements of thermodynamics; principles of statistical physics applied to equilibrium properties of classical and quantum systems. prereq: 2021
PHYS 5041 - Optics
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Spring Even Year
Fundamentals of physical optics. prereq: 2022 or 2001
PHYS 5043 - Environmental Optics
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Fall Odd Year
Application of optics in environmental measurements of irradiance and radiance, optical remote sensing using ship-borne and satellite platforms, diffuse spectra, single vs. multiple scattering, object visibility, inherent vs. apparent optical properties, scattering in Beer's law, optical algorithms. prereq: 2012 or 2015 and 2016 or course containing elementary optics
PHYS 5052 - Computational Methods in Physics
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Fall Odd 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. prereq: 2021, 1 sem programming, Math 3280
PHYS 5053 - Data Analysis Methods in Physics
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Fall Even Year
Problems of data analysis in the context of dynamical models. Emphasis will be placed on large datasets that arise in astrophysics, particle dynamics, physical oceanography and meteorology. (2 hr lect & 2 hr lab) prereq: 2012 or 2015 and 2016, 1 sem programming, lab or field experience beyond 2012/2015 and 2016
PHYS 5061 - Experimental Methods
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Spring Odd Year
Instruction and practice in methods of experimental physics; microcomputer-based data acquisition; vacuum techniques. prereq: 2033 or 2031, 3061
PHYS 5531 - Introduction to Solid State Physics
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Spring Even Year
Solid structure, thermal, and electronic properties of solids and solid surfaces. prereq: 4021, 4031
PHYS 5541 - Fluid Dynamics
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Spring Odd Year
Analytic and numeric treatment of dynamics of fluids. Rotating, stratified fluids, with applications in limnology, oceanography, and meteorology. prereq: 2022 or 2001, Math 3280
PHYS 3561 - Astrophysics
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: 02227 - AST 3561/PHYS 3561
Prerequisites: 2021
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Spring Odd Year
The application of physical laws and processes to the understanding of astrophysical objects: celestial mechanics, energy transport, stellar structure and evolution, the interstellar medium, stellar remnants, galactic structure and dynamics, large scale structure and cosmology. prereq: 2021
PHYS 5561 - Astrophysics
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: 02228
Prerequisites: 2021 and 2022, Math 3280
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Spring Odd Year
The application of physical laws and processes to the understanding of astrophysical objects: celestial mechanics, energy transport, stellar structure and evolution, the interstellar medium, stellar remnants, galactic structure and dynamics, large scale structure and cosmology. prereq: 2021 and 2022, Math 3280
MATH 1296 - Calculus I (LE CAT2, LOGIC & QR)
Credits: 5.0 [max 5.0]
Course Equivalencies: 01420 - Math1290/1296/1596
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 - Math 1597/1297
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. prereq: 1120 or equivalent, min 60 cr; credit will not be granted if already received for Comp 3130
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: 1120 or equivalent, min 60 cr; credit will not be granted if already received for COMP 3150