2003 - 2004
PhysicsLiberal Arts Home | History & Overview | Policies/Procedures | Degree Requirements | Programs | Organizations
The Major:Students with a strong interest in understanding the fundamental whys and hows of natural physical phenomena are encouraged to consider majoring in physics. The knowledge acquired and analytical skills developed provide excellent broad-based training for a variety of careers in industry, education and government as well as preparation for further graduate study in physics, astronomy and astrophysics, science education, most areas of engineering, biophysics, law and medicine.
The Physics Department offers both Bachelor of Science [BS] and Bachelor of Arts [BA] degrees in physics. The B.S. degree program is intended for those students going to graduate school in physics and related science and engineering disciplines. The B.A. degree program is for students who want to major in physics but are not presently contemplating physics graduate studies. It provides a good foundation in the fundamentals while offering (i) increased flexibility in the major, through fewer required courses and more electives, and (ii) opportunity for parallel studies in another discipline and/or pre-professional preparation.
For either the B.S. or the B.A. degree there are two different options for taking physics courses, the regular and accelerated option. The accelerated option goes at a faster pace during the first two years of physics courses (2000- and 3000-level courses). The two options merge for the 4000-level courses. Students are encouraged to see a Physics Department adviser to determine which option is appropriate for them. Since the accelerated sequence starts with Physics 1, it is recommended that transfer students who have taken Physics 1 and 2 elsewhere use the regular option.
B.S. in Physics: The physics courses required for a B.S. degree in the regular option are PHY 2048, 2049, 2048L, 2049L or equivalent; PHY 3101 and the intermediate courses PHY 3221, 3323 and 3513; PHY 4222, 4324, 4523, 4604, 4802L-4803L and one 3-credit approved physics elective.
For the B.S. degree in the accelerated option required physics courses are PHY 2060, 2061, 3062, 3063 and PHY 2048L, 2049L; PHZ 3113, PHY 3323, PHY 4222, 4324, 4523, 4604, 4802L, 4803L and one 3-credit approved physics elective.
Both options also require one year of college-level chemistry, including one chemistry laboratory course, and a minimum of six credits in approved mathematics courses beyond MAP 2302 (differential equations) or equivalent.
B.A. in Physics: The physics courses required for a BA degree in the regular option are PHY 2048, 2049, 2048L, 2049L or equivalent; PHY 3101 and the intermediate courses PHY 3221, 3323 and 3513; PHY 4604; one of PHY 4802L, 4803L and any two 4000-level or higher physics courses which are included in the physics major curriculum.
In the accelerated option, physics courses required for the B.A. are PHY 2060, 2061, 3062, 3063 and PHY 2048L, 2049L; PHZ 3113; PHY 4604; one of PHY 4802L, 4803L and any two 4000-level or higher physics courses which are included in the physics major curriculum.
Both options also require one year of college-level chemistry, including one chemistry laboratory course, and a minimum of three credits in approved mathematics courses beyond MAP 2302 (differential equations) or equivalent.
Research: All undergraduate majors are encouraged to participate in research activities. Advanced students may also be eligible to enroll in certain graduate courses, thereby accelerating their education. Physics majors are urged to confer with a department adviser as early as possible and especially as their educational goals evolve.
Honors: To graduate cum laude, a student must have a junior-/senior-level grade point average of 3.5 or higher. To graduate magna cum laude (high honors) or summa cum laude (highest honors), a senior thesis is required, based on a research project directed by a faculty member. A thesis research project is normally begun no later than the middle of the junior year; the student registers for PHY 4905 or PHY 4910L with the joint approval of a physics adviser and the supervisory professor. Tutorial courses and seminars may also be required. The thesis must be completed at least two weeks before graduation.
The Minor: The minor in physics consists of the completed sequence in general physics PHY 2048, 2049, 2048L, 2049L or equivalent; PHY 3101 Modern Physics; and any two additional 3000- or 4000-level physics courses listed in the physics major course sequence. The following courses may not count toward a physics minor: PHY 3018, PHY 3036, PHY 3400, PHY 3840L and Individual Study courses.
All grades must be C or better, and no more than 3 credits at the 3000-level or above may be earned by transfer. Students who complete the course sequence PHY 2060, 2061, 2048L, 2049L, 3062, 3063 may satisfy the minor requirement by taking one additional 4000-level course in the physics major course sequence or by taking PHZ 3113. Persons interested in pursuing a physics minor are urged to consult one of the physics advisers and obtain the required approval of a minor program of study no later than the beginning of the junior year.
General Education: Several courses meet the criteria in physical sciences (P). Some mathematical training (indicated in parentheses) is desirable or required for many of these courses.
MET 1010 Introduction to Meteorology
PHY 1033C Discovering Physics
PHY 2020 Introduction to the Principles of Physics (MAC 1147)
PHY 2464 Physical Basis of Music (MAC 1147)
PHY 3018 Physics of Photography (algebra)
PHY 3400 Light, Color and Holography
PHY 3400L Holography Laboratory
Any of the general physics sequence courses (PHY 2004, 2005, PHY 2048, 2049 and PHY 2053, 2054) meet this requirement.
Students with Advanced Placement credit should consult the Academic Advising section for course equivalencies. Sequences for the accelerated student are available from any physics adviser or on the physics home page.
Courses: There are four course sequences in Introductory Physics:
The following is a sample schedule for students working toward the B.S. degree and taking Calculus 1 during their first semester. Students may have different schedules due to their background, when they enter UF, etc. In particular, students are encouraged to take Physics 1 with Calculus as soon as they have had Calculus 1, even if this means delaying chemistry to a later semester. For all the physics courses adequate mathematical preparation is essential and is built into the suggested plans. Physics majors should meet with a physics department adviser in planning their schedule. Additional sample schedules are available from the Physics Department home page under Undergraduate Program, and advisers may be contacted via e-mail at email@example.com.
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