> MSU Catalog
Physics
Department of Physics
http://www.physics.montana.edu/
The physics curriculum is designed with considerable flexibility in order to accommodate the variety of interests, plans, and needs of majors. At the same time, it provides a broad and thorough understanding of the fundamental ideas and concepts related to the physical world surrounding us. Using this broad base, which stresses fundamentals, undergraduates may enter graduate work in one of the pure or applied sciences or one of the nonsciences such as education, business administration, law, journalism, or philosophy. They may also choose to go directly into jobs in education, industry, government, or business.
The Department of Physics
offers graduate work leading
to the Master of Science and
Doctor of Philosophy degrees.
Furthermore, the faculty in
all research groups are strongly
committed to enriching the
undergraduate experience by
providing opportunities for
undergraduates to fully participate
in cuttingedge research projects
working alongside faculty
and graduate students.
Professional Option
Intended primarily as preparation for graduate work in one of the physical sciences, the professional option provides a sound background in the fundamentals of physics and Mathematics.
Interdisciplinary Option
This option requires a minimum of 16 credits in the declared area and is designed for those who desire a firm background in Mathematics and physics coupled with a concentration in another discipline such as chemistry, biology, computer science, engineering, or Intermediate Tech Writing. Each student choosing this option will work out a specific program with an advisor and the participating department.
Teaching Option
This option is intended primarily as preparation for secondary school teachers. Teaching options require a teaching minor from the list under the Department of Education. However, the only teaching minor that can be completed within 128 credits is Mathematics. Please contact the department advisor for specifics on other options.
Undergraduate Research Participation
An integral component of all undergraduate major programs in physics is participation in undergraduate research. Based on student interest, faculty work closely with students in identifying and addressing important problems in particular subfields. Although a minimum of 3 credits of undergraduate research is required, many students extend this experience and work in research labs throughout the year, including summers. Students from other majors who demonstrate interest and ability are also welcome to participate in undergraduate research in physics.
Capstone Experience
Students in the professional and interdisciplinary options will complete senior projects that integrate their physics knowledge and problem solving skills. Students will complete these projects during a minimum of two credits of PHYS 470, PHYS 489, or PHYS 490 and present their results in oral and written forms in PHYS 406  Capstone Presentations. Guidelines for these senior projects are available from the departmental advisors.
The capstone experience for those in the Physics Teaching Option is EDSD 410  Student Teaching. Each student will submit a written report from the supervising teacher and a written selfassessment.
Departmental Honors in Physics
When appropriate, majors should consider the opportunities afforded by the departmental honors program. This program has the following requirements:
 A minimum 3.5 gradepoint average (GPA) in physics; 3.0 GPA
overall.
 A minimum of four credits of undergraduate research credit.
 An acceptable, bound senior thesis, and an oral defense of
the thesis.
 Participation in a physics seminar for one semester in either
the junior or senior year.
A detailed description of the program is available from the department.
Curricula in Physics
Freshman Year  F   S 
M 171Calculus I 
4   
M 172Calculus II 
  4 
PHYS 137From Quarks to the Cosmos  1   
Take one of the following: 
PHYS
211Gen & Mod Phys I 
  4 
PHYS
221Honors Gen & Mod Phys I 
  4 
Biol,Chem, or Earth Science Electives 
4 
 
University Core and Electives 
6   7 
 15   15 
Sophomore Year  F   S 
PHYS 200Research Programs in Physics  1   
Take one of the following: 
PHYS
212Gen & Mod Phys II 
4   
PHYS
222Honors Gen & Mod Phys II 
4   
M 273Multivariable Calculus  4   
M 274Intro to Diffential Equations

  4 
PHYS 213Gen
& Mod Phys III 
 
4 
PHYS 231Intro Theoretical Phys    3 
PHYS 261Laboratory Electronics I  2   
PHYS 361Laboratory Electronics II    2 
University Core and Electives 
4   2 
 15   15 
Junior Year  F   S 
PHYS 301Classical Mechanics  4   
PHYS 317Electr & Magnetism I  3   
PHYS 318Elect & Magnetism II    3 
PHYS 331Computational Physics  1   
PHYS 411Quantum Mech I    4 
Math Electives  3   3 
Physics Electives    3 
University Core and Electives 
4   2 
 15   15 
Senior Year  F   S 
PHYS 406Capstone
Presentations 
  1 
PHYS 412Quantum Mech II  3   
PHYS 461Senior Lab  4   
PHYS 490Undergrad Research/Creative Activity  3   
Math Electives 
  3 
Physics Electives  2   3 
University Core and Electives 
3   8 
 15   15 
The physics electives are to be selected from PHYS 253 and PHYS courses numbered 300 and above. The mathematics electives are to be selected from M 221 and MATH and STAT courses numbered 300 and above. A minimum of 120 credits is required for graduation; 42 of these credits must be in courses numbered 300 and above.
Freshman Year  F   S 
M 171Calculus I 
4   
M 172Calculus II 
  4 
PHYS 137From Quarks to the Cosmos  1   
Take one of the following: 
PHYS
211Gen & Mod Phys I 


4 
PHYS
221Honors Gen & Mod Phys I 


4 
Biol, Chem, or Earth Science Electives 
4 


University Core, Elect, & Opt 
6 
 7 
 15   15 
Sophomore Year  F   S 
PHYS 200Research Programs in Physics  1   
Take one of the following: 
PHYS
212Gen & Mod Phys II 
4   
PHYS
222Honors Gen & Mod Phys II 
4   
M 273Multivariable Calculus 
4 


M 274Intro to Diffential Equations 


4 
PHYS 213Gen
& Mod Phys III 


4 
PHYS 231Intro Theoretical Phys    3 
PHYS 261Laboratory Electronics I  2   
PHYS 361Laboratory Electronics II 


2 
University Core, Elect, & Opt 
4 
 2 
 15   15 
Junior Year  F   S 
PHYS 301Classical Mechanics  4   
PHYS 317Electr & Magnetism I  3   
PHYS 411Quantum Mech I    4 
Math Electives 
3   3 
Physics Electives    3 
University Core, Elect, & Opt 
5   5 
 15   15 
Senior Year  F   S 
PHYS 406Capstone
Presentations 
  1 
PHYS 490Undergrad Research/Creative Activity  3   
University Core, Elect, & Opt 
12   14 
 15   15 
The physics electives are to be selected from PHYS 253 and PHYS courses numbered 300 and above. The mathematics electives are to be selected from M 221 and MATH and STAT courses numbered 300 and above. A minimum of 120 credits is required for graduation; 42 of these credits must be in courses numbered 300 and above.
Freshman Year    Credits 
EDCI 102InSchool Experience    1 
HDCF 150ISLifespan
Human Devlpmt 
  3 
HDHL 106Drug Hlth Issue for Ed    1 
M 171QCalculus I 
  4 
M 172QCalculus II 
  4 
PHYS 137From Quarks to the Cosmos    1 
Take one of the following: 
PHYS
211Gen & Mod Phys I 
  4 
PHYS
221Honors Gen & Mod Phys I 
  4 
Approved elective in Biol,Chem, or Erth Sci 
  3 
  
University Core and Electives 
  11 
   32 
Sophomore Year    Credits 
EDCI 209Ed Psy Adol Dev    3 
M 273QMultivariable Calculus

  4 
M 274Intro to Diffential Equations    4 
M 242Methods of Proof    3 
Take one of the following: 
PHYS
212Gen & Mod Phys II 
  4 
PHYS
222Honors Gen & Mod Phys II 
  4 
PHYS 213Gen
& Mod Phys III 
  4 
PHYS 231Intro Theoretical Phys    3 
PHYS 261Laboratory Electronics I    2 
PHYS 361Laboratory Electronics II    2 
University Core and Electives    3 
   32 
Junior Year    Credits 
EDCI 240DMultiCultural Ed 
  3 
EDCI 320Found of Instr Computing    2 
EDCI 360Found of Assessment    2 
HDCF 356Exceptional Children    3 
M 328Higher Math for Sec Teachers    3 
M 329Modern Geometry    3 
STAT 216QIntroduction to Statistics 
  3 
PHYS 301Classical Mechanics    4 
Take one of the following: 
PHYS
311Solar System Astronomy 
  4 
PHYS
312Stars, Galaxies & the Universe 
  4 
University Core and Electives 
 
5 
   32 
Senior Year    Credits 
EDSD 301Paraprofessional Exper    1 
EDSD 410Student Teaching    10 
EDSD 413Professional Issues 
  2 
EDSD 461Method Teach Sec Science    3 
EDSD 466Teach Content Read Strat    3 
M 428Math Modeling for Teachers 
  3 
PHYS 317Electr & Magnetism I    3 
Physics Electives    5 
University Core & Electives    2 
   32 
The physics electives must be numbered 200 and above. A minimum of 128 credits is required for graduation; 42 of these credits must be in courses numbered 300 and above.
Take one of the following: 
PHYS
211Gen & Mod Phys I 
  4 
PHYS
221Honors Gen & Mod Phys I 
  4 
Take one of the following: 
PHYS
212Gen & Mod Phys II 
  4 
PHYS
222Hnrs Gen & Mod Phys II 
  4 
PHYS 213Gen
& Mod Phys III 
  4 
PHYS 231Intro Theoretical Phys    3 
Take one of the following: 
PHYS
301Classical Mechanics 
  4 
PHYS
317Elect & Magnetism I 
  3 
Physics electives (261 or 300 level or above)    7 
   26 
Students who complete PHYS 301 require 7 additional physics elective credits. Students who complete PHYS 317 require 8 additional physics elective credits.
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