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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 non-sciences 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 cutting-edge 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 sub-fields. 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 self-assessment.

Departmental Honors in Physics

When appropriate, majors should consider the opportunities afforded by the departmental honors program. This program has the following requirements:

  1. A minimum 3.5 grade-point average (GPA) in physics; 3.0 GPA overall.
  2. A minimum of four credits of undergraduate research credit.
  3. An acceptable, bound senior thesis, and an oral defense of the thesis.
  4. 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


PROFESSIONAL OPTION

Freshman YearFS
M 171--Calculus I    4
M 172--Calculus II     4
PHYS 137--From Quarks to the Cosmos1
Take one of the following:
     PHYS 211--Gen & Mod Phys I    4
     PHYS 221--Honors Gen & Mod Phys I      4
Biol,Chem, or Earth Science Electives     4
University Core and Electives    67
1515
Sophomore YearFS
PHYS 200--Research Programs in Physics1
Take one of the following:
     PHYS 212--Gen & Mod Phys II    4
     PHYS 222--Honors Gen & Mod Phys II     4
M 273--Multivariable Calculus   4
M 274--Intro to Diffential Equations      4
PHYS 213--Gen & Mod Phys III     4
PHYS 231--Intro Theoretical Phys    3
PHYS 261--Laboratory Electronics I    2
PHYS 361--Laboratory Electronics II    2
University Core and Electives     42
1515
Junior YearFS
PHYS 301--Classical Mechanics   4
PHYS 317--Electr & Magnetism I   3
PHYS 318--Elect & Magnetism II    3
PHYS 331--Computational Physics    1
PHYS 411--Quantum Mech I    4
Math Electives    33
Physics Electives    3
University Core and Electives     42
1515
Senior YearFS
PHYS 406--Capstone Presentations    1
PHYS 412--Quantum Mech II    3
PHYS 461--Senior Lab    4
PHYS 490--Undergrad Research/Creative Activity3
Math Electives     3
Physics Electives    23
University Core and Electives     38
1515

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.


INTERDISCIPLINARY OPTION

Freshman YearFS
M 171--Calculus I    4
M 172--Calculus II     4
PHYS 137--From Quarks to the Cosmos    1
Take one of the following:
     PHYS 211--Gen & Mod Phys I      4
     PHYS 221--Honors Gen & Mod Phys I       4
Biol, Chem, or Earth Science Electives     4  
University Core, Elect, & Opt    6 7
1515
Sophomore YearFS
PHYS 200--Research Programs in Physics    1
Take one of the following:
     PHYS 212--Gen & Mod Phys II    4
     PHYS 222--Honors Gen & Mod Phys II     4
M 273--Multivariable Calculus     4  
M 274--Intro to Diffential Equations      4
PHYS 213--Gen & Mod Phys III       4
PHYS 231--Intro Theoretical Phys    3
PHYS 261--Laboratory Electronics I    2
PHYS 361--Laboratory Electronics II     2
University Core, Elect, & Opt     4 2
1515
Junior YearFS
PHYS 301--Classical Mechanics    4
PHYS 317--Electr & Magnetism I   3
PHYS 411--Quantum Mech I    4
Math Electives     33
Physics Electives    3
University Core, Elect, & Opt     55
1515
Senior YearFS
PHYS 406--Capstone Presentations    1
PHYS 490--Undergrad Research/Creative Activity3
University Core, Elect, & Opt     1214
1515

 

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.


PHYSICS TEACHING OPTION

Freshman YearCredits
EDCI 102--In-School Experience   1
HDCF 150IS--Lifespan Human Devlpmt     3
HDHL 106--Drug Hlth Issue for Ed    1
M 171Q--Calculus I     4
M 172Q--Calculus II     4
PHYS 137--From Quarks to the Cosmos    1
Take one of the following:
     PHYS 211--Gen & Mod Phys I    4
     PHYS 221--Honors Gen & Mod Phys I     4
Approved elective in Biol,Chem, or Erth Sci    3
University Core and Electives    11
32
Sophomore YearCredits
EDCI 209--Ed Psy Adol Dev3
M 273Q--Multivariable Calculus      4
M 274--Intro to Diffential Equations    4
M 242--Methods of Proof    3
Take one of the following:
     PHYS 212--Gen & Mod Phys II    4
     PHYS 222--Honors Gen & Mod Phys II     4
PHYS 213--Gen & Mod Phys III     4
PHYS 231--Intro Theoretical Phys    3
PHYS 261--Laboratory Electronics I    2
PHYS 361--Laboratory Electronics II    2
University Core and Electives3
32
Junior YearCredits
EDCI 240D--Multi-Cultural Ed 3
EDCI 320--Found of Instr Computing2
EDCI 360--Found of Assessment2
HDCF 356--Exceptional Children3
M 328--Higher Math for Sec Teachers    3
M 329--Modern Geometry    3
STAT 216Q--Introduction to Statistics     3
PHYS 301--Classical Mechanics    4
Take one of the following:
     PHYS 311--Solar System Astronomy    4
     PHYS 312--Stars, Galaxies & the Universe     4
University Core and Electives     5
32
Senior YearCredits
EDSD 301--Paraprofessional Exper   1
EDSD 410--Student Teaching    10
EDSD 413--Professional Issues     2
EDSD 461--Method Teach Sec Science    3
EDSD 466--Teach Content Read Strat    3
M 428--Math Modeling for Teachers     3
PHYS 317--Electr & 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.


PHYSICS MINOR (NON-TEACHING)

Take one of the following:
     PHYS 211--Gen & Mod Phys I    4
     PHYS 221--Honors Gen & Mod Phys I     4
Take one of the following:
     PHYS 212--Gen & Mod Phys II    4
     PHYS 222--Hnrs Gen & Mod Phys II     4
PHYS 213--Gen & Mod Phys III    4
PHYS 231--Intro Theoretical Phys    3
Take one of the following:
     PHYS 301--Classical Mechanics    4
     PHYS 317--Elect & 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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View Text-only Version Text-only Updated: 6/09/06
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