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B.S. in Physics

In this Section

Physics, the most fundamental of the sciences, deals with the behavior and interaction of matter, energy, space and time. It is in Physics where the basic concepts, laws and measuring techniques have been developed in the broad areas of mechanics, heat and thermodynamics; wave motion, acoustics, optics, electricity and magnetism; and the structure of matter. The concepts and techniques of Physics are the foundations of the other Sciences and of Engineering. Clarkson’s Physics curriculum has been designed to meet the following goals:

  • Present the fundamental knowledge needed for professional work in industry or graduate
    school, while including many free electives.
  • Offer a flexible curriculum to satisfy diverse career objectives and make it possible to double major in Physics and other fields.
  • Provide plenty of opportunity to get involved in active research as an undergraduate.

A double major with physics at Clarkson can be completed within four years, and this is even easier for students coming in with AP or college-level credits. In addition to providing a flexible double major program, the Physics curriculum strongly emphasizes undergraduate research. All faculty members are actively engaged in research, much of it is a part of the Physics graduate program (offering M.S. and Ph.D. degrees). Usually students identify research projects in their areas of concentration and continue to work on the project until graduation. Often their research leads to publication in internationally recognized scientific journals. Check out the Physics Department’s Web site for more information about the Physics Program and the various research areas of the physics faculty: www.clarkson.edu/physics.

THREE-YEAR ACCELERATED DEGREE PROGRAM
This program is available to students who arrive at Clarkson University with excellent preparation from high school. Its challenging pace requires harder work than the standard program and special dedication, but offers the opportunity to complete a degree in a shortened time span. Students in this accelerated program can save educational costs and enter the job market a year earlier. Contact the Physics Department for a sample curriculum.

Requirements
 
Cr. Hrs.
 
Cr. Hrs.
First-Year Seminar
1
Communications Elective (C2)
3
Clarkson Seminar
3
Knowledge Area and University
Physics1 (or equivalent)
35
Course Electives
15
Mathematics
18
Concentration Electives2
9
Chemistry
8
Information Technology Elective
3
Biology Elective
3
Technology Elective
3
    Free Electives (including one C1 course3)
19
     
line
     Total
120


 Physics Curriculum
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FIRST YEAR
First Semester Second Semester
Course Title
Cr. Hrs.
Course Title
Cr. Hrs.
PH131 Physics I
4
PH132 Physics II
4
FY100 First-Year Seminar
1
MA132 Calculus II
3
MA131 Calculus I
3
CM132 Chemistry II
4
CM131 Chemistry I
4
  KA Elective
3
PH121 Phy. Freshman Seminar
1
   
line
UNIV190 Clarkson Seminar
3
   
14
   
line
   
   
16*
     
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SOPHOMORE YEAR
First Semester Second Semester
Course Title
Cr. Hrs.
Course Title
Cr. Hrs.
PH231 Modern Physics
3
PH221 Theoretical Mechanics
3
PH232 Modern Physics Lab
1
MA231 Calculus III
3
MA232 Differential Equations
3
  Free Elective (C1 or C2)
3
  Biology Elective
3
  KA/UC Elective
3
  KA/UC Elective
3
  Communication Elective (C2)
3
  Information Tech. Elective
3
   
line
   
line
   
15
   
16
   
line
JUNIOR YEAR
First Semester Second Semester
Course Title
Cr. Hrs.
Course Title
Cr. Hrs.
PH325 Thermal Physics
3
PH331 Quantum Physics I
3
PH380 Electromagnetic Theory I
3
  Free Elective
3
MA381 Probability
3
MA331 Fourier-Series and
  Concentration Elective
3
  Boundary Value Problems
3
  KA/UC Elective
3
PH327 Exper. Phys. I
3
   
line
  Free Elective  
   
15
  (recommended PH381)
3
         
line
         
15
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SENIOR YEAR
First Semester Second Semester
Course Title
Cr. Hrs.
Course Title
Cr. Hrs.
PH Elective (recomm. PH432)
3
  Concentration Elective
3
PH435 Senior Seminar
1
  Technology Elective
3
  KA/UC Elective
3
  Free Electives
9
  Concentration Elective
3
   
line
PH Professional Elective
3
   
15
  Free Electives
1
     
   
line
     
   
14
     

* Some non-credit courses in physical education, aerospace studies and/or military science might be required for graduation.

  1. Including the core courses PH131, PH132, PH221, PH231, PH232, PH325, PH327, PH380 and at least one Professional Course selected from PH445, PH446, PH470-471, and PH474-477.
  2. All of these must be in one area outside of Physics; an area need not be a department.
  3. At least one of the free electives should be a [C1] or [C2] designated Communication Intensive Course unless a [C1] course is already included in the Biology or Concentration electives.

Students in the Class of 2010 and later — see academic requirements for details of the Clarkson Common Experience including the First-Year Seminar, the Clarkson Seminar, Knowledge Area (KA) courses, University Courses (UC), and related requirements.

Physics Courses
Not all courses are offered each year or each semester (see annual Courses publication).
UNDERGRADUATE COURSES

PH121 Physics First-Year Seminar PH221 Theoretical Mechanics I
PH131 Physics I PH231 Fundamentals of Modern Physics
PH132 Physics II PH232 Modern Physics laboratory
PH141 Physics for Life Sciences I PH255 Introduction to
PH142 Physics for Life Sciences II   Mathematical Physics
SC101 Introduction to Astronomy PH301 Teaching Methodology
SC131 Introduction to Physics I   in Physics I
SC132 Introduction to Physics II PH302 Teaching Methodology
SC133 Collective Behavior in Physical,   in Physics II
  Biological, and Other Systems PH322 Theoretical Mechanics II
PH331 Quantum Physics I PH323 Optics
PH341 Solid State Physics I PH325 Thermal Physics
PH380 Electromagnetic Theory I PH327 Experimental Physics I
PH381 Electromagnetic Theory II PH328 Experimental Physics II
PH401 Teaching Methodology PH547 Nuclear Physics
  in Physics III PH551 Statistical Mechanics I
PH402 Teaching Methodology PH553 Relativity
  in Physics IV PH555 Mathematical Methods in Physics
PH426 Introduction to Biophysics PH557 Introduction to Astrophysics
PH432 Quantum Physics II PH560 Physics of Fluids
PH435 Physics Senior Seminar PH570-573 Directed Study Experimental
PH442 Solid State Physics II PH574-577 Directed Study Theoretical
PH443 Introduction to Theoretical PH580 Electromagnetic Theory I
  Physics I PH581 Electromagnetic Theory II
PH444 Introduction to Theoretical PH589 (EE543) Physics of
  Physics II   Semiconductor Devices
PH445 Senior Thesis I PH591 Experimental Physics I
PH446 Senior Thesis II PH592 Experimental Physics II
PH447 Nuclear Physics PH641 (EE641) Charge Carrier Transport
PH451 Statistical Mechanics I   in Semiconductors
PH453 Relativity PH661 Classical Mechanics
PH455 Mathematical Methods in Physics PH663 Electromagnetic Theory I
PH457 Introduction to Astrophysics PH664 Electromagnetic Theory II
PH460 Physics of Fluids PH667 Statistical Mechanics II
PH470-473 Directed Study Experimental PH669 Quantum Mechanics I
PH474-477 Directed Study Theoretical PH670 Quantum Mechanics II
    PH671 Advanced Quantum Mechanics
GRADUATE COURSES PH679 Quantum Theory of Solids
PH489 (EE443) Physics of PH681 Selected Topics in Physics I
  Semiconductor Devices PH682 Selected Topics in Physics II
PH522 Theoretical Mechanics II PH683 Graduate Seminar I
PH523 Optics PH684 Graduate Seminar II
PH525 Thermal Physics PH687 Special Seminar
PH526 Introduction to Biophysics PH690-693 Current Literature
PH531 Quantum Physics I PH699 Thesis, Dissertation or
PH532 Quantum Physics II   Special Project
PH541 Solid State Physics I    
PH542 Solid State Physics II    
Knight