Major in Physics 2013-2014

The Physics department reserves the right to change major requirements at any time. Please check with the Physics department or the CU Boulder catalog for the most current listing of requirements. You are subject to the requirements in effect at the time you declare your major as an Arts & Sciences degree seeking student.

In addition to the general requirements of the College of Arts and Sciences, Physics majors must complete the specific requirements listed below.

Students who declare a Physics major are required to consult with the departmental advisor at least once per semester. Because most of the advanced Physics courses have various prerequisites, failure to settle on an appropriate plan of study early in the college career can result in delay and complications later.

Three different plans are available to students pursuing a Physics major. Students are encouraged to pursue their own interests when setting up their curriculum.

Courses required for a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Physics at CU-Boulder and Colorado Community College applicable courses.

PLAN I

Primarily for those planning graduate work in Physics, this plan includes 45 credit hours of Physics courses.

Physics Major Plan 1
CU-Boulder Required Courses Colorado Community College Applicable Courses
  • PHYS 1110 (4) General Physics 1 and
  • PHY 211 (5) Physics: Calculus Based I with Lab
  • PHYS 1120 (4) General Physics 2 and
  • PHYS 1140 (1) Experimental Physics 1
  • PHY 212 (5) Physics: Calculus Based II with Lab

Note: Students who take PHY 212 will receive credit for both PHYS 1120 and PHYS 1140 at UCB.

  • PHYS 2150 (1) Experimental Physics 2
  • PHYS 2170 (3) Foundations of Modern Physics
  • PHYS 2210 (3) Classical Mechanics and Math Methods 1
  • PHYS 3210 (3) Classical Mechanics and Math Methods 2
  • PHYS 3220 (3) Quantum Mechanics and Atomic Physics 1
  • PHYS 3310 (3) Principles of Electricity and Magnetism 1
  • PHYS 3320 (3) Principles of Electricity and Magnetism 2
  • PHYS 3330 (2) Junior Laboratory
  • PHYS 4230 (3) Thermodynamics and Statistical Mechanics
  • PHYS 4410 (3) Quantum Mechanics and Atomic Physics 2s

Electives in Physics

A minimum of 9 elective credit-hours (chosen from the departmental list) are required.

Three of those 9 hours must be fulfilled either by completing one of the following courses,

  • PHYS 3340 (3) Introductory Research in Optical Physics
  • PHYS 4430/5430 (3) Introduction to Research in Modern Physics

Or with a research activity of 3 credit hours, which can be completed with one of the following two options:

1) Under one of the following courses:

  • PHYS 4610 (2) Physics Honors
  • PHYS 4620 (2) Physics Honors
  • PHYS 4630 (2) Physics Honors
  • PHYS 4840 (1-3) Independent Study
  • PHYS 4850 (1-3) Independent Study

(Up to 3 credit hours earned under this option (#1) may be counted towards the electives requirement.)

Or,

2) By documentation of your accomplishments as an intern with a research activity within the physics department or a suitable cognate department, institute or external entity (such as NCAR, NIST, NOAA, etc.). Approval by a physics department advisor is required for this option and should be obtained in advance.

(No academic credit is earned under the internship option (#2), so if an internship is taken, students must still earn credit through one of the required courses.)

In addition, the following non-Physics courses are required:

  • MATH 1300 (5) Analytic Geometry and Calculus 1 or
  • APPM 1350 (4) Calculus 1 for Engineers
  • MAT 201 (5) Calculus I
  • MATH 2300 (5) Analytic Geometry and Calculus 2 or
  • APPM 1360 (4) Calculus 2 for Engineers
  • MAT 202 (5) Calculus II
  • MATH 2400 (4) Analytic Geometry and Calculus 3 or
  • APPM 2350 (4) Calculus 3 for Engineers
  • MAT 203 (4) Calculus III
  • APPM 2360 (4) Introduction to Differential Equations with Linear Algebra

or, both

  • MATH 3130 (3) Introduction to Linear Algebra and
  • MATH 4430 (3) Ordinary Differential Equations
  • MAT 266 (4) Differential Equations with Linear Algebra
  • CHEM 1113 (4) General Chemistry 1 and
  • CHEM 1114 (1) Laboratory in General Chemistry 1

and

  • CHE 111 (5) General College Chemistry I/Lab
  • CHEM 1133 (4) General Chemistry 2 and
  • CHEM 1134 (1) Laboratory in General Chemistry 2

or

  • CHE 112 (5) General College Chemistry II/Lab
  • CHEM 1351 (5) Honors General Chemistry 1 and
  • CHEM 1371 (5) Honors General Chemistry 2

Note:

Students who take CHE 111 will receive credit for both CHEM 1113 & CHEM 1114 at UCB.

Students who take CHE 112 will receive credit for both CHEM 1133 & CHEM 1134 at UCB.

PLAN II

For students desiring either an interdisciplinary or an applied Physics program. The interdisciplinary program includes Astrophysics, Atmospheric Physics, Geophysics, or a combination of a Physics major with work in another area such as Applied Mathematics, Biophysics, Chemical Physics, Environmental Sciences, Philosophy and History of Science, or Pre-Medicine.

The applied physics program includes biotechnology, optics, fluid dynamics, or electronic devices.

For the interdisciplinary program, 33 hours of Physics courses, plus 3 hours of physics electives, plus 12 hours of interdisciplinary courses are required. For the Applied Physics program, 33 hours of Physics courses plus 15 hours of Applied Physics courses are required.

Physics Major Plan 2
CU-Boulder Required Courses Colorado Community College Applicable Courses
  • PHYS 1110 (4) General Physics 1
  • PHY 211 (5) Physics: Calculus Based I with Lab
  • PHYS 1120 (4) General Physics 2
  • PHYS 1140 (1) Experimental Physics 1
  • PHY 212 (5) Physics: Calculus Based II with Lab

Note: Students who take PHY 212 will receive credit for both PHYS 1120 and PHYS 1140 at UCB.

  • PHYS 2150 (1) Experimental Physics 2
  • PHYS 2170 (3) Foundations in Modern Physics
  • PHYS 2210 (3) Classical Mechanics and Math Methods 1
  • PHYS 3210 (3) Classical Mechanics and Math Methods 2
  • PHYS 3220 (3) Quantum Mechanics and Atomic Physics 1
  • PHYS 3310 (3) Principles of Electricity and Magnetism 1
  • PHYS 3320 (3) Principles of Electricity and Magnetism 2
  • PHYS 3330 (2) Junior Laboratory
  • PHYS 4230 (3) Thermodynamics and Statistical Mechanics

Electives in Physics

A minimum of 3 elective credit-hours (chosen from the departmental list) are required.

In addition, the following non-Physics courses are required:

  • MATH 1300 (5) Analytic Geometry and Calculus 1

or

  • APPM 1350 (4) Calculus 1 for Engineers
  • MAT 201 (5) Calculus I
  • MATH 2300 (5) Analytic Geometry and Calculus 2

or

  • APPM 1360 (4) Calculus 2 for Engineers
  • MAT 202 (5) Calculus II
  • MATH 2400 (4) Analytic Geometry and Calculus 3

or

  • APPM 2350 (4) Calculus 3 for Engineers
  • MAT 203 (4) Calculus III
  • APPM 2360 (4) Introduction to Differential Equations with Linear Algebra

or both

  • MATH 3130 (3) Introduction to Linear Algebra and
  • MATH 4430 (3) Ordinary Differential Equations
  • MAT 266 (4) Differential Equations with Linear Algebra
  • CHEM 1113 (4) General Chemistry 1 and
  • CHEM 1114 (1) Laboratory in General Chemistry 1

and

  • CHE 111 (5) General College Chemistry I/Lab
  • CHEM 1133 (4) General Chemistry 2 and
  • CHEM 1134 (1) Laboratory in General Chemistry 2

or

  • CHE 112 (5) General College Chemistry II/Lab
  • CHEM 1351 (5) Honors General Chemistry 1 and
  • CHEM 1371 (5) Honors General Chemistry 2

Note:

Students who take CHE 111 will receive credit for both CHEM 1113 & CHEM 1114 at UCB.

Students who take CHE 112 will receive credit for both CHEM 1133 & CHEM 1134 at UCB.

Courses in the interdisciplinary or applied physics subjects may not be double counted with the required 33 hours of physics courses.

Interdisciplinary or applied physics courses must be approved by the physics department, either by the preapproved existing list of courses in each discipline or by a physics department mentor on a course-by-course basis.

It is therefore imperative that students in Plan II be in close contact with the physics department advisor.

PLAN III

For students intending to become elementary/secondary school teachers, this plan involves a minimum of 28-31 hours of Physics and a minimum of 35 hours in education courses. An education student advisor is available by appointment at (303) 492-2559.

Physics Major Plan 3
CU-Boulder Required Courses Colorado Community College Applicable Courses
  • PHYS 1110 (4) General Physics 1 and
  • PHYS 1120 (4) General Physics 2 and
  • PHYS 1140 (1) Experimental Physics 1
  • PHY 211 (5) Physics: Calculus Based I with Lab
  • PHY 212 (5) Physics: Calculus Based II with Lab

Note: Students who take PHY 212 will receive credit for both PHYS 1120 and PHYS 1140 at UCB.

  • PHYS 2130 (3) General Physics 3
  • PHYS 2210 (3) Classical Mechanics and Math Methods 1
  • PHYS 3210 (3) Classical Mechanics and Math Methods 2
  • PHYS 3310 (3) Principles of Electricity and Magnetism I
  • PHYS 3330 (2) Junior Laboratory
  • PHYS 4450 (3) History and Philosophy of Physics
  • ASTR 1030 (4) Accelerated Intro to Astronomy 1

An additional required course for teaching in secondary schools:

  • PHYS 3220 (3) Quantum Mechanics & Atomic Physics 1

In addition, the following non-Physics courses are required:

  • CHEM 1011 (3) Environmental Chemistry 1 and
  • CHEM 1031 (4) Environmental Chemistry 2

or

  • CHEM 1113 (4) General Chemistry 1 and
  • CHEM 1114 (1) Laboratory in General Chemistry 1

and

  • CHE 111 (5) General College Chemistry I/Lab
  • CHEM 1133 (4) General Chemistry 2 and
  • CHEM 1134 (1) Laboratory in General Chemistry 2

or

  • CHE 112 (5) General College Chemistry II/Lab
  • CHEM 1351 (5) Honors General Chemistry 1 and
  • CHEM 1371 (5) Honors General Chemistry 2

Note:

Students who take CHE 111 will receive credit for both CHEM 1113 & CHEM 1114 at UCB.

Students who take CHE 112 will receive credit for both CHEM 1133 & CHEM 1134 at UCB.

  • MATH 1300 (5) Analytic Geometry and Calculus 1

or

  • APPM 1350 (4) Calculus 1 for Engineers
  • MAT 201 (5) Calculus I
  • MATH 2300 (5) Analytic Geometry and Calculus 2

or

  • APPM 1360 (4) Calculus 2 for Engineers
  • MAT 202 (5) Calculus II
  • MATH 2400 (4) Analytic Geometry and Calculus 3

or

  • APPM 2350 (4) Calculus 3 for Engineers
  • MAT 203 (4) Calculus III
  • APPM 2360 (4) Introduction to Differential Equations with Linear Algebra

or both

  • MATH 3130 (3) Introduction to Linear Algebra and
  • MATH 4430 (3) Ordinary Differential Equations
  • MAT 266 (4) Differential Equations with Linear Algebra

Special Requirements and Semester Hours

PLACE Basic Skills Assessment

Prior to or during the semester for which students are seeking admission to the Teacher Education Program, they must take the PLACE Basic Skills Assessment. A copy of the PLACE Registration Bulletin form is available in the Office of Teacher Education in Education 151. Students should read it carefully for specific information on the assessments and registration procedures. Students must successfully complete the Liberal Arts, Professional Knowledge, and Contents Fields portions of this examination.

Liberal Arts

Humanities (6) (i.e., from “Literature and the Arts” in the College of Arts and Sciences core curriculum)

Social sciences (6) (i.e., from “Content Area Studies” in the College of Arts and Sciences core curriculum, except “Literature and the Arts” and “Natural Sciences”)

Science

MATH 1300 (5) Analytic Geometry and Calculus 1

Two courses (minimum of 3 semester hours) in each of biology, chemistry, earth science, and physics. The eight courses must include a course with attached laboratory work in three of the four subjects)

EDUC 5312 (3) The Nature of Science and Science Education

Science course work taken in the past five years (6)

Education

EDUC 3013 (4) Proseminar 1: Becoming a Teacher

EDUC 3023 (4) Proseminar 2: Schools, Culture, and Society

EDUC 4112 (3) Educational Psychology and Adolescent Development (or PSYC 4205)

EDUC 4122 (3) Principles and Methods of Secondary Education

EDUC 4232 (3) Language and Literacy Across the Curriculum

EDUC 5385 (4) Methods and Materials in Secondary Science (EDUC 4122 is a prerequisite and EDUC 5312 is a prerequisite or corequisite)

EDUC 4513 (2) Proseminar 3: Education and Practice

EDUC 4712 (12) Student Teaching—Secondary (must be taken concurrently with EDUC 4513)