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School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics

Physics (B.A., B.S.)

The science of physics seeks understanding of the behavior of matter and energy at the most general and fundamental level. The physicist is trained to explore the physical universe in which people live and seeks interpretations of the natural phenomena found there. While much is known about the physical universe, many phenomena still remain to be investigated, understood, and exploited to the ultimate benefit of humankind. This is the challenge that a modern physicist faces.

Faculty

Cecil and Ida Green Chair in Physics: Roderick A. Heelis
Distinguished Chair in Physics: Myron B. Salamon
Green Distinguished Chair in Academic Leadership: Bryan Hobson Wildenthal
Professors: Roy C. Chaney, Austin J. Cunningham, Gregory D. Earle, Ervin J. Fenyves, Robert Glosser, John H. Hoffman, Joseph M. Izen, Francis S. Johnson (Emeritus), Xinchou Lou, Wolfgang A. Rindler, Brian A. Tinsley, Robert H. Wallace (Electrical Engineering), Anvar A. Zakhidov
Associate Professors: Phillip Anderson, Kyeongiae Cho, Yuri Gartstein
Assistant Professors: Mustapha Ishak-Boushaki, Anton Malko
Senior Lecturers: Paul MacAlevey, Beatrice Rasmussen
Affiliated Faculty: Cyrus D. Cantrell (Engineering), John Ferraris (Chemistry), Wenchuang Hu (Engineering), Stephen Levene (Biology), Dean Sherry (Chemistry), Mary Urquhart (Science/Math Ed.), Duck-Joo Yang (Chemistry)

The Degrees

The student majoring in Physics must meet the general university requirements for admission and for the specific degree the student is seeking. The Physics Program offers both the Bachelor of Arts and the Bachelor of Science degrees.

Bachelor of Science

The Bachelor of Science is intended for students interested in a professional career in physics or closely related fields. Fifty-six hours of physics, eight hours of chemistry and 16 hours of mathematics are included in the 122 credit hours required for the degree.

Bachelor of Arts

The Bachelor of Arts program provides an opportunity for a strong base in physics for students wishing to pursue graduate studies (non-physics) in, for example, medicine, business administration, biophysics, oceanography, and patent or high technology law. Additionally, students seeking certification as high school teachers with physics as a major specialization and those seeking employment in industry, government service, and computer technology have the opportunity to obtain the necessary physics background through this program. The lower-division course requirements for the B.A. degree are the same as those for the B.S. degree. At the upper-division level, 26 hours of physics and 15 hours of science electives are required, making a total of 122 credit hours.

Graduate Studies Track

The recommended course of study toward a Bachelor of Science degree for those students who intend to pursue graduate studies in Physics begins with a two-semester Honors sequence of fundamentals of physics that gives the student a more extensive foundation in basic physics. The remainder of the program is the same as the regular B.S. program. A total of 122 credit hours is required.

Algebra Based Physics

An algebra based general physics course (PHYS 1301, 1302) with lab (PHYS 1101, 1102) is offered for students interested in the health sciences and those curious about the physical world in which we live. It stresses understanding the workings of nature and the physical processes and phenomena occurring therein.

Minor in Physics (20 hours)

A minor is offered that consists of PHYS 2325/2125 and 2326/2126, 3311, 3352 and two other upper-division physics courses.

Fast Track Baccalaureate/Master's Degrees

For students interested in pursuing graduate studies in physics, the Physics Department offers an accelerated B.S. /M.S. Fast Track that involves taking graduate courses in lieu of several advanced undergraduate courses. Acceptance into the Fast Track is based on the student's attaining a GPA of at least 3.00 on a minimum of 30 hours of upper-division courses that include PHYS 3311, 3312, 3330, 3416 and 3352. Eligible students may take up to 15 credit hours of selected graduate courses that may be used to complete the baccalaureate degree and also satisfy requirements for the master's degree. These credits will partially satisfy the M.S. degree requirements when the student completes the B.S. degree. Interested students should contact their advisor during their junior year to apply to the Fast Track program.

Bachelor of Arts in Physics
Degree Requirements (122-124 hours)

I. Core Curriculum Requirements1: 42 hours

A. Communication (6 hours)

3 hours Communication (RHET 1302)

3 hours Communication Elective (NATS 4310, PHYS 4390 or PHYS 4399)

B. Social and Behavioral Sciences (15 hours)

6 hours Government (GOVT 2301 and 2302)

6 hours American History

3 hours Social and Behavioral Sciences Elective

C. Humanities and Fine Arts (6 hours)

3 hours Fine Arts (ARTS 1301)

3 hours Humanities (HUMA 1301)

D. Mathematics and Quantitative Reasoning (6 hours)

6 hours Calculus (MATH 2417 and 2419)3

E. Science (9 hours)

8 hours Chemistry (CHEM 1311/1111, 1312/1112)3

1 hour Physics (PHYS 2125)3

1 Curriculum Requirements can be fulfilled by other approved courses from accredited institutions of higher education. The courses listed in parenthesis are recommended as the most efficient way to satisfy both Core Curriculum and Major Requirements at UT Dallas.

II. Major Requirements: 62-64 hours

Major Preparatory Courses (21-23 hours)

MATH 2417 Calculus I2

MATH 2419 Calculus II2

MATH 2420 Differential Equations with Applications*

MATH 2451 Multivariable Calculus with Applications*

PHYS 1100 Fun of Physics

PHYS 2303 Contemporary Physics*

PHYS 2325/2025/2125 Mechanics with Recitation/Laboratory*

or PHYS 2421/2125 Honors Physics I - Mechanics and Heat with Recitation/Laboratory*

PHYS 2326/2026/2126 Electromagnetism and Waves with Recitation/Laboratory*

or PHYS 2422/2126 Honors Physics II - Electromagnetism and Waves with Recitation/Laboratory*

Major Core Courses (26 hours)

PHYS 3125 Electronics Laboratory

PHYS 3311 Theoretical Physics

PHYS 3312 Classical Mechanics

PHYS 3325 Electronics

PHYS 3330 Numerical Methods in Physics and Computational Techniques

PHYS 3352 Modern Physics I

PHYS 3416 Electricity and Magnetism

PHYS 4311 Thermodynamics and Statistical Mechanics

PHYS 4373 Physical Measurements Laboratory

Major Related Courses (15 hours)

15 hours Science Electives

Advanced Writing

PHYS 4390 Senior Research and Advanced Writing

or PHYS 4399 Senior Honors in Physics=

or NATS 4310 Advanced Writing in the Natural Sciences and Mathematics

or Summer Research Project or COOP program with written final report

2 Two hours of Calculus are counted as Major Preparatory credit; six hours are counted in Core Curriculum.
3 Required preparatory coursework.
4 Counted in Core Curriculum
* Indicates a prerequisite class to be completed before enrolling for upper-division classes.

III. Elective Requirements: 18 hours

Advanced Electives (6 hours)

All students are required to take at least six hours of advanced electives outside their major field of study. These must be either upper-division classes or lower-division classes that have prerequisites.

Free Electives (12 hours)

Both lower- and upper-division courses may count as electives, but the student must complete at least 51 hours of upper-division credit to qualify for graduation.

Physics Electives

PHYS 3180 Observational Astronomy Laboratory I

PHYS 3181 Observational Astronomy Laboratory II

PHYS 3324 Scientific Computing

PHYS 3380 Astronomy

PHYS 4301 Quantum Mechanics I

PHYS 4352 Modern Physics II

PHYS 4371 Solid State Physics

PHYS 4381 Space Science

PHYS 4383 Plasma Physics

Other Courses

PHYS 1001 College Physics I Recitation

PHYS 1002 College Physics II Recitation

PHYS 1101 College Physics Laboratory I

PHYS 1102 College Physics Laboratory II

PHYS 1301 College Physics I

PHYS 1302 College Physics II

PHYS 3041 Physics for Bio Science I Recitation

PHYS 3042 Physics for Bio Science II Recitation

PHYS 3341 Physics for Bio Science I

PHYS 3342 Physics for Bio Science II

 

Bachelor of Science in Physics
Degree Requirements (122 hours)

I. Core Curriculum Requirements1: 42 hours

A. Communication (6 hours)

3 hours Communication (RHET 1302)

3 hours Communication Elective (NATS 4310, PHYS 4390 or PHYS 4399)

B. Social and Behavioral Sciences (15 hours)

6 hours Government (GOVT 2301 and 2302)

6 hours American History

3 hours Social and Behavioral Sciences Elective

C. Humanities and Fine Arts (6 hours)

3 hours Fine Arts (ARTS 1301)

3 hours Humanities (HUMA 1301)

D. Mathematics and Quantitative Reasoning (6 hours)

6 hours Calculus (MATH 2417 and 2419)3

E. Science (9 hours)

8 hours Chemistry (CHEM 1311/1111, 1312/1112)3

1 hour Physics (PHYS 2125)3

1 Curriculum Requirements can be fulfilled by other approved courses from accredited institutions of higher education. The courses listed in parenthesis are recommended as the most efficient way to satisfy both Core Curriculum and Major Requirements at UT Dallas.

II. Major Requirements: 62-64 hours

Major Preparatory Courses (21 hours)

MATH 2417 Calculus I2

MATH 2419 Calculus II2

MATH 2420 Differential Equations with Applications*

MATH 2451 Multivariable Calculus with Applications*

PHYS 1100 The Fun of Physics

PHYS 2303 Contemporary Physics*

PHYS 2325/2025/2125 Mechanics with Recitation/Laboratory*

or PHYS 2421/2125 Honors Physics I - Mechanics with Recitation/Laboratory*

PHYS 2326/2026/2126 Electromagnetism and Waves with Recitation/Laboratory*

or PHYS 2422/2126 Honors Physics II - Electromagnetism and Waves with Recitation/Laboratory*

Major Core Courses (26 hours)

PHYS 3125 Electronics Laboratory

PHYS 3311 Theoretical Physics

PHYS 3312 Classical Mechanics

PHYS 3325 Electronics

PHYS 3330 Numerical Methods in Physics and Computational Techniques

PHYS 3352 Modern Physics I

PHYS 3416 Electricity and Magnetism

PHYS 4311 Thermodynamics and Statistical Mechanics

PHYS 4373 Physical Measurements Laboratory

Major Related Courses (15 hours)

PHYS 4301 Quantum Mechanics I

PHYS 4328 Optics

PHYS 4352 Modern Physics II

6 hours Physics Electives

Advanced Writing (fulfills 3 hours of Core Communications requirement)

PHYS 4390 Senior Research and Advanced Writing

or PHYS 4399 Senior Honors in Physics

or NATS 4310 Advanced Writing in the Natural Sciences and Mathematics

or Summer Research Project or COOP program with written final report

2 Two hours of Calculus are counted as Major Preparatory credit; six hours are counted in Core Curriculum.
3 Required preparatory coursework.
4 Counted in Core Curriculum
* Indicates a prerequisite class to be completed before enrolling for upper-division classes.

III. Elective Requirements: 18 hours

Advanced Electives (6 hours)

All students are required to take at least six hours of advanced electives outside their major field of study. These must be either upper-division classes or lower-division classes that have prerequisites.

Free Electives (12 hours)

Both lower- and upper-division courses may count as electives, but the student must complete at least 51 hours of upper-division credit to qualify for graduation.

Physics Electives

PHYS 3180 Observational Astronomy Laboratory I

PHYS 3181 Observational Astronomy Laboratory II

PHYS 3324 Scientific Computing

PHYS 3380 Astronomy

PHYS 4302 Quantum Mechanics II

PHYS 4371 Solid State Physics

PHYS 4381 Space Science

PHYS 4383 Plasma Physics

PHYS 4V07 Senior Projects Laboratory

Other Courses

PHYS 1001 College Physics I Recitation

PHYS 1002 College Physics II Recitation

PHYS 1101 College Physics Laboratory I

PHYS 1102 College Physics Laboratory II

PHYS 1301 College Physics I

PHYS 1302 College Physics II

PHYS 3041 Physics for Bio Science I Recitation

PHYS 3042 Physics for Bio Science II Recitation

PHYS 3341 Physics for Bio Science I

PHYS 3342 Physics for Bio Science I