Interdisciplinary Physics Major

Effective Date: Fall 2012  

May be as a departmental major program.

Students interested in concentrating in Interdisciplinary Physics should have an understanding of mathematics through differential equations. To declare a major in Interdisciplinary Physics a student must develop an individual plan with a department advisor.

 Prerequisites to the Major 

  •  PHYSICS 140/141 and 240/241 (or PHYSICS 125/136 and 126/236, or PHYSICS 135/136 and 235/236, or PHYSICS 160/161 and 260/261); and 
  • PHYSICS 340/341 and PHYSICS 351.

Program of study in a major

At least 24 credits, including at least 9 in PHYSICS courses numbered 390 and above. The Physics Department requires no less than 12 credits toward the major program be completed in-residence.

A plan for the major must include:

  1. PHYSICS 390+. 
  2. Two additional Physics courses at the 400 level*.
    *PHYSICS 390 and these 400 level Physics course must be completed with a minimum grade of a C- in each course and a cumulative average of C or higher.
  3. Fifteen credits of cognate courses as part of an interdisciplinary plan designed with the approval of a  department advisor.

 The courses selected should form a coherent program of study. 

Examples of possible programs of study include Statistics, Astrophysics, Philosophy, Cosmology, Economics and Finance, Quantum Computing, Biology, Chemical Physics, Nanotechnology, Medical Physics, Environmental Physics, Global Change, Geophysics, Mathematical Physics, Science Writing, Science Policy, Physics of Technology, Applied Physics, Computational Physics, Physics Education, or Industrial Physics. Possible course selections in each of these areas can be viewed at:

Honors Plan   

Students who have a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.4 are encouraged to elect an Honors plan in Interdisciplinary Physics. In addition to the regular departmental requirements for the major, candidates for Honors must elect an additional three credits of PHYSICS from courses numbered 401 and above which are not otherwise required and elect an additional 3 credit course as part of the cognate program. They must also complete a senior Honors thesis based on research (PHYSICS 498/499) done under the supervision of a faculty member. Some students in this degree line are pursuing interdisciplinary or dual degrees. Students wishing to complete an Honors senior thesis with a faculty member outside the Physics Department must meet with a department advisor for prior approval. 

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