Academic Catalog 2023-2024

Slippery Rock University

Physics, Bachelor of Science (BS)

Program Learning Outcomes

Upon graduation, students in the Physics Program at SRU will be:

  • Proficient in the basic and advanced concepts of classical and modern physics.
  • Accomplished problem solvers capable of applying inductive and deductive logic, mathematical modeling, computational tools, and principles of physics to novel situations.
  • Skilled at constructing and assembling experimental apparatuses, conducting and analyzing measurements of physical phenomena, and drawing valid conclusions from experimental data.
  • Effective communicators, capable of presenting scientific results effectively to diverse audiences.
  • Prepared for a career in science, industry, and education or to pursue a graduate program in physics or related areas.

Related Links

Physics, BS Program Page

Physics and Engineering Department Page

Professional Licensure/Certification Page

Curriculum Guide

GPA Requirement

Major GPA: 2.00 or higher
Overall GPA: 2.00 or higher

Summary*

Rock Studies 2 Requirements45
Other Basic Requirements0-3
Computer Competency0-3
Major Requirements57
Natural Science and Math College-Wide Requirements12
Electives18

* All undergraduate degree programs require a minimum of 120 credits.  Some courses meet multiple requirements, but are only counted once toward the 120 credit total required to graduate.

Rock Studies 2 Requirements

The Rock
SUBJ 139Foundations of Academic Discovery 13
ENGL 102Critical Writing3
ENGL 104Critical Reading3
MATH 225Calculus I4
Select one of the following:3
Civil Discourse: Theory & Practice
Ethics and Civil Discourse
Civil Discourse and Democracy
Subtotal16
Integrated Inquiry
Creative and Aesthetic Inquiry
Select 3 Credits3
Humanities Inquiry
Select 3 Credits3
Social Science Inquiry
Select 3 Credits3
Natural Sciences Inquiry
CHEM 107General Chemistry I3
CHEM 111General Chemistry I Lab1
Physical Sciences Inquiry
PHYS 211General Physics I with Lab4
Subtotal17
Thematic Thread
Select 12 Credits 212
Total Hours45
1

Course offered in multiple subjects; cannot take course in first major subject.

2

One course from each category; six credits must be 300-level or above; no more than 4 credits from one subject area; specific courses required in first major, regardless of prefix of course, cannot be used to satisfy thread requirements; any course with same prefix as first major cannot be used to satisfy thread requirements, even if it is not a course in the first major.

Basic Math Requirement

Check with your adviser or a current degree audit report to see if you have been exempted from this course. The credit earned in this course will not be counted toward the 120 credit hour minimum needed to earn a degree.

Complete one of the following:0-3
Meet required minimum SAT or ACT math score OR
Beginning Algebra
Total Hours0-3

Computer Competency

Demonstrate "computer competency" by one of the following:0-3
Pass Computer Competency Exam OR
Select one of the following at SRU or another post-secondary institution:
Introduction to Computing for Liberal Arts
Computer Concepts
Introduction to Computing and Programming
Technology for Wellness
Total Hours0-3

DIVERSITY,  EQUITY,  AND INCLUSION REQUIREMENT

Students must take and pass a course with the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) designation prior to graduation.  Students can meet this requirement by taking any DEI - designated course in any program at any time during their undergraduate career. 

Major Requirements 

  • 29 major credits must be taken at SRU or PASSHE
  • 29 major credits must be taken at the 300 level or above
Required Physics Courses
PHYS 212General Physics II with Lab 13
PHYS 213General Physics III/ Lab 14
PHYS 312Modern Physics 1 13
PHYS 314Statics 13
PHYS 331Mathematical Methods of Physics 13
or MATH 331 Mathematical Methods of Physics
PHYS 371Physical Optics 13
PHYS 410Electricity and Magnetism 13
PHYS 412Modern Physics 2 11
PHYS 480Quantum 13
Subtotal26
Advanced Lab and Optics Lab
PHYS 381Advanced Physics Laboratory 12
PHYS 382Optics Laboratory 12
Subtotal4
Required Physics Electives
Select two of the following:6
Dynamics 1
Thermal Physics 1
Computational Physics 1
Subtotal6
Related Field Work
CHEM 108General Chemistry II 1,23
CHEM 112General Chemistry II Lab 1,21
MATH 230Calculus II 1,24
MATH 231Calculus III 14
MATH 240Linear Algebra and Differential Equations 13
MATH 301Differential Equations I 13
CPSC 146Programming Principles 1,23
Subtotal21
Total Hours57
1

Course counts for 50% of Major requirements and Major GPA

2

Course can be counted as a Rock Studies 2 Requirement, but earns credit only once toward your 120-credits total.

*

Some courses may require pre-requisites. Please see course descriptions to determine if there are any pre-requisites for that specific course.

Natural Science and Math College-Wide Requirements

Students must take the following four courses:
CHEM 107General Chemistry I 13
CHEM 111General Chemistry I Lab 11
MATH 225Calculus I 14
PHYS 211General Physics I with Lab 14
Total Hours12
1

Course can be counted as a Rock Studies 2 Requirement, but earns credit only once toward your 120-credits total.

PHYSICS - BS (6164)
This program is effective as of Fall 2019.
Revised 7-2019
UCC 2.5.2019 

Important Curriculum Guide Notes

This Curriculum Guide is provided to help SRU students and prospective students better understand their intended major curriculum. Enrolled SRU students should note that the My Rock Audit may place already-earned and/or in progress courses in different, yet valid, curriculum categories. Enrolled SRU students should use the My Rock Audit Report and materials and information provided by their faculty advisers to ensure accurate progress towards degree completion. The information on this guide is current as of the date listed. Students are responsible for curriculum requirements at the time of enrollment at the University.

PASSHE - Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education Institutions

Recommended Four-Year Plan

Plan of Study Grid
First Year
FallHours
ENGL 102 Critical Writing 3
ESAP 101 FYRST Seminar * 1
MATH 225 Calculus I 4
PHYS 211 General Physics I with Lab 4
SUBJ 139Foundations of Academic Discovery 1 3
 Hours15
Spring
ENGL 104 Critical Reading 3
PHYS 213 General Physics III/ Lab 4
MATH 230 Calculus II 4
Rock Studies 2 Requirement 3
 Hours14
Second Year
Fall
CHEM 107
CHEM 111
General Chemistry I
and General Chemistry I Lab
4
MATH 231 Calculus III 4
PHYS 212 General Physics II with Lab 3
Select one of the following: 3
Civil Discourse: Theory & Practice
Ethics and Civil Discourse
Civil Discourse and Democracy
Rock Studies 2 Requirement 3
Declare a Thematic Thread 2
 Hours17
Spring
CHEM 108
CHEM 112
General Chemistry II
and General Chemistry II Lab
4
CPSC 146 Programming Principles 3
MATH 301 Differential Equations I 3
Rock Studies 2 Requirement 3
Free Elective 3
 Hours16
Third Year
Fall
MATH 240 Linear Algebra and Differential Equations 3
PHYS 312 Modern Physics 1 3
PHYS 314 Statics 3
PHYS 331 Mathematical Methods of Physics 3
Rock Studies 2 Requirement 3
 Hours15
Spring
PHYS 375 Thermal Physics 3
PHYS 315 Dynamics 3
PHYS 381
Advanced Physics Laboratory
or Optics Laboratory
2
PHYS 412 Modern Physics 2 1
Free Elective 3
Free Elective 3
 Hours15
Fourth Year
Fall
PHYS 371 Physical Optics 3
Physics Elective 3
Rock Studies 2 Requirement 3
Rock Studies 2 Requirement 3
Free Elective 2-3
 Hours14-15
Spring
PHYS 381
Advanced Physics Laboratory
or Optics Laboratory
2
PHYS 410 Electricity and Magnetism 3
PHYS 480 Quantum 3
Rock Studies 2 Requirement 3
Technical Elective 3
 Hours14
 Total Hours**120-121
1

Course offered in multiple subjects; cannot take course in first major subject.

2

Work with your Academic Adviser to declare a Thematic Thread by the end of your fall semester in your second year.

*

Students are encouraged to take ESAP 101 as a Free Elective.

** This document is meant to serve as a guide. Some planners may show more than 120 credits because faculty have created flexibility in choosing courses.  However, only 120 credits are required to obtain a degree. Please consult with your academic adviser and refer to your curriculum guide prior to registering for courses. This plan should be reviewed, and verified, by you and your academic adviser at least once each academic year. 

Major Code: 6164
Revised: 12-2019