Physics and Astronomy

 

Physics Program Requirements

Physics explores the scientific principles governing the behavior of the physical world. These principles provide insight into the nature of the universe around us and are the basis for new technology. The department’s program utilizes a combination of lectures, laboratories, discussions and independent work to help students acquire an understanding of these principles and their implications. Introductory Physics, General Physics and Applied College Physics cover the topics needed for a student beginning a program in physics, pre-engineering, chemistry, pre-medicine and pre-physical therapy. The department also offers all the standard advanced courses needed for a physics major intending to do graduate work in physics or astronomy.

All 100-level PHY courses may be applied towards the Natural Science component of the Core general education requirements.  PHY 131/132 and PHY 145L/146L are intended for students whose programs require introductory physics, and are not recommended unless the student has a strong science and math background.

A physics degree can be an excellent preparation for many different careers, because of the emphasis on both practical and theoretical problem solving which physicists can apply in a vareity of situations. The physics major leading to the Bachelor of Science (B.S.) is recommended for students for whom this will be the only degree, or who plan to go to graduate school in physics, other science or engineering, or other field. 

The physics major leading to the Bachelor of Arts is not a professional degree but is intended to be combined with another field of study, such as business or pre-law.  For those interested in teaching high school science, it may be combined with a major in chemistry, biology, or math.

Students interested in becoming licensed engineers need a B.S. from an ABET-accredited engineering school.  The dual degree pre-engineering program combines the best of a science major and the liberal arts core at BW with the preparation for an engineering career at an engineering school.

The physics and pre-engineering majors are based on the physics core and the advanced electives.

 

Physics Core – 34 credits (* = Prerequisite Required)

 

 

PHY

131

General Physics I AND

4 credits

 

 

PHY

151L

Introductory Physics Lab I OR

1 credits

 

 

PHY

145L

Applied College Physics I

5 credits

 

 

Either PHY 131 along with 151L or PHY 145L, but not both, may be taken for credit.

 

 

PHY

132

General Physics II AND

4 credits*

 

 

PHY

152L

Introductory Physics Lab II OR

1 credits

 

 

PHY

146L

Applied College Physics II

5 credits*

 

 

Either PHY 132 along with 152L or PHY 146L, but not both, may be taken for credit.

 

 

PHY

233

Modern Physics

4 credits*

 

 

PHY

312

Advanced Laboratory

3 credits*

 

 


Required courses in areas other than Physics

 

 

CHM

111

General Chemistry I

4 credits*

 

 

CHM

111L

General Chemistry I Lab

0.5 credits*

 

 

CHM

112

General Chemistry II

4 credits*

 

 

CHM

112L

General Chemistry II Lab

0.5 credits*

 

 

MTH

141

Calculus I

4 credits*

 

 

MTH

142

Calculus II

4 credits*

 

 


Advanced PHY electives

 

 

PHY

312

Advanced Laboratory

3 credits*

 

 

PHY

331

Mechanics I

3 credits*

 

 

PHY

341

Theoretical Physics

3 credits*

 

 

PHY

361

Electromagnetism

4 credits*

 

 

PHY

362

Physics of Waves

3 credits*

 

 

PHY

371

Thermal Physics

4 credits*

 

 

PHY

372

Quantum Physics

3 credits*

 

 

PHY

410

Special Topics in Physics (approval required)

3 or 4 credits

 

Physics Major (B.S.)

Computer Code: PHYS

Minimum required hours: 62-65 credits (plus prerequisites as indicated)

Required Courses (* = Prerequisite Required)

Physics Core

34 credits

PHY

311

Electronic Instrumentation

3 credits*

PHY

312

Advanced Laboratory

3 credits*

PHY-312 Advanced Lab must be taken two times, and may be taken a third time as an elective, with different experiments each time it is taken. With approval by the Department following a presentation and written paper, students may substitute up to three credits of internship or research experience in place of three credits of PHY-312; see the department chair in advance.

MTH

243

Calculus III

4 credits*

MTH

212

Differential Equations

3 credits*

Advanced PHY electives – any five (5)

15-18 credits*

 

Physics Major (B.A.)

Computer Code: PHYA

Minimum required hours: 47-53 credits (plus prerequisites as indicated)

Required Courses (* = Prerequisite Required)

Physics Core

34 credits

PHY

103

Frontiers in Physics

3 credits*

Advanced PHY electives – any two (2)

6-8 credits*

Additional PHY and AST courses – any two (2)

4-8 credits*


Binary Program in Engineering

The pre-engineering program prepares Baldwin Wallace students to earn an engineering degree through educational affiliations with the engineering schools of Case Western Reserve University and Columbia University. Upon satisfactory completion of the three-year pre-engineering program at BW and the last two years of the engineering program at the engineering school, a student receives the Bachelor of Arts degree from BW and the Bachelor of Science in their chosen field of engineering from the engineering school. Students may choose instead the option of completing any of the B.S. science majors at BW, so long as they meet the engineering school’s entry requirements. Completion of the program at other recognized engineering schools is possible if prior approval of the BW pre-engineering advisor is obtained.


Physics Based Engineering Areas Major

Computer Code: PREN

This major is designed for students interested in civil engineering, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering or one of the other physics-based engineering programs.

Minimum required semester credit hours 56-58 credits at BW plus additional credits at the engineering school in which the program is completed.

Required Courses (* = Prerequisite Required)

Physics Core

34 credits

PHY

311

Electronic Instrumentation

3 credits*

MTH

243

Calculus III

4 credits*

MTH

212

Differential Equations

3 credits*

CSC

210

Computer Science I

3 credits*

Advanced PHY electives – any three (3)

9-12 credits*

PHY-312 Advanced Lab is required in the physics core and may be taken a second time as an elective, with different experiments each time it is taken. With approval by the Department following a presentation and written paper, students may substitute up to three credits of internship or research experience in place of three credits of PHY-312; see the department chair in advance.


The following courses are recommended as preparation for engineering school but are not required by BW.

PHY

260

Engineering Materials

2 credits*

PHY

261

Introduction to Statics

2 credits*


Before transferring to the engineering school at which they will complete the work for their degree, pre-engineering students must complete the above program and:

  • at least 92 credit hours of coursework at BW
  • the BW core curriculum requirements.

Some of our affiliated schools have additional requirements. Pre-Engineering students should check with the schools in which they are interested, and with the BW pre-engineering advisor. For BW students planning on completing their engineering degree at CWRU, PHY 260 and PHY 261 are especially recommended.

Chemistry Based Engineering Areas Major

Computer Code: PNGC

This major is designed for students interested in chemical engineering or one of the other chemistry-based engineering programs.

Minimum required semester credit hours 63 credits at BW plus additional credits at the engineering school in which the program is completed.

CHM

111

General Chemistry I

4 credits*

CHM

111L

General Chemistry I Lab

0.5 credits*

CHM

112

General Chemistry II

4 credits*

CHM

112L

General Chemistry II Lab

0.5 credits*

PHY

131

General Physics I AND

4 credits

PHY

151L

Introductory Physics Lab I OR

1 credits

PHY

145L

Applied College Physics I

5 credits

Either PHY 131 along with 151L or PHY 145L, but not both, may be taken for credit.

PHY

132

General Physics II AND

4 credits*

PHY

152L

Introductory Physics Lab II OR

1 credits

PHY

146L

Applied College Physics II

5 credits*

Either PHY 132 along with 152L or PHY 146L, but not both, may be taken for credit.

MTH

141

Calculus I

4 credits*

MTH

142

Calculus II

4 credits*

MTH

243

Calculus III

4 credits*

MTH

212

Differential Equations

3 credits*

MTH

314

Numerical Analysis

3 credits*

CSC

210

Computer Science I

3 credits*

CHM

221

Quantitative Analysis

3 credits*

CHM

221L

Quantitative Analysis Lab

1 credits*

CHM

251

Organic Chemistry I

4 credits*

CHM

251L

Organic Chemistry I Lab

0.5 credits*

CHM

252

Organic Chemistry II

4 credits*

CHM

252L

Organic Chemistry II Lab

0.5 credits*

CHM

331

Physical Chemistry I

3 credits*

CHM

331L

Physical Chemistry I Lab

0.5 credits*

CHM

332

Physical Chemistry II

3 credits*

CHM

332L

Physical Chemistry II Lab

0.5 credits*


Before transferring to the engineering school at which they will complete the work for their degree, pre-engineering students must complete the above program and:

  • at least 92 credit hours of coursework at BW
  • the BW core curriculum requirements.

Some of our affiliated schools have additional requirements. Pre-Engineering students should check with the schools in which they are interested, and with the BW pre-engineering advisor.

Physics Minor
A minor in physics requires a minimum of 20 credit hours of courses in physics. These credits must include either General Physics and Lab or Applied College Physics: (PHY 131 and 151L or PHY 145L) and (PHY 132 and 152L or PHY 146L) and Modern Physics PHY 233. An additional two (2) more different courses must be selected from the advanced PHY electives.

Students planning teaching careers in the elementary, middle or secondary schools should consult the Division of Education.

Students interested in Environmental Science should see the Environmental Science Minor.

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