Physics Department F.A.Q.

Q. When are the classes offered?
A. The following chart gives you an idea of which quarters the different physics classes are offered (and if they are day or night classes). The different sequences are outlined on different lines in the table. For example, if you are taking Physics 4 and start the sequence in the fall, look at line 2 in the table. If you start in the winter, look at line 3. With the exception of Phy 4C and 4D, which may be taken in any order, the courses must be taken in order (A then B then C). This chart represents a “typical” schedule of classes. For exact time and location information, consult the current class schedule.


Fall Winter Spring Summer
1 2A (Day & Night) 2B (Day & Night) 2C (Night only)
2 4A (Day & Night) 4B (Day & Night) 4C (Day & Night) 4D (Day only)
3 4C (Day only) 4A (Day only) 4B (Day only) 4D (Day only)
4 4B (Day only) 4C (Day only) 4A, 4D (Day only) 4A (Day only)
5 6 (Day only)

6 (Day only)
6 10 (Day only)


7

12 (Night only)


Q. Should I major in Physics?
A. Do you like mathematics? Mathematics is the language of physics. If you have a flair for math and its applications, it is very likely you will have a flair for physics. Do you like solving puzzles and other kinds of problems? Are you interested in new discoveries in science? Do you enjoy working with computers, or hope to work with them? If your answers to most of these questions is yes, you may want to consider physics as a career or simply as a field of study on which to base some other career.

The biggest myth about physics is that it is too difficult for all but the next Einstein. This is simply not true. Yes, physics can be challenging, but so is anything that you study seriously. Many successful physicists can tell you that they were not the top students in their schools. What they had was interest and motivation.

As a career, physics offers challenge, excitement, an attractive salary, and a chance to make important contributions to society.


Q. What careers are there for Physics majors?
A. A major in Physics is a very solid foundation for many career choices, including teaching. The type of degree earned (BS, MS, or PhD) also plays a role in career choices. For example, a BS degree is necessary for teaching physics or science in a high school, but a PhD is required for teaching at a university. Many physicists work in fields that are directly related to physics (almost any engineering discipline, mathematics, materials science, and astronomy). Physicists may also be found working in medicine, law (especially patent law), the military, power plants, and in both research and management positions in private industry and in the government. A person trained in physics develops skills that make him or her a valuable employee in many settings.




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