major is offered by the Department of Physics and Astronomy within the College
of Science & Mathematics.
BS degree - Applied Physics, Physics/Engineering Combined Program, Fundamental Studies, Multidisciplinary, Individual Option
BA degree – Physics and Philosophy Concentration, Individual Option
Admission and Progression Standards for this major:
Click on the link to learn more about the admission and progression standards of this major: http://www.jmu.edu/advising/snapshots/SSPHYS_ASTR.shtml
Physics is offered as a major and minor at JMU. The Department of Physics and Astronomy offers a multi-track program of study leading to a Bachelors Degree that allows each student the flexibility to choose a suitable set of courses for their chosen career goal. The Applied Physics Concentration is designed to prepare students for careers in a wide variety of scientific areas including laboratory and industrial settings. Students in this concentration will select options which include Computational Physics, Materials Physics, and Electronics & Instrumentation. The Physics and Engineering Combined Program Concentration is a dual degree program which makes it possible for a student to earn a Bachelor of Science Degree in Physics from James Madison University and a Master of Engineering Degree from the University of Virginia in five years. The engineering areas available under this program include Biomedical, Environmental, Transportation, Materials Science, Systems Engineering, and Engineering Physics. The Fundamental Studies Concentration is designed to prepare students for immediate post baccalaureate employment or for entrance to graduate study in physics or related fields. The Multidisciplinary Concentration offers tracks that combine physics with other fields to prepare students for a wide variety of career possibilities. The Biophysics track prepares students for medical school or for pursuing a career in biophysics. The Secondary Education track is designed for prospective high school teachers. The Business track combines physics and business for those interested in working in the growing high-tech industry or wish to entrepreneurs. The Technical and Scientific Communication track combines a love of writing and physics to prepare you for a career as a science or technical writer. The Geophysics track opens doors to the application of physics to the study of the earth and other planets. Finally, the Individual Option Concentration is a course of studies chosen specifically to match the interest and career plans of the student. This option will allow custom designed interdisciplinary majors such as geophysics, and chemical physics. The minimum departmental requirement for the B.S. degree in Physics is completion of 40 credit hours of core courses (Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics) and 25-31 hours of Physics or other courses as specified by the program concentration selected by the student. In addition to the programs listed above, the department also offers an Astronomy and a Physics minor.
The Bachelor of the Arts degree in Physics offers two concentrations. The Physics and Philosophy Concentration combines physics and philosophy to providing an excellent foundation for the study of the philosophy of science. There is also an Individual Option Concentration in the BA to permit the joining of physics with history, the arts, or other fields in the humanities. The minimum departmental requirement for the BA degree in Physics is the completion of 40 credit hours of core courses and 25-38 hours as specified by the chosen concentration.
me more about this field of study.
The science of Physics seeks to understand how the world
works, in every detail and at the deepest level. This
includes everything from elementary particles, to nuclei,
atoms, molecules, macromolecules, living cells, solids,
liquids, gases, plasmas, living organisms, the human
brain, complex systems, supercomputers, the atmosphere,
planets, stars, galaxies, and the universe itself. It
is a fundamental science that contributes to solving
diverse problems in such fields as acoustics, astronomy,
biotechnology, chemistry, communications, energy, engineering,
environmental science, forensics, medicine, nuclear
science, space science, technology, and visual imaging.
More information about the field of physics and the study of Physics and Astronomy at JMU can be found on the web at http://acadine.physics.jmu.edu/handbook.
You can learn more about the Department of Physics and Astronomy at JMU at the web site http://acadine.physics.jmu.edu/main/who_we_are.html and at the department web page, http://csma31.csm.jmu.edu/physics/.
me more about specializations in this field.
Applied physics (or engineering physics) systematically
employs physical principles and phenomena in the solution
of practical problems. Within "pure" physics,
some of the specialties are atomic and molecular physics,
physics of condensed matter (solids and liquids), plasma
physics, nuclear and particle physics, and optical physics
(lasers and such). In each of these (and other) sub-fields
of physics, most workers either concentrate on experimental
work (and are known as "experimentalists")
or on analysis and interpretation of data (and are known
as "theorists"). Most physicists are employed
by educational institutions, industrial firms, government
laboratories, or federally funded research and development
centers. Vocations in physics fall into four major categories:
1) Research: Basic research has as its goal the
understanding of physical phenomena without a specific
application in mind. Applied research leads to the solution
of problems of national importance or of significant
commercial value. 2) Development and Design:
Work in this area utilizes both basic and applied research
to improve existing products, processes and instruments,
and to develop new ones. 3) Teaching: Many physicists
are employed in academic institutions, including instructors
at the high school, community college, college, and
university levels. In the latter, research and teaching
are often combined. 4) Management and Other Areas:
Physicists can be found in a wide variety of areas such
as research administration, university administration,
science reporting, technical management and marketing,
and in such fields as metallurgy, electronics, food
processing and packaging, health and radiation safety,
pollution control, computer technology, financial services
and a broad and continually expanding array of other
common major or minor combinations from other departments
complement this major?
Many Physics graduates frequently complete majors or minors in Computer Science or Mathematics. Once the mathematics required for the major is taken, at most one more math course is required to obtain a math minor. Astronomy is another popular minor since there is also much overlap with the physics major. A minor in Material Science is popular with many Chemistry and Physics students. Chemistry and Math are two of the more popular fields chosen as second majors. Occasionally students choose Geology. Although it is not as frequent, combinations of Physics with Art (Graphic Design, Interior Design, Industrial Design), English, Environmental Studies, Environmental Information Systems, Geographic Sciences, Integrated Science and Technology, Modern Foreign Languages, Political Science, Secondary Education, Telecommunications, or Urban and Regional Studies would be attractive to employers.
OF SUCCESSFUL STUDENTS
Naturally, success in our program comes more easily
to those students with the stronger verbal and analytical
abilities. Of the two, analytical ability is somewhat
more important. However, as in most of the university's
programs, dedication and perseverance are also very
important ingredients for success.
Many graduates choose typical career paths associated
with this major. However, some graduates choose nontraditional career fields that utilize skills and experiences developed
during their years in college. Keep in mind, that some
fields will require graduate study or further training.
The listing below offers examples of possible career
paths and is not meant to be comprehensive.