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|Return to Academic Units|
|Dr. C. Steven Whisnant, Head
Phone: (540) 568-6109
Web site: www.jmu.edu/physics
K. Giovanetti, W. Ingham, J. Rudmin, J. Staib, S. Whisnant
C. Hughes, D. Peterson
W. Alexander, D. Chodrow, G. Niculescu, I. Niculescu, S. Paulson, S. Scully, B. Utter
|Mission Statement||Degree and Major Requirements|
|Co-curricular Activities and
|The Department of Physics is committed to excellence in undergraduate instruction for students representing all segments of the university. For physics majors the department offers a program of study based on courses in the broad areas of physics and student participation in research. The multi-track degree program of study allows students flexibility to select courses that support their career plans. The department offers courses that are required by other disciplines and shares in the university-wide General Education program. The Department of Physics is committed to providing a supportive environment within which students can achieve their full potential and faculty and staff can make their maximum contribution while enjoying the rewards of professional development.|
|To help students:
|Co-curricular Activities and Organizations|
|Degree and Major Requirements|
|Bachelor of Science in Physics|
|Each student, in consultation with their faculty adviser, will choose one of the following program concentrations:
|Applied Physics Concentration|
|The applied physics concentration is designed to prepare students for careers in a wide variety of scientific areas including laboratory and industrial settings. It is separated into three tracks: computational physics, materials physics, and electronics and instrumentation.
All students in the Applied Physics concentration must complete the following courses:
|Students in this track must minor in Mathematics. See the note below.|
|Physics and Engineering Combined Program Concentration|
|This dual degree program makes it possible for the student to earn a B.S. degree in physics from JMU and a Master of Engineering degree from the University of Virginia. The engineering areas available under this program include biomedical, environmental, transportation, materials science, systems engineering and engineering physics. During the first three years at JMU, the student must complete 96 credit hours including all JMU general education requirements, the physics core requirements, differential equations and at least 12 additional credit hours in physics courses designated by the JMU physics department with at least a “B+” average. In general these 12 additional hours will be chosen from those recommended for the applied physics track, but substitutions may be approved by the department head. During the fourth year of study (when the student will be in residence at the University of Virginia), the student will take further courses approved by the JMU physics department for credit toward the Bachelor of Science degree in physics. A total of 37 credit hours of physics or other physics-related courses taken at either school will be required for the JMU Bachelor of Science degree in physics. For further information, consult the head of the Department of Physics.|
|Fundamental Studies Concentration|
|The fundamental studies concentration is designed to prepare students for immediate post-baccalaureate employment or for entrance to advanced study in physics or related areas.
|Individual Option Concentration|
|The individual option 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 biophysics, geophysics and chemical physics, as well as majors designed for prospective secondary school teachers, technical writers and entrepreneurs. A student electing the individual option must complete the core requirements for the physics major, and will select a program consisting of a coherent collection of a minimum of 25 additional credits of physics courses numbered above 260 and courses in related fields. This individualized program must be selected in consultation with a faculty adviser in the physics department, and must be approved by that adviser, the department head and one other faculty member in the department. The individualized program, as approved by the physics department and accepted by the student, becomes the major requirements for that student. Students are expected to review progress toward completion of the selected program of study with their faculty adviser.|
|Computational Sciences Track|
|Computational sciences is a track within the applied
physics concentration. The Departments of Mathematics and Statistics and Physics offer a coordinated sequence of courses that prepares students for careers in the rapidly expanding field of computer modeling of complex systems. This program is structured so that students can earn a major in one department and a minor in the other.
Students need not decide on a major field until their junior year. The computational sciences track will prepare students to design and use computer models in any of those areas in which applied mathematics is used to understand complex systems (meteorology, astronomy, geology/geophysics, oceanography, physics, etc.). The preparation is appropriate for both those students who plan to enter the work force after graduation and those who plan to enter graduate school in applied mathematics, physics or one of the other fields mentioned above.
Students in this track should complete the following courses during the first two years of the program:
|Recommended Schedule for Majors
|The minimum requirement for a minor in astronomy is 21 credit hours selected as follows:
|The minimum requirement for a minor in physics is 22 credit hours selected as follows:
|In addition to the general education and academic major requirements, physics majors desiring secondary teacher licensure must complete pre- professional education requirements and the Master of Arts in Teaching degree. Physics majors need courses in biology and geology as well as inorganic and organic chemistry. It is necessary to be admitted to the teacher education program prior to enrolling in professional education courses. See the information for teacher education admission and retention polices and procedures in the College of Education section under "Colleges." Students seeking licensure are encouraged to consult regularly with an education adviser. For a full description of the program in secondary education, refer to the College of Education.|