2020-2021 Undergraduate Course Catalog 
    
    Nov 27, 2020  
2020-2021 Undergraduate Course Catalog

Physics, BA


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Director of Undergraduate Studies

Prof. Jack Laiho
201 Physics Building

315-443-3901

Faculty

Marina Artuso, Stefan Ballmer, Steven Blusk, Duncan Brown, Simon Catterall, Eric Coughlin, Walter Freeman, Jay Hubisz, Matthew LaHaye, John Laiho, M. Lisa Manning, Alan Middleton, Liviu Movileanu, Alison Patteson, Joseph Paulsen, Britton Plourde, Jennifer Ross, Matthew Rudolph, Christian Santangelo, Eric A. Schiff, Jennifer Schwarz, Tomasz Skwarnicki, Mitchell Soderberg, Paul Souder, Sheldon Stone, Gianfranco Vidali, Scott Watson, Denver Whittington.

Physicists idealize the behavior of matter and energy in terms of mathematical representations called the “fundamental laws of nature” and seek to explain the properties of nuclei, atoms, molecules, and systems of these particles (gases, liquids, crystals, etc.). Undergraduate courses provide a background in classical physics, quantum mechanics, thermal physics, and laboratory techniques.

The B.A. degree in physics is an important accomplishment for students considering careers in such widely varying areas as law, journalism, corporate management, and teaching. In all of these fields, a liberal education incorporating serious study of a scientific discipline is an asset.

For information about certification to teach physics at the secondary school level, see “Education/Arts and Sciences (dual program)” in this section of the catalog.

Other information about physics can be found at physics.syr.edu.

B.A. Degree Requirements

The bachelor of arts degree requires completion of at least 30 credits of physics and astronomy courses. At least 18 of these credits must be in upper-division courses. Two semesters of calculus are also required as pre-requisites for the physics courses.

Student Learning Outcomes


1. A student will be able to explain phenomena occurring from sub-atomic to cosmological distance scales using qualitative physical principles. 

2. A student will be able to apply mathematics and logic to solve problems associated with natural phenomena. 

3. A student will be able to assess and explain arguments for physical laws based on experimental and theoretical evidence.

4. A student will be able to employ basic laboratory and technical skills to solve physics problems as a result of formal laboratory course work and research opportunities with faculty.

B.A. Degree Requirements


The B.A. degree in physics is an important accomplishment for students considering careers in such widely varying areas as law, journalism, corporate management, and teaching. In all of these fields a liberal education incorporating serious study of a scientific discipline is an asset.

  • Development of analytical and computational skills through the study of advanced undergraduate physics.
  • Development of written and verbal communication skills, including the specialized skills required for the communication of technical information.
  • Development of a broad understanding of the role of science and technology in modern life. The bachelor of arts degree requires completion of at least 30 credits of physics and astronomy courses.

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