Michael Briley, Interim Department Chair
Tonya Coffey, Interim Assistant Chair
Full Faculty Listing
The objectives of the Department of Physics and Astronomy are:
- To prepare students for a variety of careers which require a technical background or for studies at the graduate level
- To provide service courses at appropriate levels for students in many disciplines
The versatility of physicists is a result of a basic education which emphasizes fundamental phenomena in nature. Understanding these fundamentals allows a physicist to solve a wide range of problems in many different fields, from energy resources and the environment to transportation and communications.
By taking appropriate physics courses, one can simultaneously learn about the physical side of nature in a most general way, acquire useful specific knowledge, and satisfy general education science requirements.
In keeping with these objectives, three undergraduate degrees in Physics and a graduate degree in Engineering Physics are offered. Minors are offered at both the undergraduate and the graduate levels. A pre-engineering curriculum (see the College of Arts and Sciences section of this catalog) provides preparation necessary for transfer into engineering programs both in North Carolina and elsewhere.
Honors Program in Physics and Astronomy
The Department of Physics and Astronomy offers an honors program which culminates in a senior honors research and thesis course (PHY 4510 or AST 4510 ) open to majors in physics and astronomy with an outstanding undergraduate record. In order to graduate with “honors in physics and astronomy,” a student must have a minimum GPA of 3.45, overall and in physics and astronomy and must take nine semester hours of honors credits, including PHY 3560 or AST 3560 , and PHY 4510 or AST 4510 (with a grade of “B” or higher). Students may arrange to take specific additional physics and astronomy courses on an honors basis by negotiating an honors contract with the course instructor before class begins. The honors contract, which must be approved by the Department of Physics and Astronomy Honors Committee, allows the student to receive honors credit for a regular course in physics or astronomy by specifying the additional assignments that the student must perform in order to receive honors credit. Additional information may be obtained from the departmental honors director or the departmental chair. Students must earn a grade of ‘B’ (3.0 grade points) or higher on all honors coursework taken to fulfill any honors requirements.
ProgramsBachelor of ScienceBachelor of ArtsMinor