Jul 19, 2024  
2016 - 2017 Undergraduate Bulletin 
2016 - 2017 Undergraduate Bulletin [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Department of Physics and Astronomy

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Michael M. Briley, Chair

Patricia E. Allen J. Sid Clements Courtney E. McGahee
François Amet Tonya S. Coffey James P. Sherman
Jennifer L. Burris Brad R. Conrad David J. Sitar
Anthony G. Calamai Richard O. Gray Rachel L. Smith
Daniel B. Caton Brooke C. Hester Christopher S. Thaxton

The objectives of the Department of Physics and Astronomy are:

  1. To prepare students for a variety of careers which require a technical background or for studies at the graduate level
  2. 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 for both the undergraduate and the graduate student. 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.

Master of Science degree in Engineering Physics

The Department of Physics and Astronomy offers a Master of Science degree in Engineering Physics with concentrations in: 1) Systems and Laboratory Automation; 2) Professional Science Master’s (PSM) in Instrumentation and Automation; and 3) Professional Science Master’s (PSM) in Nanoscience for Advanced Materials. Students interested in the M.S. degree are requested to consult the Graduate Bulletin for further information. A graduate minor in Physics is also available.


    Bachelor of ScienceBachelor of ArtsMinor



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