Mar 21, 2018  
2017-18 Undergraduate Catalog 
2017-18 Undergraduate Catalog

Physics, Applied Physics Concentration, Computational Physics Track, B.S.

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Dr. W. Christopher Hughes, Department Head
Phone: (540) 568-6109                                                                 
Location: Physics/Chemistry Building, Suite 2186                         

K. Giovanetti, W. C. Hughes, B. Newcomer, G. Niculescu, I. Niculescu, S. Scully

Associate Professors
A. Banu, H. Butner, A. Constantin, C. Constantin, K. Feitosa, M. Mattson, S. Paulson, G. Scarel

Assistant Professors
G. Albright, T. Finch, K. Fukumura, M. Kaveh-Baghbadorani, I. Melnikov, S. Virani

L. Lucatorto, J. Sterlace


The mission of the Department of Physics and Astronomy is the preparation of scientifically enlightened citizens. Science literacy is promoted by the production of teachers, researchers, technical professionals and knowledgeable individuals through the integration of classroom and experiential learning.


We strive to be a leading undergraduate physics and astronomy department by building a research-active, student-centered community.


Excellence, integrity and mutual respect are the core values that define our department. The vigorous pursuit of research with undergraduates is central to extending our understanding of nature and the engagement of students directly in the practice of physics and astronomy.

Service to the university, the public and the profession is essential for continued vitality of science education and research.


To help students:

  • Develop competence in using computers for computation, data acquisition, numerical control, device development, and information acquisition and processing.
  • Appreciate the role of science in society and the historical development of physics in the ongoing quest to discover the structure of the universe.
  • Gain an understanding of the basic principles and the experimental basis of the various fields of physics and the logical relationships of the various fields.
  • Become capable problem solvers using techniques that require mathematical skills, conceptual and mathematical models, order-of-magnitude estimates, and an understanding of limiting cases.
  • Develop competence in designing, constructing, and using laboratory instruments, and to draw valid conclusions from experimental data.
  • Improve written and oral technical communication skills.

Co-Curricular and Organizations

Society of Physics Students

Degree and Major Requirements

Degree Requirements

Required Courses

  • General Education  41 Credit Hours 1
  • Quantitative requirement (in addition to General Education ) 3 Credit Hours
  • Scientific Literacy requirement (in addition to General Education ) 3-4 Credit Hours
  • University electives 2-8 Credit Hours
  • Major core requirements (listed below) 41 Credit Hours
  • Major program concentration requirements 25-31 Credit Hours
Total: 120 Credit Hours


1 The General Education  program contains a set of requirements each student must fulfill. The number of credit hours necessary to fulfill these requirements may vary.

Major Core Requirements

Program Concentrations

Each student, in consultation with his/her 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 four tracks: applied nuclear physics, computational physics, materials physics, and electronics and instrumentation.

All students in the applied physics concentration must complete the following courses:

Computational Physics Courses

In addition to the required courses, students must complete one of the following tracks: Applied nuclear physics, electronics and instrumentation, materials physics, or computational physics.

Students in this track must minor in mathematics .

Choose one of the following courses: 3-4 Credit Hours

Total: 12-13 Credit Hours

Recommended Schedule for Majors

Total: 32-35 Credit Hours

Total: 32 Credit Hours

Third and Fourth Years

During their junior and senior years, students will select courses to complete the specific program track which they are following. These course selections will be made with the assistance of a faculty adviser.

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