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

Physics, Physics and Engineering Combined Program Concentration, 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

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 Department of Physics and Astronomy  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 program adviser, Dr. Sean Scully. 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 Department of Physics and Astronomy  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 and Astronomy .

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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