Special curriculum; major code BS3332
This four-year program leads to a B.S. in physics and provides an emphasis on experimental technique. The aim of this program is to allow opportunities for interdisciplinary education that prepares students for careers in industry or government laboratories, or for graduate work in an applied discipline. In today’s world, it is important to have a flexible set of skills, and the applied physics program is formulated to provide a competitive edge.
The number of courses in natural sciences, physics, and mathematics will be the same as those of the regular B.S. in physics, but they may be satisfied by engineering or other applied science courses. The basic physics courses (PHYS 251-254) and calculus courses (MATH 263A-D) should be taken, and the remainder of the courses will be decided in consultation with the chair of the undergraduate physics program. A typical program will include a mixture of upper-level physics courses and upper-level applied courses from other departments or colleges.
Examples of possible applied physics programs are:
- civil, mechanical, or electrical engineering, which could include an emphasis on materials science or semiconductor technologies;
- biophysics, which could include neuroscience or applications of chaos theory;
- computational physics, which could include highly parallel-computing applications;
- nanoscience, which could include chemistry for self-assembly of nanostructures; or
Other applied physics programs are possible, and may be developed in consultation with the chair of the undergraduate physics program.
The advantage of an applied physics degree is to emphasize problem-solving techniques, which are a fundamental skill of the physics major, along with the technical skills that would be valuable for employment in technology markets.