Jun 22, 2024  
2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog 
    
2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Physics Major, B.S.


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Department of Physics  

College of Letters, Arts and Sciences  

  Available Program Format(s): In-Person  

About the Program


The Department of Physics at the Metropolitan State University of Denver offers programs leading to a Bachelor of Science in Physics, a Bachelor of Arts in Physics, and a minor in physics.   We also offer a Bachelor of Arts in Physics with Science Licensure. We offer introductory courses designed for both STEM majors as well as for the enrichment of non-science majors, including introductory physics, astronomy, and cosmology. We prepare our physics majors for graduate study in a wide range of disciplines including physics, astronomy, engineering, and science education, and for successful employment in technologically oriented industries. Our faculty are outstanding classroom teachers, bringing rigorous coursework, laboratory experience, advising and mentoring to our students. They maintain professional currency and engage in scholarly activities through involvement in undergraduate research, personalized professional development programs, and projects associated with teaching and learning. We seek to increase the science literacy of the Denver community through science outreach and an increasingly strong role in the education of future teachers.

Student Outcomes


  • develop mathematical skills that facilitate their understanding of the fundamental principles of physics and enable problem solving. 
  • apply advanced mathematical techniques (understanding vectors in multiple coordinate systems, solving differential equations, and basic computational skills). 
  • use standard laboratory equipment to collect data and perform quantitative evaluations of the experimental outcome. 
  • communicate the process and outcomes of scientific experiments using scientifically sound reports including posters, papers, and oral presentations.

General Degree Requirements


To earn a degree, students must satisfy all requirements in each of the four areas below, in addition to their individual major requirements. 

Program Requirements


  • A total of 120 semester hours are required for graduation. 
  • A grade of “C-” or better is required for each course in this program to count toward the bachelor’s degree. Students should note that programs differ in the minimum grade required. 
  • A minor IS required for this program. 

General Studies Requirements: 33 credits


Students should consult the General Studies Requirements  for a list of courses that fulfill the General Studies Requirements for degree completion.  

  • Written Communication (6 credits) 
  • Oral Communication (3 credits) 
  • Quantitative Literacy (3 credits) 
  • Arts and Humanities (6 credits) 
  • Historical (3 credits) 
  • Natural and Physical Sciences (6 credits) 
  • Social and Behavioral Sciences (6 credits) 
  • Global Diversity (0 or 3 credits**)

 

** Students will fulfill the global diversity requirement by taking an approved course within one of the following categories: arts and humanities; historical; natural and physical sciences; or social and behavioral sciences. 

Ethnic Studies & Social Justice Requirement: 0 or 3 credits


  • Students should consult the Ethnic Studies & Social Justice Graduation Requirement  for a list of courses that fulfill the ESSJ Requirement for degree completion.  
  • Many programs include courses that meet this requirement. Students should consult with their advisor to determine what program courses may fulfill this requirement. 

Ancillary Courses: 16 credits


Select one of the following tracks: 5-6 credits


Applied Physics Track: Two of the following electives:


Astrophysics Track: Two of the following electives:


Fundamentals of Physics Track:


Any five credits of upper-division electives are allowed, with the exception of PHY 3620 and AST 3040. If all three of PHY 4650, PHY 4810, and PHY 4820 are taken (for 9 cr), then Modern Physics II (PHY 3011, 3 cr) is not required as these classes cover the same material but with a higher level of rigor.

Senior Experience: 3 credits


Summary of Requirements


General Studies Requirements 33 credits
ESSJ Requirement 0-3 credits
Ancillary Courses 16 credits
Required Courses 42 credits
Selected Track 5-6 credits
Senior Experience 3 credits
Minor and Unrestricted Electives 17-30 credits
Total for the Physics Major, B.S. 120 credits

Required courses for the major may also count for General Studies and ESSJ requirements, so the total credits listed may be greater than the number required to complete the degree. Therefore, it is important that you work with your advisor to make sure you are meeting requirements for your degree. 

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