physics

physicsundergradmathematics and physics

The Bachelor of Science Degree in Mathematics and Physics

(updated on May 26, 2015)

In contrast to an applied mathematics degree or the B.S. in Physics with a Mathematical Physics Concentration, the B.S. in Mathematics and Physics is a synergistic, coherent, and parallel education in mathematics and physics.  A graduate in this program will understand theory and applications in both mathematics and physics and may endeavor to work in either field.  The challenging coursework is similar to combining the mathematics and physics cores, with the physics laboratory cluster replaced by a single advanced laboratory course.

The College's General Education Requirements, a computer science course, a chemistry sequence plus open electives round out the curriculum.  A student in this program may use either of two official advisors, one from each department, who would also constitute a committee for the administration of the degree and the approval of curriculum petitions. The B.S. in Mathematics and Physics is not only an excellent preparation for either mathematics or physics graduate schools, it is also suitable for careers in industry.  The breadth of training, from pure mathematical analysis to a hands-on laboratory experience, is uniquely attractive. It is appropriate for computational science and professional and graduate schools where an excellent education in logical thinking and an in-depth, broad technical problem-solving ability are prized.

The total number of required credits is 126 (29 MATH, 32 PHYS, 11-13 ENGR and CHEM, with 6 of the normal GER credits satisfied by MATH and PHYS courses).  There are 56 credits of electives of various types.  The table below lists the required courses for students entering in the class of fall 2015. Students who matriculated to CWRU before fall 2015 should consult the General Bulletin for the year they started at CWRU for program requirements that apply for them.

Course

 
Yr*
Credit

Course

 

Yr*

Credit

PHYS 121 or 123

Intro Mech

1

4

MATH 121 or 123

Calculus I

1

4

PHYS 122 or 124

Intro E&M

1

4

MATH 122 or 124

Calculus II

1

4

PHYS 221

Modern

2

3

MATH 223 or 227

Calculus III

2

3

PHYS 310

Classical Mechanics

2S

3

MATH 224

Diff. Eqs

2

3

PHYS 313

Thermo/StatMech

3F

3

MATH 307

Algebra I

2F

3

PHYS 331 or 481

Quantum I

3F

3

MATH 308

Algebra II

2S

3

PHYS 332 or 482

Quantum II

3S

3

MATH 321

Analysis I

3F

3

PHYS 423 or (324+325)

Adv Elec & Mag

4F or (3S+4F)

3 or 6

MATH 322

Analysis II

3S

3

PHYS 472

Grad Lab

4S

3

MATH 324

Complex Var

3S

3

PHYS 3XX**

Advanced Physics

4

3

SUBTOTAL    
29
SUBTOTAL    
32
       

MATH/PHYS elective***

MP group I

2

3

SAGES 1st/USEM  
1&2
10

MATH/PHYS elective***

MP group II

3

3

SAGES dept. sem.*****  
3
3

MATH/PHYS elective***

MP group III

3

3

SAGES capstone*****  
4
3-4

MATH/PHYS elective***

MP group IV

4

3

Breadth Req.******  

12
SUBTOTAL    
12
Open electives*******  

16

CHEM 105 or 111****

Intro Chem I

1

3 (4)

PHED 2 sem.  

0

CHEM 106 or ENGR 145****

Intro Chem II

1

3 (4)

SUBTOTAL    
44

ENGR 131

CompProg

1

3

       
SUBTOTAL    
9
TOTAL    
126

* course usually taken in this year, 'F' or 'S' indicates the course is usually offered only in fall or spring. Other courses are either offered both semesters (100 & 200 level) or on no fixed schedule.

** An advanced physics course to be selected from the following list: PHYS 315, 316, 320, 326, 327, 328, 336, 365.

*** The 'MP group' of four courses corresponds to two physics courses and two mathematics courses. The physics courses are chosen from PHYS 250, 349, and 350. The mathematics courses are subject to approval by the advisory committee and are thereby referred to as `approved electives.? They may be chosen from the general list of mathematics courses at the 300 level or higher. It may also be possible to choose a course outside the mathematics and physics departments as a substitute in the MP group, subject to approval by the advisory committee.

**** If approved by the M&P committee, other science sequence courses may be substituted.

***** Students are encouraged to take either the Math or Physics SAGES departmental seminar and capstone courses but should then take both courses from the same department. The physics departmental seminar consists of 1 credit of PHYS 303 plus two credits of PHYS 352.

****** The breadth requirements include 6 hours of Social Sciences and 6 hours of Arts and Humanities. This may increase by 3 credits if the required Global and Cultural Diversity course is not also one of the breadth requirement courses. Courses required for the B.S. in Mathematics and Physics satisfy the 6 credit GER for Natural Sciences and Mathematics as well as the Quantitative Reasoning course requirement.

******* The number of open electives may vary depending on course choices made by the student, as determined by the degree requirement that the total number of credits be at least 126.


Typical Schedule

(* indicates options, 4-5 of the Open Elective courses are normally used to satisfy GER Breadth Requirements.)

 

Fall
(Class Hours-Lab Hours-Credit Hours)

Spring
(Class Hours-Lab Hours-Credit Hours)

First
Year

PHYS 121 or PHYS 123  Mechanics (4-3-4)
MATH 121 Calculus for Science and Engineering I (4-0-4)
CHEM 105 or CHEM 111 (3-0-3) or (4-0-4)
FS** SAGES First Seminar (4-0-4)
Open* Elective = PHYS 166 Physics Today & Tomow. (1-0-1)
PHED *** Physical Education Activities (0-3-0)

PHYS 122 or PHYS 124 Electricity & Magnetism (4-3-4)
MATH 122 Calculus for Science and Engineering II (4-0-4)
CHEM 106 or ENGR 145 (3-0-3) or (4-0-4)
ENGR 131 Elementary Computer Programming (2-2-3)
US** University Seminar (3-0-3)
PHED *** Physical Education Activities (0-3-0)

Second Year

PHYS 221 General Physics III  Modern Physics (3-0-3)
MATH 223 or 227 Calculus III (3-0-3)
MATH 307 Algebra I (3-0-3)
US** University Seminar (3-0-3)
Open* Elective (3-0-3)
Open* Elective (2-0-2)

PHYS 310 Classical Mechanics (3-0-3)
MATH 224 Differential Equations (3-0-3)
MATH 308 Algebra II (3-0-3)
MATH/PHYS Elective (3-0-3)
Open* Elective (3-0-3)

Third Year

PHYS 313 Thermodynamics & Statistical Mech. (3-0-3)
PHYS 331 or 481 Quantum Mechanics I(3-0-3)
MATH 321 Analysis I (3-0-3)
MATH/PHYS Elective (3-0-3)
SAGES Departmental Seminar (3-0-3)
Open* Elective (3-0-3)

PHYS 332  or 482 Quantum Mechanics II (3-0-3)
MATH 322 Analysis I (3-0-3)
MATH 324 Complex Variables (3-0-3)
Open* Elective (3-0-3) or
   PHYS 324 Electricity & Magnetism II (3-0-3)
Open* Elective (3-0-3)

Fourth Year

SAGES Capstone (3-0-3)
PHYS 3** Physics Elective (3-0-3)
PHYS 423Graduate Electricity & Magnetism (3-0-3) or
   PHYS 325 Electricity & Magneitsm II (3-0-3)
MATH/PHYS Elective (3-0-3)
Open* Elective (3-0-3)

PHYS 472 Graduate Laboratory (0-8-4)
MATH/PHYS Elective (3-0-3)
Open* Elective (3-0-3)
Open* Elective (3-0-3)


For more information, contact Prof. Harsh Mathur, hxm7@po.cwru.edu or Prof. Gary Chottiner, gary.chottiner@cwru.edu in the Department of Physics or contact the academic representative of the Department of Mathematics.


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