Adapting the physics curriculum to students’ goals.

Through the selection of elective courses, Valpo physics majors may concentrate their studies in particular areas of the discipline to accommodate their individual interests and career plans. The following areas of focus have been identified as useful to a significant number of students.

The concentration in fundamental physics is intended for students primarily interested in pursuing a career in physics and who intend to pursue graduate study in physics.

Recommended Coursework
PHYS 372 Electromagnetic Waves and Physical Optics 3 credits
PHYS 381 Advanced Mechanics 3 credits
PHYS 421 Quantum Mechanics I 3 credits
PHYS 422 Quantum Mechanics II 3 credits
PHYS 430 Nuclear Physics 3 credits
PHYS 430L Nuclear Physics Laboratory 1 credit
PHYS 440 Condensed Matter Physics 3 credits
Recommended Courses in Other Departments
  • MATH 330, Partial Differential Equations (3 credits)
  • MATH 334, Complex Variables (3 credits)

The concentration in applied physics is intended for students interested in the application of physics to problems in a business or industrial environment. In addition to the core courses, students are advised to complete the major by electing courses most closely associated with the desired physics application.

The applied physics option is most useful to students who will seek employment immediately after graduation. The department strongly recommends that students participate in the University’s Cooperative Education program to gain practical work experience.

The following four applied physics concentrations are available:


This option is designed for students interested in computer-related applications of physics and computational problem solving. In addition to the major, students are encouraged to complete the computer science minor »


This option is designed for students interested in careers in research and development fields involving electronic devices. In addition to the major, students are encouraged to complete the electronics minor.
Electronics Minor
PHYS 342 Electronics 3 credits
PHYS 372 Electromagnetic Waves and Physical Optics 3 credits
PHYS 440 Condensed Matter Physics 3 credits
7 credits from the following options:
  • ECE 221, Digital Logic Design (3 credits)
  • ECE 222, Advanced Logic Design (3 credits)
  • ECE 261, Linear Circuit Theory I (3 credits)
  • ECE 262, Linear Circuit Theory II (3 credits)
  • PHYS 322, Embedded Microcontrollers (3 credits)
7 credits
TOTAL 16 credits


This option prepares students for management and project leadership in technological and scientific environments in business and industry. In addition to the major, students are encouraged to complete the fundamentals of business minor »

This option is for students interested in careers in research and development fields involving mechanics and materials science. In addition to the major, students are encouraged to complete the courses in the mechanics and materials minor.

Mechanics and Materials Minor
PHYS 109 Mechanics — Statics 3 credits
PHYS 252 Materials Science 3 credits
PHYS 440 Condensed Matter Physics 3 credits
Seven credits from the following options:
  • ME 252, Materials Science (3 credits)
  • ME 462, Vibrations (3 credits)
  • PHYS 215, Mechanics of Materials (3 credits)
  • PHYS 333, Mechanical Measurements Laboratory (4 credits)
7 credits
TOTAL 16 credits

 

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