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DEPARTMENT OF PHYSICS AND ASTRONOMY (PH) (AY)

Professor Stanley T. Jones, Chairperson
Office: 206 Gallalee Hall

The Department of Physics and Astronomy offers major and minor programs in physics and a minor in astronomy.

Requirements for the physics major. There are four tracks leading to the B.S. degree in physics: the graduate school track, primarily for students considering graduate work in physics; the biophysics track, designed for students planning a career in one of the health professions; the astrophysics track, for students interested in astronomy or space science; and the physics education track, for students who want to teach in grades K–12.

All four tracks require the following core courses: PH 105, PH 106 (or, with permission of the department chair, PH 101, PH 102), PH 253, PH 255, PH 301 or PH 302, PH 331, CH 101, and CH 102 (or the equivalent). Additional course requirements for the different tracks are

Physics major for engineering students. The Department of Physics and Astronomy has developed second-major curricula for most of the engineering departments. These curricula are designed to minimize duplication of subject matter. This combination of fundamental and applied physics can be highly advantageous when the graduate enters the job market. For more information, contact the Department of Physics and Astronomy.

Requirements for the physics minor. The minor in physics requires 18 hours of physics including 6 hours of physics courses numbered 300 or above. A minimum of 6 hours at the 300 or 400 level must be earned on this campus.

Requirements for the astronomy minor. The minor in astronomy (AY) requires 18 hours including AY 203, AY 204, AY 206, PH 253, PH 255, and 6 hours in astronomy courses at the 300 or 400 level. A minimum of 6 hours at the 300 or 400 level must be earned on this campus.

Honors program in physics. Requirements for the bachelor of science degree with honors in physics are 1) completion of the course requirements for the B.S. degree with a major in physics; 2) maintenance of a 3.3 grade point average in physics courses and a 3.0 GPA for all coursework; 3) submission of an acceptable honors thesis based on research conducted under the supervision of a faculty member in physics or astronomy; and 4) participation in the 1-hour senior-level honors physics seminar, PH 490. Students are invited to apply for admission to the honors program in physics on the basis of performance in introductory courses. Inquire at the Department of Physics and Astronomy office for further information.

A Suggested Sequence of Courses for the Physics Major
FRESHMAN YEAR
First Semester
CourseHours
MATH 1254
EN 1013
CH 1014
General education course13–6
___
14–17
Second Semester
CourseHours
PH 1054
MATH 1264
EN 1023
CH 1024
___
15
 
SOPHOMORE YEAR
First Semester
CourseHours
PH 1064
MATH 2274
General education courses16–9
___
14–17
Second Semester
CourseHours
PH 2533
PH 2551
MATH 2383
General education courses19
___
16
 
JUNIOR YEAR2
First Semester
CourseHours
PH 301 or PH 3023
PH 3313
Minor3
General education courses16
___
15
Second Semester
CourseHours
PH track3
PH track3
Minor3
General education courses13
Electives3
___
15
 
SENIOR YEAR2
First Semester
CourseHours
PH track3
PH track3
Minor6
Electives3
___
15
Second Semester
CourseHours
PH track3
PH or AY elective3
Minor6
Electives3
___
15
 
Total: At least 120

1See College of Arts and Sciences general education requirements on p. 66. To satisfy the purpose of general education, a maximum of 6 hours in any one department may be applied to the humanities, literature, and fine arts (HU, L, FA) and history and social and behavioral sciences (HI, SB) requirements.
2Six hours in courses designated W must be included in the junior or senior year. A minimum of 36 hours in 300- and 400-level courses, including 12 hours in the major and 6 hours in the minor, must be completed on this campus.

Graduate programs. The Department of Physics and Astronomy offers programs leading to the master of science and doctor of philosophy degrees. The requirements for these degrees are stated in the University of Alabama graduate catalog. A student beginning graduate work leading to the M.S. or Ph.D. degree should have the equivalent of an undergraduate major in physics and an undergraduate minor in mathematics, including one intermediate course in each of the main fields of physics. Intermediate courses not included in the undergraduate program should be taken at the earliest possible time. A comprehensive background in general physics is considered as important as mastery of a specialized field.

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