The Department of Physics offers undergraduate programs leading to both BS and BA degrees. The Bachelor of Arts program offers a specialization in physics to students desiring a general cultural education. Flexibility in electives also makes it possible to combine a physics major with a concentration in other areas such as acoustics, materials science, oceanography, premedical science, biology, chemistry, computer science, mathematics, or business.
In addition, there are education and preprofessional tracks. The preprofessional track is appropiate for students planning carrers in medicine, dentistry, or veterinary medicine. Students completing the education track will be certified to teach physics in grades 6 - 12.
The Bachelor of Science curriculum in physics is a professional program of 4 semesters at junior-senior level for students intending to proceed with graduate studies in physics, or intending to enter governmental or industrial service. The program will also be advantageous for students preparing for graduate study in interdisciplinary or applied sciences based on physics.
Required courses in the BS program are offered each year. In the senior year, a student may also enroll in specialty courses at the 5000 level. These are offered alternate years in such areas as astrophysics, atomic structure, special relativity, laser, nuclear, plasma, and solid state physics. Recently, we have begun an overhaul of the laboratory classes to make sure the content is relevant and to take advantage of technological advances. For example, the PHY3722C "Physical Electronics" laboratory is taught through a combination of "hands-on" experiments and computer simulations; in the senior year PHY4822L "Experimental Modern Physics" laboratory now includes computer visualization and computer modeling experiments. An overhaul of the PHY2048/PHY2049"General Physics" laboratories was completed after moving into the PHYSICAL SCIENCES BUILDING in 1998.
The Department also participates in an exchange program with the Physics Department, University of Warwick, one of the top five Physics Departments in the United Kingdom. This program offers an FAU student the opportunity to experience both the culture and academic courses at a modern British University. Students from both institutions exchange for one academic year. Interested students can also take advantage of the opportunity to alternate periods of academic study with periods of paid work experience. This CO-OPERATIVE EDUCATION PROGRAM is available, on an optional basis, in accordance with the description and requirements shown in the Undergraduate Catalog.
Students who are interested in the possibility of graduate research are actively encouraged to participate with members of the faculty in research projects through a research apprenticeship. This course, which gains credit, offers a valuable 'hands-on' research experience.
Scholarship funds available through the Physics department include a $500 annual award to both an outstanding undergraduate and graduate student.