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Western Colorado's Selective University

Degrees

The Physics program at Colorado Mesa University offers the following degree programs:

  • Bachelor of Science in Physics
  • Associate of Science in Liberal Arts with emphasis in Physics
  • Minor in Physics

The degree of Bachelor of Science in Physics provides a foundation for admission into graduate programs and a variety of careers including work in industry, engineering or research.

The curriculum consists of:

  • calculus based introductory level physics courses in the first year,

  • modern physics, electronics and an intermediate laboratory courses in the second year,

  • core upper division courses in classical dynamics, electromagnetism, statistical and thermal physics and quantum physics plus assorted electives in the junior and senior years.

Electives and special topics courses, which are offered occasionally, cover topics such as solid state physics, general relativity and astrophysics. All physics majors are required to take a research course in their senior year; this entails working on a research project, mentored by of one of the physics faculty members. Projects are typically in an area in which student and faculty interests overlap. Faculty members welcome and encourage student involvement in their research.

A student who completes the BS in Physical Sciences with Concentration in Physics will have demonstrated the ability to:

1) Show fluency with the major fields of physics (classical mechanics, electromagnetism, statistical physics and quantum theory).
2) Use mathematical representations to analyze physical scenarios. This requires translating back and forth between physical and mathematical problems and using appropriate mathematics to aid in the analysis of the scenario.
3) Use laboratory techniques to investigate experimentally physical phenomena.
4) Communicate effectively about topics in physics.
5) Execute a project which addresses a significant and complex issue in physics. This project will integrate knowledge and techniques from different areas of physics.

The following table shows which courses contribute to each of the abilities described above.

Learning Objectives
1
2
3
4
5
PHYS
131
x
x
131L
x
x
x
132
x
x
132L
x
x
x
230
x
x
231
x
x
251
x
x
x
252
x
x
x
311
x
x
321
x
x
331
x
x
342
x
x
362
x
x
422
x
x
473
x
x
482
x
494
x

Complete details for the physics major are described in the relevant program sheet.

The Associate of Science in Liberal Arts with emphasis in Physics is a two-year program intended to prepare students for further study towards a four-year degree. The physics component of this degree concentrates on calculus-based introductory level physics. The calculus-based introductory level courses and their associated laboratories have been approved by the Colorado Commission for Higher Education for statewide guaranteed transfer. The degree program includes the Colorado Core Transfer Consortium Program which is the statewide common core of general education curriculum. This meets the lower-division general education requirements of most baccalaureate degree programs in public higher education institutions in Colorado.

The physics component of the curriculum consists of:

  • two semesters of introductory level calculus based physics and
  • one semester of sophomore level modern physics.

Complete details for the associate of science in physics degree are described in the relevant program sheet.

The minor in physics is intended to complement degrees in other disciplines in the natural sciences and mathematics. Courses that the physics program offers which are of notable interest to other sciences include modern physics, electronics, optics, electromagnetism and quantum mechanics. The structure of the minor is sufficiently flexible to all students to eventually take whichever physics courses are of interest to them.

The curriculum consists of:

  • calculus based introductory level physics courses,
  • one semester of modern physics,
  • one semester of physics seminar and two upper division courses.

Complete details for the physics minor are described in the relevant program sheet.