Ithaca College

School of Humanities and Sciences

Physics

Bachelor of Arts

Bruce Thompson, Assistant Professor and Chair

The Department of Physics offers a range of programs and courses designed to prepare students for a variety of career opportunities. With the supporting background of mathematics, computer science, chemistry, and biology, the curriculum provides the educational foundation necessary for continued study at the graduate level, technical employment, or certification in secondary school teaching of physics.

The department has programs leading to the bachelor's degree in physics and mathematics-physics. It also offers a physics-engineering 3-2 program in conjunction with Cornell University, Clarkson University, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and the Thomas J. Watson School of Engineering, Applied Science, and Technology of the State University of New York at Binghamton. The program leads to two bachelor's degrees, one from Ithaca College and the other from the appropriate school of engineering.

Requirements for Honors in Physics

A senior physics major may elect to compete for departmental honors provided his or her cumulative average in level 2 and above physics courses is at least 3.50. The two-part examination is given the first two Saturdays following the winter break. The first Saturday consists of two comprehensive written exams: from 9:00 a.m. to noon, covering the principles-of-physics sequence and junior-level electricity and magnetism, and from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m., covering material at the junior/senior level selected from mechanics, thermodynamics, and mathematics. In addition, material from any course in the student's concentration may be included in the afternoon examination. Provided the candidate performs satisfactorily on these written exams, he or she is given a comprehensive oral exam on the following Saturday by a faculty committee of at least three members. The committee makes the final decision on whether to grant honors based on the student's academic record and performance on the written and oral exams.

Requirements for the Major in Physics - B.A.

The major in physics permits students either to concentrate heavily on physics in preparation for graduate work or industrial careers, or to combine physics with other professional interests such as secondary education, premedical training, astronomy, or electronics.

Credits in the major

Core requirements

Physics, including PHYS-11700, PHYS-11800, PHYS-12000, PHYS-21700, PHYS-21800, PHYS-22500

20

Concentration requirements

1. Eighteen additional credits.

2. Nine of the 18 credits must be at level 3 or 4 with at least 6 of the 9 being in physics.

3. Three of the 18 credits must be for a physics laboratory other than PHYS-17600 or PHYS-17700; laboratory credits may be used to satisfy concentration requirement 2.

Total, concentration requirements

18

Total, credits in the major

38

The concentration must be planned with the adviser and approved by the department before the end of the student's fourth semester.

Credits outside the major

Mathematics and computer science, including MATH-11100, MATH-11200, MATH-21100, and COMP-17100; see
Math Department Policies on Placement Exams

16

Electives (maximum)

66

Total, B.A. in physics

120

Typical concentrations

Professional

Physics, including PHYS-30100, PHYS-30500, PHYS-31100, PHYS-32000, PHYS-36000 or PHYS-45100, PHYS-32600 or PHYS-35100

18

Premedical

Physics, including PHYS-30500, PHYS-32000, PHYS-36000

9

Chemistry and biology, including BIOL-12100, BIOL-12200, CHEM-12100, CHEM-12200, CHEM-12400, CHEM-22100, CHEM-22200

25

Electronics

Physics, including PHYS-32000, PHYS-32600, PHYS-35100

9

Computer science, including COMP-17400, COMP-21000, COMP-31500

12

Requirements for the Major in
Mathematics-Physics - B.A.

See the following:
Mathematics

Requirements for Physics - B.A. with Teaching Option
Credits in the major

Physics, including PHYS-11700, PHYS-11800, PHYS-12000, PHYS-21700, PHYS-21800, PHYS-22500

20

Concentration requirements

1. Eighteen additional credits.

2. Nine of the 18 credits must be at level 3 or 4, with at least 6 of the 9 credits in physics.

3. Three of the 18 credits must be for a physics laboratory other than PHYS-17600 or PHYS-17700; laboratory credits may be used to satisfy concentration requirement 2.

The concentration must be planned with the adviser and approved by the department before the end of the student's fourth semester.

Total, concentration requirements

18

Total, credits in the major

38

Credits outside the major

Mathematics and computer science, including MATH-11100, MATH-11200, MATH-21100, and COMP-17100; see
Math Department Policies on Placement Examinations

16

Core education requirements

EDUC-21910

Early Field Experience: Theory and Practice

3

COMP-20100

Technology for the Middle/Secondary School Teacher

2

EDUC-10100

Literacy Education for the Middle/Secondary School Teacher

2

SLPA-23900

Educating Children with Special Needs

2

SLPA-22900

Second Language Acquisition: Its Nature and Meaning for Educators

2

PSYC-21010

Educational Psychology

3

EDUC-34000

Social and Cultural Foundations of Education

3

EDUC-30810

Pedagogy and Practice across the Disciplines

3

EDUC-31010

Pedagogy and Practice for the Science Teacher

3

EDUC-41210

Seminar in Reflective Practice

3

EDUC-49810

Professional Semester in Education

12

EDUC-11000

Child Abuse Identification and Prevention

0

EDUC-11100

Drug and Alcohol Abuse: Identification and Prevention

0

Total, core education requirements

38

Additional requirements

1. All teaching-option students must successfully complete a year of college-level study in a language other than English. Students may test out of this requirement by taking the language placement test and placing at level 2 or above.

2. All teaching-option students must successfully complete writing course WRTG-10600 or above.

3. All teaching-option students must successfully complete the second-year review and maintain a minimum 2.75 GPA in their subject. If a student receives an unsuccessful review or a review with stipulations, the student must participate in and successfully pass a second review the following year. Unsuccessful reviews and reviews with stipulations will be accompanied by a written statement outlining what must be done before the second review is completed.

4. Students must earn a grade of B or better in EDUC-30810 and EDUC-31010 to qualify for student teaching. A grade of B- does not qualify.

5. EDUC-49810 Professional Semester in Education and EDUC-41210 Seminar in Reflective Practice constitute a full course load during the student-teaching semester. No additional courses may be taken.

6. All candidates for initial certification must successfully complete all three sections of the New York State Teacher Certification Examinations: the liberal arts and sciences test, the assessment of teaching skills-written, and the content area exam.

7. The student's department chair and the coordinator of teacher education must approve any exceptions to the above requirements.

Electives

(Maximum) to complete H&S general education requirement and the 120 credits necessary for graduation

28

Total, B.A. in physics with teaching option

120

Minor in Physics

The physics minor program provides an option for students who may not want to be physics majors, but who wish to enroll in physics courses, be guided in course selection, and receive recognition for their studies.

Credits in minor

Physics, including PHYS-11700, PHYS-11800, PHYS-12000, PHYS-21700, PHYS-21800, PHYS-22500

20

MATH-11100 and MATH-11200

8

Physics-Engineering 3-2 Program

In a joint program with Cornell University, Clarkson University, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and the Thomas J. Watson School of Engineering, Applied Science, and Technology of the State University of New York at Binghamton, students in the physics major program at the end of their junior year may, subject to recommendation by the physics department and acceptance by the engineering school, transfer to the appropriate engineering school for two more years. Students who wish to enter this joint program must take, in addition to the physics program requirements, certain basic courses stipulated by the engineering department of their choice.

3-2 Program with Another Accredited School of Engineering

Students may petition to complete a 3-2 program at another institution. However, very careful planning is necessary to ensure the proper program articulation, and students must therefore obtain the approval of the department chairperson no later than the end of their fifth semester. This type of study requires the student to take an academic leave of absence for the senior year and to obtain the provost's waiver of the senior credit requirement. Transfer will be subject to both the department's recommendation and acceptance by the engineering school.

Requirements for the Physics-Engineering Program - B.A.

Requirements for the physics major - The following core courses must be completed: PHYS-11700, PHYS-11800, PHYS-12000, PHYS-21700, PHYS-21800, PHYS-22500. In order to satisfy a concentration requirement, PHYS-30100, PHYS-30500, PHYS-31100, PHYS-32000, and PHYS-36000 or PHYS-45100 must be taken, along with 3 credits of department-approved courses taken at Ithaca College or the engineering school.

To graduate from the program, a student must fulfill the degree requirements of the engineering school. In the event a student does not complete the engineering school portion of the program, an Ithaca College degree in physics can be awarded if all the requirements for a department-approved physics program have been met. Courses taken at the engineering school can be used toward fulfillment of the requirement upon approval of the department.

Total

38

Credits outside the major

Mathematics and computer science, including MATH-11100, MATH-11200, MATH-21100, COMP-17100

16

Electives

36

Total required for degree (30 credits will be transferred from the engineering school toward the Ithaca College degree)

120

Off-Campus Study in Oceanography

Students can participate in our cooperative programs with the Duke University Marine Lab (North Carolina and Bermuda) or the Sea Education Association of Wood's Hole (with a variety of cruise tracks). For more information:
National Affiliated Programs in Marine Biology