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The Physics Major at Berry College

Aims of the physics and astronomy program at Berry are to

  1. Prepare physics majors for graduate schools or jobs in government laboratories or industry,
  2. Guide dual-degree engineering student through their three years of education at Berry,
  3. Provide courses in physics and astronomy as a service to other departments,
  4. Help in preparing secondary-school teachers of science, and
  5. Provide scientific training for individuals who enjoy physics and astronomy but want to work in other fields.

Requirements for the Physics Major

More detailed information can be found in the Berry College Undergraduate Catalog.  

Students must earn a grade of C or better in PHY 211 and PHY 212 to declare a major in physics.

Concentration I (for students aiming for careers in physics).

  • PHY 211: General Physics I with Calculus (3-2-4)
  • PHY 212: General Physics II with Calculus (3-2-4)
  • PHY 307WI: Modern Physics (3-0-3)
  • PHY 310: Measuring the Fundamental Constants (1-2-2) OR  
  • PHY 311: Experimental Methods in Physics (1-2-2)
  • PHY 320: Mathematical Methods in Physics (3-0-3)
  • PHY 321WI: Computational Methods in Physics (4-0-4)
  • PHY 402: Classical Mechanics (3-0-3)
  • PHY 403: Electrodynamics (3-0-3)
  • PHY 410: Thermodynamics and Statistical Mechanics (3-0-3)
  • PHY 430: Quantum Mechanics (3-0-3)
  • CHM 108: General Chemistry I (3-3-4)
  • MAT 201: Calculus I (4-0-4)
  • MAT 202: Calculus II (4-0-4)
  • MAT 203: Multivariable Calculus (4-0-4)
  • MAT 304: Differential Equations (3-0-3)
  • Electives: 3 additional hours of physics and astronomy, which may include AST 120 The Copernican Revolution (3-2-4) but no other 100-level astronomy class.

Students who plan to attend graduate school should take additional courses in physics and mathematics, including MAT 303 Linear Algebra.

Concentration II (for all other students who desire a major in physics, such as those interested in high school physics teaching, engineering, meteorology, or careers not specifically scientific or technical).

Concentration II requires a minimum of 30 semester hours of physics and astronomy, of which at least 15 must be in the 300 and 400 levels from lecture courses not cross-listed. In the case that a student transfers to an engineering school (as in the dual-degree engineering program; see below), a number of the physics hours may be transferred back, subject to the approval of Berry's physics department. Required courses are:

  • PHY 211: General Physics I with Calculus (3-2-4)
  • PHY 212: General Physics II with Calculus (3-2-4)
  • PHY 307WI: Modern Physics (3-0-3)
  • PHY 310: Measuring the Fundamental Constants (1-2-2) OR  
  • PHY 311: Experimental Methods in Physics (1-2-2)
  • PHY 320: Mathematical Methods in Physics (3-0-3)
  • PHY 321WI: Computational Methods in Physics (4-0-4)
  • PHY 402: Classical Mechanics (3-0-3)
  • PHY 403: Electrodynamics (3-0-3)
  • CHM 108: General Chemistry I (3-3-4)
  • MAT 201: Calculus I (4-0-4)
  • MAT 202: Calculus II (4-0-4)
  • MAT 203: Multivariable Calculus (4-0-4)
  • MAT 304: Differential Equations (3-0-3)
  • Electives: 4 additional hours of physics and astronomy, which may include any 100-level astronomy or physics classes except PHY 111 or 112.

Requirements for the Physics Minor

Students minoring in physics take 18 hours of physics with at least 9 hours on the 300 and 400 levels from courses not cross-listed.

Requirements for Teacher Certification

Students planning to become certified to teach physics in the Georgia public secondary schools must major in physics and minor in secondary education. To increase employability and to prepare for the broad-based Praxis II Subject Assessments required for certification, students should take additional courses in chemistry and biology. Students must be assigned an advisor in education as well as in physics.

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