Courses in Physics cover the
physical laws that govern the natural world in which we live, from the
smallest particles that make up matter to the structure of the
universe. All physics courses include a laboratory component that is
designed to reinforce theoretical concepts with hands-on experiences
and physical measurements. All physics courses use computer-based
data acquisition and simulations to help students visualize and
understand abstract concepts.
Department Learning Outcomes
Students will be able to:
• Accurately use mathematical functions that apply to physics.
• Use graphing technologies to help explain physical phenomena and discuss them orally or in writing.
• Correctly use unit analysis to solve problems collaboratively.
Special Department Information
College Physics is designed for students in a
pre-professional track such as pre-pharmacy, architecture,
pre-medicine, and pre-veterinary and requires a math competency at
the level of Precalculus (Math 1472). Engineering Physics is designed for students majoring in physics,
engineering, or students wanting a challenge consistent with their
mathematical skill level and requires a math competency at the level
of Calculus (Math 1477).
All Minnesota and area
universities offer Bachelor’s and advanced degrees in physics.
Physics is also required for anyone interested in engineering,
medical technology, medicine, pharmacy, and veterinary fields.
Because of their need for strong math skills, physicists often have
dual degrees in Physics and Mathematics.
Physics majors are a rare
breed. In a world of high technology, a physicist is a generalist in
a world of specialists. Many students majoring in physics will teach
in high school or go on for advanced degrees, allowing them to teach
at the post-secondary and university level where they can also engage
in scientific research. Physicists also find jobs in government or
industry as researchers and analysts. Physicists tend to have very
interesting careers. Physicists with advanced degrees must choose a specialty. A
partial list of more common areas of expertise include astrophysics,
atomic and nuclear physics, solid state physics, high energy and
plasma physics, spectroscopy, biological physics, and computational