2022-2023 Undergraduate Course Catalog 
    Jun 22, 2024  
2022-2023 Undergraduate Course Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Physics, BA

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: College of Arts and Sciences

Directors of Undergraduate Studies

Joseph Paulsen and Matthew Rudolph
201 Physics Building


Marina Artuso, Stefan Ballmer, Steven Blusk, Duncan Brown, Simon Catterall, Eric Coughlin, Walter Freeman, Jay Hubisz, John Laiho, M. Lisa Manning, Alan Middleton, Liviu Movileanu, Alison Patteson, Joseph Paulsen, Ivan Pechenezhskiy, Britton Plourde, Jennifer Ross, Matthew Rudolph, Christian Santangelo, Eric A. Schiff, Jennifer Schwarz, Mirna Mihovilovic Skanata, Tomasz Skwarnicki, Mitchell Soderberg, Paul Souder, Scott Watson, Denver Whittington

Physicists idealize the behavior of matter and energy in terms of mathematical representations called the “fundamental laws of nature” and seek to explain the properties of nuclei, atoms, molecules, and systems of these particles (gases, liquids, crystals, etc.). Undergraduate courses provide a background in classical physics, quantum mechanics, and laboratory techniques.

The department offers coursework leading to either a B.A. or a B.S. degree. The B.A. degree program is an excellent liberal arts major that requires fewer credit hours in the major than the B.S. program.   The Physics B.A.  provides a flexible and broad education in many topics in physics that prepare students for a diverse array of STEM or STEM-adjacent career options.

Other information about physics be found at physics.syr.edu.

Student Learning Outcomes

  1. A student will be able to explain phenomena occurring from sub-atomic to cosmological distance scales using qualitative physical principles.
  2.  A student will be able to apply mathematics and logic to solve problems associated with natural phenomena.
  3. A student will be able to assess and explain arguments for physical laws based on experimental and theoretical evidence.
  4. A student will be able to employ basic laboratory and technical skills to solve physics problems as a result of formal laboratory course work and research opportunities with faculty.

B.A. Degree Requirements

The B.A. degree in physics is an important accomplishment for students considering careers in such widely varying areas as law, journalism, corporate management, and teaching. In all of these fields a liberal education incorporating serious study of a scientific discipline is an asset.

  • Development of analytical and computational skills through the study of advanced undergraduate physics.
  • Development of written and verbal communication skills, including the specialized skills required for the communication of technical information.
  • Development of a broad understanding of the role of science and technology in modern life. The bachelor of arts degree requires completion of at least 30 credits of physics and astronomy courses.

8-10 credits of lower-division courses are required:

18 credits of upper-division Physics and Astronomy courses are required, including 7 credits from:

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: College of Arts and Sciences