Jun 13, 2024  
2021-2022 Undergraduate Catalog 
2021-2022 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Physics, BS

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The Department of Physics’ goal is to prepare students for productive careers analyzing complex physical systems using mathematics. A physics degree can lead to various careers: business analyst, data analyst, engineer, patent attorney, physicist, physics researcher, physics teacher or professor, or programmer.

Students can pick their specialization. Coursework that can lead to admission into a graduate program in physics is available. Applied physics is another option, which leads to a career as a technician or researcher in industrial technology. Nanomanufacturing technology is also available. After a small set of required core courses, students will pick from course offerings that will lead them toward a deeper understanding of their field of interest.

The Certificate in Secondary Science Teaching and the BS in Physics prepare students to become certified middle- and high-school teachers in Pennsylvania and other states. Secondary Physics Teachers from the program have a deep understanding of the physics principles and enjoy transmitting that knowledge to their students.

Nanofabrication Cooperative Experience

The IUP physics department participates in a cooperative agreement with Penn State University (PSU) to help address the Pennsylvania industry’s need for skilled nanofabrication workers. Anyone who meets the prerequisite requirements may enroll through IUP in a one-semester experience at the PSU Center for Nanotechnology Education and Utilization (CNEU). These courses are offered in two modes: (1) as a capstone semester experience at the Penn State CNEU or (2) as a hybrid capstone semester consisting of distance learning followed by a two-week hands-on lab experience CNEU. For more information, contact the physics department.

Liberal Studies: 44

As outlined in the Liberal Studies Requirements  with the following specifications:

Additional Required Courses:

Pick at least four of the following - theoretical category:


Secondary Science Education Certificate:


Foreign Language Intermediate: 0-6


Free Electives: 29-31


Total Degree Requirements: 120-121

(1) Required by teaching certification majors.

(2) Credits are counted in the Liberal Studies natural science requirement.

(3) For graduate work PHYS 401 , PHYS 461 , MATH 342 recommended; for Applied Physics: PHYS 231 , PHYS 350 , PHYS 355 , PHYS 321   recommended.

(4) Teaching certification majors take GEOS 101 , GEOS 103 , or GEOS 105  in place one applied PHYS; CHEM 111  or CHEM 113 , CHEM 112  or CHEM 114 , and BIOL 201  or BIOL 202  in place of two theoretical physics courses and COSC 110  and MATH 171 .

(5) Six credits of computer programming will substitute for the foreign language requirement: COSC 110 , COSC 210 , or higher- level computer science courses (COSC 343  recommended), with department permission.

(6) See requirements leading to teacher certification, titled “3-Step Process for Teacher Education.” In the College of Education and Communications  section of this catalog.

(7) Majors in the Teaching certification specialization will take the Preprofessional and Professional Education Sequence as Free Electives.

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