Major in Physics
The Physics major is divided into three main tracks designed to
give the student the greatest possible flexibility in preparation
for graduate study in physics, astrophysics, medicine, engineering,
or other allied fields, and for professional practice as a physicist
in industrial, governmental or institutional laboratories.
In order to provide students a broad and solid base in physics
and also to provide the flexibility which enables students to take
courses in areas where physics can be applied, all Physics majors
take a series of basic physics core courses. The first courses are
General Physics I, II and III (PHYS 241 [or PHYS 251], 242 [or PHYS
252] and 243). They provide an introduction to both classical and
modern physics. The junior and senior core physics courses treat
classical and modern physics in greater depth.
It is recommended that those who intend to pursue graduate studies
in physics or astrophysics, take the General Physics Track or the
Astrophysics Track, as well as additional physics electives and
mathematics courses. Those who intend to participate in fundamental
or applied research and development in industrial or government
laboratories are encouraged to take the Applied Physics Track and
other physics electives.
Students may also wish to elect a foreign language as preparation
for graduate study. Students may also supplement the core program
of study by participation in a guided independent study and/or ongoing
research project. Up to 6 credit hours of such courses (Independent
Study, Directed Reading, Research Problems, etc.) may count toward
required physics electives. A combination of well-grounded preparation
in fundamentals plus the availability of an individually tailored
program of study is designed to optimize studentsí preparation for
graduate school or a professional career. In addition to physics
courses, all majors are required to complete courses in computer
science, mathematics and chemistry. Calculus III is highly recommended.
Upper-level mathematics electives especially recommended are Differential
Equations, Advanced Calculus, and Numerical Analysis I, II.
Students who intend to major in Physics should contact the department
in order to be assigned a faculty adviser. The faculty adviser will
assist students in planning a program that will meet their special
needs. Advisers are also available for advising on career opportunities
and employment. Physics majors are required to complete 16, and
minors 8, of the required upper-division credits in physics at Towson.
Students should be aware that most advanced physics courses (300-
and 400-level) may be offered in either the first semester or the
second semester, but not in both semesters. Some physics electives
are only offered every other year. Advisers will have information
on the courses offered and on the schedules.
Most required upper-level physics courses are taught in the late
afternoon or early evening on a rotating schedule. This should
enable a non-traditional student who can only attend classes at these
times to complete the major, although the time required will usually
exceed the normal four years. Students should contact the
department office or their adviser for information about the scheduling
of these courses.
Students must see their advisers no later than the time
of their matriculation for the third semester in General Physics,
which is normally the beginning of the spring semester of their
sophomore year. Students, after consultation with their advisers,
will propose a tentative plan for completing all graduation requirements,
including those for the major. This selection of electives for the
various concentrations must be approved by an adviser. The plan
may be modified from time to time, but the modification must be
approved by the major adviser. Students may also organize an individualized
course of studies. This gives students the option to select a plan
that reflects their interest in a special area of physics. The array
of courses must have internal coherence and be approved
by the major adviser.
Next: Physics Major--Required Core Courses