Physics Major

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Visit the Online Undergraduate Catalog for an explanation of graduation requirements.



Physics Major Courses

This course introduces students to engineering. Students will study the history of engineering, explore various engineering disciplines, scientific principles behind engineering, engage in design and problem solving processes, and learn safety procedures. Students also practice decision-making, teamwork, and effective communication through key projects. Meets the general education foundation of liberal arts requirement.
Basic principles of chemical reactions and descriptive chemistry are integrated in terms of atomic structure, bonding theory, molecular geometry, reaction rates, equilibrium, and thermodynamics. Meets the general education laboratory science requirement. (Three lecture hours and three lab hours per week.) (Offered fall semester.)
The first course in the regular calculus sequence. Basic techniques of differentiation and integration are covered. Topics from Analytic Geometry are introduced. Meets the general education quantitative reasoning requirement. Prerequisite: MTH 111 or equivalent background. (Offered fall semester.)
Techniques of integration, sequences and series, parametric equations, vector valued functions. Prerequisite: MTH 115. (Offered spring semester.)
A calculus-based introductory physics course that covers kinematics and Newton’s laws of motion; conservation laws for momentum, energy, and angular momentum; torques and static equilibrium; simple harmonic motion. Meets the general education laboratory science requirement. (Three hours lecture and two hours of lab per week.) Prerequisite: High school physics or PHYS 102, and high school mathematics through calculus or currently enrolled in MATH 115.
Continuation of PHYS 200 covering electric fields and forces, electric potential, resistors, capacitors and DC circuits; magnetic fields and forces, electromagnetic induction and inductors, electromagnetic waves and Maxwell’s equations; and geometrical and physical optics. (Three hours lecture and two hours of lab per week.) Prerequisite: MATH 115 and PHYS 200
The differential and integral calculus of multi-variate functions, line and surface integrals, Green's Theorem, Divergence Theorem, Stokes' Theorem. Prerequisite: MTH 116. (Offered fall semester.)
First-order differential equations, linear equations, and linear systems, power series solutions, Laplace Transforms. Prerequisite: MTH 116. (Offered fall semester.)
The third semester of the introductory physics sequence as required by physics and pre-engineering majors. Topics covered include introduction to relativity, quantum mechanics, thermodynamics and statistical mechanics, condensed matter, nuclear physics, the standard models of particle physics, the standard cosmological model, and new frontiers of physics. (Three hours lecture and two hours of lab per week.) Prerequisite: PHYS 210
Introduction to varieties of electronic devices and their use and operations. Ohm's and Kirchhoff's laws with voltage/current sources. Introduction to operational amplifiers, ideal transformers, inductance, capacitance, first-order and second-order circuits (both DC and AC), power transfer, source transformation, phasors, complex power, single-phase & three-phase circuits and introduction to circuit simulation. Includes hands-on lab problems and short design projects. Prerequisite: ENGR 101
An intermediate course that is basic for graduate work in physics. Topics covered include direct and alternating current circuits, static electric and magnetic fields, and Maxwell's equations. Three hours lecture per week. Prerequisite: PHYS 210
Equilibrium thermodynamics, the first law, equations of state, changes of state, the second law, criteria for spontaneity, electrochemistry, and applications to chemical and physical systems. Prerequisite:PHYS 220.
An intermediate course on quantum mechanics using matrix formalism and operator methods; quantum states of photons and electrons, measurement, angular momentum and rotation, two-particle systems and entanglement, time evolution, harmonic oscillator, wave mechanics in three dimension. Three hours lecture and three hours lab per week. Prerequisite: PHYS 220
Laboratory applications of upper level physics one of Greenville's labs. Special emphasis will be given to developing skills to conduct experiments and use of instrumentation, automation, and data analysis. Prerequisite: PHYS 220
PHY 405 Practicum Variable Credit This course is for all physics students completing a BS degree. The student is given an opportunity to apply his/her physics training by working in business, industry, or in a research laboratory. For students who plan to attend graduate school, an on-campus practicum experience will be provided. Students taking PHY 405 are evaluated with a letter grade.
Students are engaged in discussions on contemporary issues in physics and/or the issues related to the integration between faith and science. Written reports are required. This course is to be taken by all physics majors in either the junior or senior year. Prerequisite: Attainment of junior standing.
The motion of a particle and a system of particles as described by Newtonian mechanics are studied. Vector algebra and vector calculus are used. Velocity dependent forces, central forces, oscillatory motion, rigid body motion, and moving coordinate frames are typical topics. Prerequisite: PHY 220, MTH 217, 218. (Offered spring semester.)
A study of vector forces and their analysis, equilibrium of particles and of rigid bodies, structural analysis and internal forces, distributed forces, center of gravity and centroids. Prerequisite: PHYS 200
This course builds on concepts introduced in prior coursework in static systems. It considers the mathematical description of rigid bodies in motion under the action of forces, moments and couples, solving problems of kinematics and kinetics for particles and rigid bodies using energy, momentum, and angular momentum conservation laws. It also introduces Lagrangian and Hamiltonian methods. Prerequisite: PHYS 200
Treatment of probability applied to discrete and continuous distributions; tests of hypotheses; independence and correlation; sampling theory. Prerequisite: MATH 217. (Offered spring semester of even calendar years.)
Provides an experience in the uses of mathematics. Use and development of mathematical models will be considered. Topics will range from applications in the social sciences to physics and engineering. The choice of material will be based on current trends in mathematics applications and on student's needs. Prerequisite: MTH 212, 217, 218. (Offered spring semester of even calendar years.)
This three hour course is designed to introduce a student to general scientific programming and the MATLAB and Perl programming languages in particular. Standard topics of programming including loops, conditionals, functions, subroutines, strings, input, and output will be covered. Additionally, simple programming using vectors and matrices will be learned. The course material will be applied to solve numerous simple problems and some of moderate complexity as well. Some simple data structures like lists and hashes in Perl will be studied. This class is created to be a substitute for CIS210 for mathematics, matematics education, physics, and physics eeducation majors. Prerequisite: MTH115. CIS140 recommended.
Using a modern high-level programming language, this course introduces algorithmic problem solving, basic control structures, basic data structures, and procedural abstraction. Prerequisites: MTH 111 and CIS 140, or MTH 115. (Offered fall semester.)

Physics Major Partner Programs

Engineering 3-2 Dual Degree Program

According to the U.S. Department of Labor statistics, engineering is projected to be one of the top five areas of employment for the next decade. If you have been prepared by your high school education in writing, communications, mathematics and science, you should be ready to move into the college level courses. You will have to study a lot, but anything worth doing requires some effort. The payback occurs in career satisfaction. The engineering profession ranks in the upper 15% among the 250 types of work endeavors.

Dual Degree with University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

The Engineering School at UIUC ranks number 6 overall in the United States, according to U.S. News and World Report. The Dual Degree (3-2) program results in a Bachelor of Arts in Physics, Chemistry or Biology from Greenville University and a Bachelor of Science in Engineering from UIUC.

Dual Degree with Washington University in St. Louis

The Engineering School at Washington University in St. Louis is ranked number 14 overall according to U.S. News and Word Report. This Dual Degree (3-2) program results in a Bachelor of Arts in Physics, Chemistry or Biology from Greenville University and a Bachelor of Science in Engineering from Washington University.

Benefits of the 3/2 Program

  1. Successful completion of Greenville's engineering program, with an appropriate GPA, guarantees admission to top quality engineering schools for the remaining two years.
  2. Receive personal attention in the math and physics courses that provide the backbone of any engineering program.
  3. Gain exposure to the many engineering opportunities before making a final commitment to a specific field.
  4. Remain flexible in your career options by starting with the practical, broad- natured pre-engineering courses that prepares one for many fields.
  5. Obtain two degrees -- a liberal arts degree in addition to an engineering degree. Employers seek graduates with a broad background to better adapt to our constantly changing society.
  6. Spend three years at a campus where Christian principles and values are taught and practiced.

International Students

Greenville University works alongside Yenching Elite Education as our premier partner in China for recruiting qualified Chinese students into its engineering dual-degree program. Yenching Elite Education focuses on providing access to our “Pathways Programs” designed to assist Chinese students upon graduating from high school. Students completing a one-year Pathway Program enjoy a curriculum focused on English language development and additional coursework to prepare them for attending the school’s four-year degree program. Yenching Elite Education also collaborates to find top students interested in pursuing our Engineering Dual Degree (3:2) partnerships with University of Illinois and Washington University

Engineering Triple Degree Program

Triple Degree (3-3) program graduates will receive a Bachelor of Arts in Physics, Chemistry or Biology from Greenville College, a Bachelor of Science in Engineering and a Master of Science in Engineering from Washington University. The GRE is not required for admission. Generous scholarships are available for both domestic and international students including 50 percent of tuition during the first year, 55 percent of tuition during the second year and 60 percent of tuition during the third and final year of a student's enrollment at Washington University.

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