Applied Physics

The applied physics program is designed to provide a broad education in the physical sciences, mathematics, and liberal arts, along with specialized training for students interested in engineering, medical school, health sciences, education, business, social sciences, or the humanities.

The Alternate Concentration option provides maximum flexibility to students who are interested in pursuing interdisciplinary programs. This program combines the study of physics with a concentrated study in another area or discipline. Concentrations must include at least 18 hours in one chosen area, which allows for all University minors to be included. Areas of concentration may be chosen from the sciences, mathematics, the humanities, the social sciences, business, and education.  If mathematics is selected as an area of concentration, the courses must be in addition to those required by the Applied Physics major.

The Natural Sciences option offers an alternative to the Natural Sciences major that allows students to study physics while preparing for medical, dental, or veterinary school. This program may also be of interest to students who wish to pursue careers in medical physics, radiological physics, and other health physics programs. The Natural Sciences program combines courses in physics, mathematics, and computer science with the chemistry and biology courses needed to fulfill the requirements for the Natural Sciences minor.  It is recommended that students interested in the Applied Physics/Natural Sciences program also consider the Biophysics program as an alternative

The applied physics major with an alternate concentration requires 34 semester hours of specific physics courses, 10 semester hours of specific mathematics/computer science courses, and at least 24 semester hours of electives in an alternate concentration.  The applied physics major with a natural sciences concentration requires 32 semester hours of specific physics courses, 10 semester hours of specific mathematics/computer science courses, 16 semester hours of chemistry courses, and 13 semester hours of biology courses. To strengthen and broaden the background of all Xavier students, a liberal arts core curriculum consisting of courses in history, literature, foreign language, philosophy, social sciences, fine arts, and theology is also a part of the program. Upon successful completion of the undergraduate program, students receive a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree in applied physics.

The following block schedule serves as a guideline for progress toward a degree in Applied Physics with an Alternate Concentration.  Students interested in the Natural Sciences option should visit the pre-health options page.

Freshman Year

First Semester Credit Hours Second Semester Credit Hours
PHYS 170
University Physics I
3 PHYS 172
University Physics II
3
PHYS 171
Explorations in Physics
1 PHYS 173
Explorations in Physics II
1
MATH 170
Calculus I
4 MATH 171
Calculus II
4
Second Language I 3 Second Language II 3
First Year Seminar 3 Theology 111 3
Total 14 Total 14

Sophomore Year

First Semester Credit Hours Second Semester Credit Hours
PHYS 242
Electronics I
3 PHYS 340
Modern Physics II
3
PHYS 243
Electronics I Lab
1 PHYS 341
Modern Physics II Lab
1
PHYS 330
Modern Physics I
3 MATH 230
Differential Equations
3
PHYS 331
Modern Physics I Lab
1 Philosophy 100 3
MATH 220
Calculus III
4 Lit. & Moral Imagination 205 3
Composition 100 or Rhetoric115 3 Historical Perspectives elective 3
Total 15 Total 16

Junior Year

First Semester Credit Hours Second Semester Credit Hours
PHYS 350
Theoretical Mechanics I
3 Program electives* 6
PHYS 360
Electromagnetism I
3 CSCI 170
Computer Science I
3
PHYS 355
Advanced Physics Lab
2 PHIL 200
Philosophical Perspectives
3
CHEM 160/161
General Chemistry Lecture & Lab
4 Theological Perspectives elective 3
Program electives* 3    
Total 15 Total 15

Senior Year

First Semester Credit Hours Second Semester Credit Hours
PHYS 395
Physics Research
1 PHYS 364
Physical Optics
3
Program electives* 6 PHYS 365
Physical Optics Lab
1
Humanities elective 3 PHYS 398
Physics Thesis
1
Social Sciences elective 3 Program electives* 5
DCR** or General elective 3 Creative Perspectives elective 3
Writing Intensive elective** (if needed) (3) ER/S** or General elective 3
Total 16 Total 16

*Program electives will depend on the student’s choice of concentration. Specific block schedules are determined in consultation with the chair. If the concentration is in a non-science area, then 4 - 5 credit hours in a second science should be taken in place of the program elective.  If the concentration is in mathematics, the courses must be in addition to those already required by the major.

**May double count with other core or major courses.

Note – Scientific Perspectives, Mathematical Perspectives, Natural Sciences, Oral Communications and Quantitative Reasoning electives satisfied in major.