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 Semester Hours Second Semester Semester Hours
PHYSICS 170
University Physics I
3 PHYSICS 172
University Physics II
3
PHYSICS 171
Explorations in Physics
1 PHYSICS 173
Explorations in Physics II
1
MATH 170
Calculus I
4 MATH 171
Calculus II
4
PHILOSOPHY 100
Ethics 
3 COMPUTER SCIENCE 170
Computer Science I
3
FOREIGN LANGUAGE
Elective I
3 FOREIGN LANGUAGE
Elective II
3
THEOLOGY 111
Theological Foundations
3 ENGLISH 101 or 115
English Composition or Rhetoric
3
Total 17 Total 17

Sophomore Year

First Semester Semester Hours Second Semester Semester Hours
PHYSICS 242
Electronics I
3 PHYSICS 340
Modern Physics II
3
PHYSICS 243
Electronics I Lab
1 PHYSICS 341
Modern Physics II Lab
1
PHYSICS 330
Modern Physics I
3 MATH 230
Differential Equations
3
PHYSICS 331
Modern Physics I Lab
1 PHILOSPHY 290
Theory of Knowledge
3
MATH 220
Calculus III
4 FINE ARTS
Elective
3
HISTORY
Elective I
3 HISTORY
Elective II
3
Total 15 Total 16

Junior Year

First Semester Semester Hours Second Semester Semester Hours
PHYSICS 350
Theoretical Mechanics
3 LITERATURE
Elective
3
PHYSICS 360
Electromagnetism I
3 THEOLOGY
Scrip/Hist or Christ Sys Elective
3
PHYSICS 355
Advanced Physics Lab
2 PROGRAM ELECTIVES* 6
PROGRAM ELECTIVES* 6 SOCIAL SCIENCE
Elective I
3
DIVERSITY CURRICULUM
Elective I
3 DIVERSITY CURRICULUM
Elective II
3
Total 17 Total 18

Senior Year

First Semester Semester Hours Second Semester Semester Hours
PHYSICS 395
Physics Research
1 PHYSICS 364
Physical Optics
3
PHILOSOPHY 300 - 499
Elective
3 PHYSICS 365
Physical Optics Lab
1
SOCIAL SCIENCE
Elective II
3 PHYSICS 398
Physics Thesis
1
ENGL 205
Lit & Moral Imagination
3 THEOLOGY
Ethics or Rel/Cult Elective
3
PROGRAM ELECTIVE* 6 PROGRAM ELECTIVE* 6
    E/RS
Focus Elective
3
Total 16 Total 17

Note that ER/S and Diversity Curriculum requirements can be fulfilled with other core courses, although this is not always possible.

* 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.