Physics

The program in physics is designed to familiarize students with the techniques of mathematical and experimental physics that would be useful to them in an industrial research or engineering position; in physics teaching; as a general preparation for more advanced graduate work in any of the varied fields of physics; or in such disciplines as astronomy, space science, biophysics, computer science, engineering, geophysics, medicine, law, and oceanography.

The physics major requires 46 semester hours of specific physics courses, 16 semester hours of specific mathematics/computer science courses, and 4-5 semester hours of specific chemistry or 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 physics.

The following block schedule serves as a guideline for progress toward a degree in Physics.

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
FOREIGN LANGUAGE
Elective I
3 FOREIGN LANGUAGE
Elective II
3
THEOLOGY 111
Theological Foundations
3 ENGLISH 101 or 115
English Composition or Rhetoric
3
PHILOSOPHY 100
Ethics as Intro. to Philosophy
3 COMPUTER SCIENCE 170
Computer Science I
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 PHILOSOPHY 290
Theory of Knowledge
3
MATH 220
Calculus III
4 FINE ARTS
Elective
3
HISTORY
Elective I
3 HISTORY
Elective II
3
DIVERSITY CURRICULUM
Elective I
3    
Total 18 Total 16

Junior Year

First Semester Semester Hours Second Semester Semester Hours
PHYSICS 350
Theoretical Mechanics I
3 PHYSICS 364
Physical Optics
3
PHYSICS 360
Electromagnetism I
3 PHYSICS 365
Physical Optics Lab
1
PHYSICS 355
Advanced Physics Lab
2 PHYSICS 382
Thermodynamics
3
MATH
Elective*
3 LITERATURE
Elective
1
CHEMISTRY / BIOLOGY
Elective + Lab
4/5 THEOLOGY
Scrip/Hist or Christ Sys Elective
3
    DIVERSITY CURRICULUM 
Elective II
3
Total 15/16 Total 16

Senior Year

First Semester Semester Hours Second Semester Semester Hours
PHYSICS 376
Quantum Mechanics I
3 PHYSICS 377
Quantum Mechanics II
3
PHYSICS 395
Physics Research
1 PHYSICS 398
Physics Thesis
1
PHYS / ENGR / MATH / CSCI
Elective**
3 PHYSICS CAPSTONE
Elective
3
SOCIAL SCIENCE
Elective I
3 SOCIAL SCIENCE
Elective II
3
ENGLISH / CLAS / SPAN 205
Literature & the Moral Imagination
3 E/RS FOCUS
Elective
3
PHILOSOPHY 300 - 499
Elective
3 THEOLOGY
Ethics or Rel/Cult Elective
3
Total 16 Total 16

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

* Students wishing to minor in Applied Mathematics should take MATH 222 as their math elective.  Student wishing to major or minor in Mathematics should take MATH 225 as their math elective.  One additional course above MATH 225 is then required for the Mathematics Minor. 

** Not required, but strongly recommended for students interested in attending a graduate program.