Major in Physics
(Bachelor of Arts Degree, Bachelor of Science Degree in Physics and Programs in Engineering)
Utica College offers B.A. and B.S. degrees in physics, and both 2 - 2, and 3 - 2 transfer options in engineering. All programs share a common body of courses for the first two years.
Physics is the science concerned with the nature of matter, energy, and the interrelationships between them. Common cross-disciplines include engineering physics, chemical physics, geophysics, biophysics, and mathematical physics.
Engineering is the application of physics to real-world problems. Engineers are the people who design the automobiles, the bridges, the computer chips, the electronic devices, the artificial limbs, and all of the other technological wonders of our civilization.
Between these two fields, there is a mixed area that might be called applied physics or research engineering. It calls for people with a practical physics background who do engineering-development and research in industry.
Students considering public school teaching as a career should refer to the programs in education, listed alphabetically in this section of the catalog.
The B.A. in physics is intended for students who plan to teach or who wish to have a good scientific background for use in technology-related careers in business, law, management, optometry, or medicine. It provides a broader base of general science and allows for more course electives in other disciplines than the B.S. program.
The B.S. in physics is designed for students who wish to practice applied physics or research in government or industry, pursue a graduate degree in physics, engineering, or education; or who simply want a more intensive background in physics for careers in technical management, high school physics teaching, and other technical fields.
The 2 - 2 transfer option in engineering provides the basic courses typically found in the first two years of engineering programs. Students have the advantages of small classes and close contact with the faculty as they master their foundation courses in science, mathematics, and introductory engineering at Utica College. After two years, students transfer to an engineering school to complete their work at the junior-senior level, and they will receive their degree from that institution. Utica College students have successfully transferred into engineering programs at Syracuse, Clarkson, RIT, and Union among others.
The 3 - 2 transfer option in engineering is similar to the 2 - 2 program but includes another year of study at Utica College in which students take more physics, math, and core courses for a total of at least 96 hours. With this additional course work, students will transfer to an engineering school where they will take junior level engineering courses. Upon the completion of 32 hours at the transfer college (and receipt of an official transcript), students will earn a B.A. in physics from Utica College. When the students have satisfied the requirements from the engineering school, typically after another year of study there, they will earn a second degree, in engineering. In effect, one year of college work counts for the degree at two institutions, and students will have a liberal arts degree in addition to the engineering degree. This degree should be considered by those seeking a career in technical management.
BA students will be able to demonstrate an understanding of:
- Mechanics, including the use of Free Body Diagrams; Newton’s Laws of Motion; Equilibrium of a Particle in 2 and 3 Dimensions; Torques/Moments in 2 and 3 Dimensions; Equilibrium of a Rigid Body; Structural Analysis of Trusses; Friction; Kinematics of a Particle in 2 and 3 Dimensions; Force and Acceleration Analysis of a Particle; Energy and Work Analysis of Particle; Momentum and Impulse Analysis of a Particle; Relativistic Mechanics, including The Theory of Special Relativity.
- Electricity and Magnetism, including Electric Forces and Coulomb’s Law; the Electric Field for point charges and for continuous charge distributions; Electric Flux and Gauss’s Law; the Electric Potential; Electric Potential Energy and its connection to Work; Conductors and Insulators; Resistors and Resistance; Electric Currents; Kirchhoff’s Laws; Direct Current Circuits, including R, RC and RLC Circuits; Magnetic Fields; The Lorentz Force Law; Ampere’s Law; Reactance; Alternating Current Circuits, including R, RC, RLC Circuits.
- Quantum Physics, including Black Body Radiation and Planck’s Theory; the Photoelectric Effect; Matter Waves and De Broglie’s Understanding; The Bohr Atom and Atomic Spectra; The Wave Function and Born’s Interpretation; Expectation Values; the Time-Dependent and Time-Independent Schrodinger Equation; Solutions of Schrodinger’s Equation in 1, 2 and 3 Dimensions; and the Hydrogen Atom.
BS students will be able to demonstrate an understanding of
- Mechanics, including the use of Free Body Diagrams; Newton’s Laws of Motion; Equilibrium of A Particle in 2 and 3 Dimensions; Torques/Moments in 2 and 3 Dimensions; Equilibrium of a Rigid Body; Structural Analysis of Trusses; Projectile Motion in 2 Dimensions; Momentum and Angular Momentum; Energy and Work; Simple Harmonic Motion; Oscillations, including Damped Oscillations; the Calculus of Variations; the Lagrangian and Lagrange’s Equation; the Hamiltonian and Hamilton’s Equations; Relativity Mechanics, including the Theory of Special Relativity.
- Electricity and Magnetism, including Electric Forces and Coulomb’s Law; the Electric Field for point charges and for continuous charge distributions; Electric Flux and Gauss’s Law; the Electric Potential; Electrical Potential Energy and its connection to Work; Conductors and Insulators; Dielectrics, including Linear Dielectrics; Polarization of Charges, Resistors and Resistance; Electric Currents; Kirchhoff’s Laws; Direct Current Circuits, including R, RC and RLC Circuits; Reactance, Alternating Current Circuits, including R, RC, and RLC Circuits; Magnetic Field, the Lorentz Force Law; Ampere’s Law; the Magnetic Vector Potential’ Diamagnetism, Paramagnetism and Ferromagnetism; Electromagnetic Induction, including Faraday’s Law; Maxwell’s Equations of Electrodynamics.
- Quantum Physics, including Black Body Radiation and Planck’s Theory; the Photoelectric Effect; Matter Waves and De Broglie’s Understanding; the Bohr Atom and Atomic Spectra; the Wave Function and Born’s Interpretation; Expectation Values; the Time-Dependent and Time-Independent Schrodinger Equation;Solutions of Schrodinger’s Equation in 1,2, and 3 Dimensions; the One-Electron Atom; Angular Momentum; Quantum Statistics, including Boltzmann, Bose-Einstein and Fermi-Dirac Distributions; Applications of Quantum Physics to Solid State Physics, Nuclear Physics and/or Elementary Particle Physics.
Common Academic Requirements for Physics and Engineering
See Core section of this catalog.
Core: 34 - 55 Credit Hours
Major Course Requirements
Major-Related Course Requirements
Additional Course Requirements
2 - 2 Option in Engineering:
No additional requirements at Utica College
3 - 2 Option in Engineering:
(B.A. from Utica College, 96 Hours plus 32 transfer hours)
B.A. in Physics (128 Hours):
B.S. in Physics (128 Hours):
Students in the 3 - 2 engineering option must take a sufficient number of free electives to reach a total of 96 hours at UC. They must transfer 32 hours to UC from their engineering school. Students majoring in physics take sufficient free electives to reach a total of 128 hours at UC and should consult with their adviser on elective courses of particular interest for a specific career path.