Department of Physics
Students who complete a major in Physics are prepared for careers in industrial and governmental research and development and for graduate study in physics, astronomy, engineering, medicine, oceanography, materials science; and environmental science. In-depth preparation also is provided for teaching in secondary schools.
Students interested in Physics Education are encouraged to declare a double major in their discipline and in education (i.e., Physics Education and Physics). Such double majors may be earned by successful completion of a few additional credits. Students should contact their adviser or the Office of Registration and Records for details and are encouraged to declare their primary and secondary majors with the Office of Registration and Records, Ceres Hall 110.
A grade of 'C' or better is required in all Physics and Astronomy courses.
Optical Science and Engineering Option
This option includes an interdisciplinary optics/photonics sequence of courses taught by the Departments of Physics and Electrical and Computer Engineering using a state-of-the-art optics teaching laboratory. This is the only regional program of the type. Optics and lasers are enabling technologies and are applied in most high tech experiments, communications, devices, medical diagnostics, media, etc. There are more than 5,000 optics-related companies in the United States alone, but even more important, photonics provides the technical foundation for many more. Optical science and engineering has exploded to encompass nearly all fields of science and technology with a consequent shortage of individuals trained in the field. The optical science and engineering option will enhance any job search.
Mathematics and Physics Double Major
This program is for students who want additional theoretical background and preparation for graduate school or technical careers in the sciences.
Computer Science and Physics Double Major
Since the dawn of the computer age, Computer Science and Physics have been closely intertwined disciplines. Computational physics is now an established branch of physics, complementing experiment and theory that develops and applies computer modeling approaches to the solution of a wide range of physical problems. At the same time, software development (e.g., for graphics and data mining applications) is increasingly inspired by physics. Computer modeling, including simulation and numerical analysis, is an essential component of modern research and development. Correspondingly, the demand is growing for scientists with multidisciplinary training that combines fundamental knowledge of physics and computer science with practical skills in programming and computation. The Computer Science and Physics double major program is designed to allow students to complete the core requirements of both majors in a four-year degree. Graduates of the program will have a unique background qualifying them to work in industry or to pursue graduate studies in physics, computer science, engineering, or other technical fields.
A Physics minor consists of 19 credits, of which at least eight credits must be completed at NDSU.