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Programs in Physics

 

    Physics department offers varieties of programs for students seeking career in physics, engineering, medical areas and teaching. As a physics major, you have also opportunities pursuing minors in Math, Computational Science, Computer Science, and other sciences. If you are interested in obtaining a secondary education license for teaching Physics , you might want to participate in Central's secondary education program. Students majoring in physics have been able to study abroad with careful planning. Further information can be found at the office of Central College Abroad.

---------------Physics Major-----------------

    The physics program at Central College is a four-year program that prepares students for jobs in engineering and other technical areas, teaching, graduate school and research. It is the major that is the foundation for most of the engineering specialties in Central's engineering dual-degree program with Washington University in St. Louis, Iowa State University and the University of Iowa. Our mission is to teach physics theory, problem-solving skills, and experimental techniques with an emphasis on science as a method for exploring the world. We prepare our students to be able to reason from the general fundamental principles to specific applications in physics and engineering. A student trained in physics will be able to work in a variety of specialties. We see ourselves as part of an academic community contributing a unique piece of a larger world picture. Physics, the most fundamental physical science, is concerned with the basic principles of the universe. It is the foundation on which engineering, technology, and the other sciences are based.

Requirements for physics major: (55 s. h.)

1. Complete all of the following: (36 s. h.)
PHYS 111 General Physics I (5)
PHYS 112 General Physics II (5)
PHYS 221 Modern Physics I (3)
PHYS 331 Advanced Labs (4) (2 semesters)
CHEM 131 General Chemistry (5)
MATH 131 Calculus I (4)
MATH 132 Calculus II (4)
MATH 231 Multivariable Calculus (3)
MATH 250 Differential Equations (3)

2. Complete 19 s. h. from the following elective courses:
PHYS 211 Analog Electronics (3)
PHYS 212 Digital Electronics (3)
PHYS 222 Modern Physics II (3)
PHYS 321 Electricity and Magnetism I (3)
PHYS 322 Optics (3)
PHYS 324 Thermodynamics (3)
PHYS 326 Analytical Mechanics (4)
PHYS 328 Engineering Problems (4)
PHYS 412 Quantum Mechanics (4)
PHYS 421 Electricity and Magnetism II (3)

3.Complete all requirements for the Communication Skills Endorsement

Sample Schedules for Physics Major:

  students starting in fall semester of odd years students starting in fall semester of even years
1st semester (freshman) General Physics I
Calculus I
General Physics I
Calculus I
2nd semester (freshman) General Physics II
Calculus II
General Physics II
Calculus II
3rd semester (sophomore) Modern Physics I
Multivariable Calculus
Analog Electronics
Modern Physics I
Multivariable Calculus
Optics
4th semester (sophomore) Differential Equations
General Chemistry
Digital Electronics
Differential Equations, General Chemistry
Modern Physics II
5th semester (junior) Optics
Quantum Mechanics
 
Thermodynamics
Electricity and Magnetism I
Analog Electronics
6th semester (junior) Modern Physics II
Analytical Mechanics
Engineering Problems
Electricity and Magnetism II
Digital Electronics
7th semester (senior) Advanced Labs I Thermodynamics
Electricity and Magnetism I
 
Advanced Labs I
Quantum Mechanics
 
8th semester (senior) Advanced Labs II
Engineering Problems
Electricity and Magnetism II
Advanced Labs II
Analytical Mechanics
 

* Bold font indicates the required courses for Physics Major. Regular font indicates elective courses. You do not need to take all the elective courses listed in the table. However, for Physics Major you do need to take at least 19 semester hours of elective courses.

------------Pre-Engineering Program---------

     Central's dual degree engineering program is an excellent way for students to obtain both an engineering degree and a liberal-arts degree. This program leads to a B.A. in a science area from Central and a B.S. in engineering from either Washington University ( St. Louis), the University of Iowa, or Iowa State University. A broad background in the liberal arts, as well as our emphasis on communication skills, helps students to establish themselves as thoughtful, creative, productive engineers. The transition from high school to a demanding course of study such as engineering can be difficult. Students are helped by small classes taught by extremely well-qualified, experienced teachers committed primarily to their teaching.

     Typically a student enrolls at Central College and chooses a science major closely allied with an engineering field of interest (usually physics, chemistry, mathematics or computer science). After three years of full-time study at Central (with at least 90 semester hours of credit completed, including all Core requirements and all major requirements), the student leaves Central and enrolls at either Washington University, the University of Iowa or Iowa State University. Upon completion of one year of engineering study at Washington University, the University of Iowa, or Iowa State University, appropriate credits are transferred back to Central, enabling the student to graduate with a B.A. degree from Central. The student will then earn a B.S. in engineering from one of the cooperating institutions after additional one to two years of engineering study.

     Prior to the start of the first semester of classes in the first year at Central, interested students must formally declare to Central's pre-engineering program director their intent to participate in order to graduate in the time frame mentioned above. They must also complete specific courses at specific points in their academic programs to remain eligible for continued participation. Careful consultation with the appropriate faculty advisers makes this cooperative program successful.

     This dual degree program also enables students to complete a full four years of study and the B.A. degree at Central. Students opting to do so may then take advantage of their advanced standing toward the fulfillment of B.S. in Engineering requirements at any of the cooperating institutions. Students pursing this option must declare their intent prior to the start of their second year at Central.

Requirements: (55 s. h.)

The requirements are the same as for Physics Major. All physics requirements and Core requirements should be finished within three years at Central.

Sample Schedules for Pre-Engineering Program:

  students starting in fall semester of odd years students starting in fall semester of even years
1st semester (freshman) General Physics I
Calculus I
General Physics I
Calculus I
2nd semester (freshman) General Physics II
Calculus II
General Physics II
Calculus II
3rd semester (sophomore) Modern Physics I
Multivariable Calculus
Analog Electronics Thermodynamics
Electricity and Magnetism I
Modern Physics I
Multivariable Calculus
Optics
4th semester (sophomore) Differential Equations
General Chemistry
Engineering Problems
Digital Electronics
Electricity and Magnetism II
Differential Equations
General Chemistry

Analytical Mechanics
Modern Physics II
5th semester (junior) Advanced Labs I
Optics
 
Advanced Labs I Thermodynamics
Electricity and Magnetism I
Analog Electronics
6th semester (junior) Advanced Labs II
Modern Physics II
Analytical Mechanics
Advanced Labs II
Engineering Problems
Electricity and Magnetism II Digital Electronics

* Bold font indicates the required courses for Physics Major. Regular font indicates elective courses. You do not need to take all the elective courses listed in the table. However, for Physics Major you do need to take at least 19 semester hours of elective courses. Dependent on the engineering school and engineering area you are interested in, you might need to take additional courses not listed in the table above.

------------------Physics Minor------------------

Requirements for physics minor: (18 s. h.)

1. Complete all of the following: (15 s. h.))
PHYS 111 General Physics I (5)
PHYS 112 General Physics II (5)
PHYS 221 Modern Physics I (3)
PHYS 331 Advanced Labs (4) (2 semesters)

2. Complete an additional 3 s. h. of PHYS courses numbered 211 or above
 


---------Additional courses offered---------

(do not count toward the major or minor)
PHYS 106 Introductory Astronomy (3)
PHYS 204 Energy and Environment (3)
 


Department of Physics, Central College
812 University St., Pella, IA 50219
Phone: (877) 462-3687 Fax: (641) 628-5920