Department of Physics

BS in Physics | Minor in Physics| BS in Physics/Engineering (Dual Degree) | Pre-Engineering | Course Descriptions


Acting Chair: Barry A. Friedman    (936) 294-1604    

Faculty: Hui Fang, Barry Friedman, Renee James, Gan Liang, Charles Meitzler, Scott Miller, David Pooley, Joel Walker

Website: http://www.shsu.edu/academics/physics/

Physics is the study of how nature behaves. It is concerned with the basic principles of the universe and is one of the foundations on which other physical sciences are based. The beauty of physics is exhibited by the simplicity of its fundamental theories and in the way a small number of basic concepts, equations and assumptions can expand the students’ understanding of the world.

Mission

The mission of the Department of Physics is to promulgate the ability to critically think about nature through teaching and to develop the inquisitiveness to seek additional knowledge by research. In conducting this mission, the Department of Physics will provide capable scientists that can make positive contributions to our society. In order to accomplish this mission, the Department of Physics will take the following steps:

  • Improve success in learning and research among all students in the department.
  • Develop additional methods to plan and assess the program in the department.
  • Recruit and retain qualified, motivated students.
  • Promote diversity in the faculty and students.
  • Collaborate with other institutions and departments to enhance education opportunities.
  • Develop and implement additional educational services to off-campus audiences.
  • Provide assistance to teachers in the schools preparing the future students for the institution.

Academic Programs

Physics students may pursue a Bachelor of Science degree in Physics or a dual degree consisting of a Bachelor of Science in Physics from Sam Houston State University and a Bachelor’s degree in a engineering field at a university with an accredited degree program in the chosen engineering field. Students also may enroll in a two-year pre-engineering program. The Bachelor of Science degree in Physical Science with Secondary Certification is available to students seeking careers in secondary education.

Career Opportunities

Graduates with a Bachelor of Science degree either pursue further education at the graduate level or enter the workforce. Approximately one-half of the graduates pursue graduate study seeking either the Master of Science or Ph.D. degree. The remainder primarily enter the engineering profession but may also enter the fields of computer science and education.

Student Organizations

Society of Physics - The Society of Physics is a nationally recognized organization. The society sponsors field trips, campus visits by potential students, and attendance at professional meetings.

Scholarships

The Physics Department awards scholarships on a competitive basis. Other general scholarships are available from the University. Information on University scholarships may be obtained at Office of Academic Scholarships or by telephone (936) 294-1672. Prospective students should contact the chair of the Physics Department, Box 2267, Huntsville, Texas 77341 or the website.

Program Specific Requirements

Physics students will learn the simplicity of nature and the unifying aspects of the laws of physics. This is accomplished by recognizing physical problems, developing a hypothesis and predicting the consequences of it, performing experiments to test the predictions, and formulating the results into a theory. The skills of inquiry, observation, and experimentation are used in all scientific careers including engineering, business, teaching, and administration. The Physics Department has basic research laboratories in selected fields and provides opportunities for advanced students to be involved in research projects. The University operates computer laboratories containing desktop computers, and work stations at several locations on campus.

Curriculum

Required Courses For Major

The Bachelor of Science degree requires 37 hours in Physics as follows:

PHY 141 <PHYS 1470>,PHY 141<PHYS 1411>, 142 <PHYS 1422>, 245 <PHYS 2426>, 391/311 <PHYS 3391/3111>, 466 PHYS <4366>, 468 PHYS <4368>, 470 <PHYS 4370>, 471 <PHYS 4371>, 495 < PHYS 4395>, 31 hrs.
Advanced Physics Laboratory Electives: 395/315 <PHYS 3395/3115>, PHY 397/317 <PHYS 3397/3117> or 433/413 <PHYS 4333/4113;
Advanced Physics Electives: PHY 370 <PHYS 3370>, 467 <PHYS 4367>, 496 <PHYS 4396>, 6 hrs.    

All Physics majors meet the requirements for a minor in mathematics.

Bachelor of Science
Major in Physics

3 Digit to 4 Digit Crosswalk

SHSU Course NumberHoursRecommended Sequence
Core Curriculum
Component Area I (Communication) 6 Freshman
Component Area II (Mathematics) 3 Freshman
Component Area III (Natural Sciences)
Note: See Degree Specific Requirements
8 Freshman
Component Area IV (Humanities/Visual/Performing Arts)
      Visual and Performing Arts 3 Junior
      Literature or Philosophy 3 Sophomore
      Cultural Studies 3 Junior
Component Area V (Social/Behavioral Sciences)
HIS 163 <HIST 1301>, HIS 164 <HIST 1302> 6 Sophomore
POL 261 <POLS 2301>, 200-level POL <2000-level POLS> 6 Sophomore
Social and Behavioral Sciences 3 Junior
Component Area VI (Institutionally Designated Option)
KIN 215 <KINE 2115>
1 Freshman
Degree Specific Requirements
CHM 138/118 <CHEM 1311/1111>1 4 Freshman
CHM 139/119 <CHEM 1312/1112>1 4 Freshman
CS 146 <COSC 1436> 4 Sophomore
BIO 161/111 <BIOL 1311/1111> or
GEL 133/113 <GEOL 1303/1103>
4 Junior
BIO 162/112 <BIOL 1313/1113> or
GEL 134
/114 <GEOL 1304/1104>
4 Junior
Advanced General elective 8 Senior
MTH <MATH> (Advanced) or Science (Advanced) 6 Senior
Major Core
PHY 141 <PHYS 1411> 4 Freshman
PHY 142 <PHYS 1422> 4 Sophomore
PHY 245 <PHYS 2426> 4 Sophomore
PHY 391 <PHYS 3391> and PHY 311 <PHYS 3111> 4 Junior
PHY 471 <PHYS 4371> 3 Junior
PHY 466 <PHYS 4366> 3 Senior
PHY 468 <PHYS 4368> 3 Senior
PHY 470 <PHYS 4370> 3 Senior
PHY 495 <PHYS 4395> 3 Senior
Major
Advanced PHY <PHYS> elective 6 Senior
Minor (if required)
MTH 142 <MATH 1420>1 4 Freshman
MTH 143 <MATH 1430>  4 Freshman
MTH 244 <MATH 2440> 4 Sophomore
MTH 376 <MATH 3376> 3 Junior
MTH 476 <MATH 4376> 3 Junior
Total Hours: 120
Notes:1CHM 138/118 <CHEM 1311/1111>, CHM 139/119 <CHEM 1312/1112> satisfies the requirement for Component Area III, MTH 142 <MATH 1420> satisfies the requirement for Component Area II and the degree specific requirement.

A student may need preparatory work in mathematics or might be eligible for advanced placement, either of which necessitates adjustment of the schedule. Such a student should consult a member of the physics or mathematics faculty concerning his/her schedule.

Minor in Physics

A minor in Physics requires a minimum of 24 hours of coursework and shall include PHY 141 <PHYS 1411>, 142 <1422>, 245 <2426>, 391/311 <3391/3111>, and eight semester hours of advanced electives in physics.

Bachelor of Science
Major in Physics/Engineering Dual Degree

3 Digit to 4 Digit Crosswalk

SHSU Course NumberHoursRecommended Sequence
Core Curriculum
Component Area I (Communication) 6 Freshman
Component Area II (Mathematics) 3 Freshman
Component Area III (Natural Sciences)
Note: See Degree Specific Requirements
8 Freshman
Component Area IV (Humanities/Visual/Performing Arts)
      Visual & Performing Arts 3 Junior
      Literature or Philosophy 3 Sophomore
      Cultural Studies 3 Sophomore
Component Area V (Social/Behavioral Sciences)
HIS 163 <HIST 1301>, HIS 164 <HIST 1302> 6 Freshman
POL 261 <POLS 2301>, 200-level POL <2000-level POLS> 6 Sophomore
Social and Behavioral Sciences 3 Junior
Component Area VI (Institutionally Designated Option)
KIN 215 <KINE 2115>
1 Freshman
Degree Specific Requirements
CHM 138/118 <CHEM 1311/1111>1 4 Freshman
CHM 139/119 <CHEM 1312/1112>1 4 Freshman
ENG 330 <ENGL 3330> 3 Sophomore
IT 161 <ITEC 1361> 3 Sophomore
CS 146 <COSC 1436> 4 Sophomore
Advanced Elective 3 Junior
Major Core
PHY 170 <PHYS 1470>    
PHY 141 <PHYS 1411> 4 Freshman
PHY 142 <PHYS 1422> 4 Sophomore
PHY 245 <PHYS 2426> 4 Sophomore
PHY 395 <PHYS 3395> and PHY 315 <PHYS 3115> 4 Junior
PHY 470 <PHYS 4370> 3 Junior
PHY 391 <PHYS 3391> and PHY 311 <PHYS 3111> 4 Junior
Major
PHY <PHYS> (Advanced)** 9-10 Junior
MTH 142 <MATH 1420>1 4 Freshman
MTH 143 <MATH 1430>  4 Freshman
MTH 244 <MATH 2440> 4 Sophomore
MTH 376 <MATH 3376> 3 Junior
MTH 476 <MATH 4376> 3 Junior
Total Hours:  102-103
Notes:
1CHM 138/118 <CHEM 1311/1111>, CHM 139/119 <CHEM 1312/1112> satisfies the requirement for Component Area III, MTH 142 <MATH 1420> satisfies the requirement for Component Area II and the degree specific requirement. Fourth Year at university with recognized accredited degree program.
**Advanced PHY electives include PHY 370 <PHYS 3370>, 393/313 <XXXX/XXXX>, 431 <4331>, 433/413 <4333/4113>, 466 <4366>, 468 <4368>, 471 <4371>, and 488 <XXXX>.

Pre-Engineering

Students wishing to major in any of the many fields of engineering may take their first two years in pre-engineering at Sam Houston State University and transfer to a college of engineering to complete their degree requirements.

3 Digit to 4 Digit Crosswalk

SHSU Course NumberHoursRecommended Sequence
Core Curriculum
Component Area I (Communication) 6 Freshman
Component Area II (Mathematics) 3 Freshman
Component Area III (Natural Sciences)
Note: See Degree Specific Requirements
8 Freshman
Component Area IV (Humanities/Visual/Performing Arts)
      Literature or Philosophy 3 Sophomore
Component Area V (Social/Behavioral Sciences)
HIS 163 <HIST 1301>, HIS 164 <HIST 1302> 6 Freshman
POL 261 <POLS 2301>, 200-level POL <2000-level POLS> 6 Sophomore
Component Area VI (Institutionally Designated Option) 1 Freshman
Degree Specific Requirements
CHM 138/118 <CHEM 1311/1111>1 4 Freshman
CHM 139/119 <CHEM 1312/1112>1 4 Freshman
ENG 330 <ENGL 3330> 3 Sophomore
IT 161 <ITEC 1361> 4 Freshman
CS 146 <COSC 1436> 4 Sophomore
KIN <KINE> elective 1 Sophomore
Major Core
PHY 170 <PHYS 1470>
PHY 141 <PHYS 1411> 4 Freshman
PHY 142 <PHYS 1422> 4 Sophomore
PHY 245 <PHYS 2426> 4 Sophomore
Minor (if required)
MTH 142 <MATH 1420>1 4 Freshman
MTH 143 <MATH 1430>  4 Freshman
MTH 244 <MATH 2440> 4 Sophomore
Total Hours: 64
Notes:
1CHM 138/118 <CHEM 1311/1111>, CHM 139/119 <CHEM 1312/1112> satisfies the requirement for Component Area III, MTH 142 <MATH 1420> satisfies the requirement for Component Area II and the degree specific requirement.  This is to satisfy the first two years toward an engineering degree.

For the Dual Degree Plan the student completes three years in Physics at Sam Houston State University and the curriculum in an engineering field at a university with a recognized accredited degree program in the chosen engineering field. After successfully completing this program, the student receives two Bachelor of Science degrees, one in Physics from Sam Houston State University and one in an engineering specialty from the university with the recognized accredited engineering degree program. The applicable engineering specialties are aerospace, agriculture, chemical, civil, electrical, industrial, mechanical, nuclear, petroleum, and radiation protection engineering. For the chemical engineering option, a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry would be received from Sam Houston State University.

For more information on this program contact:
Dual Degree Plan Coordinator
Department of Physics
Sam Houston State University
Huntsville, Texas 77341-2267

Students in either of these programs should consult with the Physics/Engineering advisor to adjust the recommended programs to meet the requirements of the particular field of engineering at the terminal university.

To contact the Department of Physics, call (936) 294-1601; FAX: (936) 294-1585; or visit Department of Physics.


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