PHYSICSThe Department of Physics offers six programs leading to the baccalaureate degree with a major in physics. The course structure recommended by the department is essentially identical during the first two years of all programs so that a revision in a studentís plan need not involve any loss of time.
The greatest flexibility is found in the liberal arts (B.A.) program, which invites interdisciplinary studies in areas such as biophysics, geophysics, physical oceanography, chemical physics, mathematical physics or astronomy. The program can also be tailored to prepare a student for immediate employment or for graduate study in various areas such as medicine, law, engineering, business management, scientific journalism and others for which an undergraduate major in physics is valuable.
The bachelor of science degree in physics involves the greatest depth in physics and mathematics. This program prepares the student for employment in a technical position upon graduation and provides as well a solid foundation for entrance into a graduate program in physics.
The option in physics/computer engineering leading to a B.S. in physics, provides a concentration in electronics, with an emphasis on digital applications. In addition to a solid foundation in physics, the option includes a combination of computer hardware and software training designed to prepare students for careers applying microprocessors and microelectronics.
The physics-3/2 cooperative engineering option requires three years of study at Millersville in the liberal arts curriculum with a physics major plus two years in residence in the engineering program at one of the cooperating institutions: Pennsylvania State University, the University of Pennsylvania or the University of Southern California. At the end of the five years, the student receives two baccalaureate degrees: a B.A. in physics from Millersville and a B.S. in engineering from the cooperating engineering school.
The physics-4/1 cooperative engineering option, offered in cooperation with the University of Pennsylvania, combines undergraduate study in physics with graduate study in engineering. A student with a satisfactory academic performance in the physics curriculum (B.A. or B.S.) at MU, upon application and recommendation by the physics department, may matriculate in the graduate engineering program at the University of Pennsylvania. The M.S. in engineering degree requirements are ordinarily completed in one or two years, and the student may apply to continue studies through the doctorate degree.
The program in secondary education prepares students for careers in precollege teaching, providing certification in physics.
The cooperative education program in physics is an optional arangement whereby students combine practical on-the-job experience with their formal classroom instruction. After the freshman year, the Co-op program is available to all physics majors in the B.A. and B.S. programs who satisfy the departmental admission requirements. For more information, see "Cooperative Education" in the Special Academic Opportunities section.
Outstanding students majoring in physics may pursue departmental honors during their senior year. Participation in the departmental honors program is highly selective and offers students in each of our major programs an opportunity to strengthen their background in physics and to work closely with a faculty mentor on an extended research project. General information on departmental honors is found in the Special Academic Opportunities section of this catalog. Specific requirements for honors in each of our major programs are available from the department chairperson.
Two minor programs are also available for students who do not elect a major in physics. The standard minor in physics offers students an exposure to physics through the intermediate level of our major program, while the physics minor with the engineering physics option provides a solid introduction to basic physics and contemporary electronics.
The department has prepared a student handbook which provides more detailed information on our programs, faculty and resources. This handbook, as well as additional information on any of the above programs is available from the physics department.