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Physics

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Physics

Available Options

Physics and Astronomy department web page


Program Overview

The basic physics major is designed for students who are interested in a career in industry, government laboratories and applied science or in further study toward a graduate degree.


B.A. Degree Requirements

This degree is suitable for students who want a rigorous background in physics or astronomy.  It also can be used as the basis for graduate studies and careers in engineering, actuarial science, medicine, law, computer programming and finances.  It can be accompanied by the Biophysics concentration for those students interested in applications of physics to biological systems.  The physics B.A. program is rigorous in Mathematics.

Course Credit Hours
PHY 001 (with lab and discussion) - Physics 1 4
PHY 002 (with lab and discussion) - Physics 2 4
PHY 003 - Contemporary Topics in Physics and Astronomy Seminar 1
PHY 050 (with recommended discussion) - Modern Physics 4
PHY 059 - Advanced Lab I 2
PHY 061 - Error Theory 1
PHY 121 - Theoretical Mechanics 4
PHY 122 - Electromagnetic Theory 4
PHY 149 - Advanced Lab II 2
PHY 181 - Quantum Theory 4
PHY 191 - Seminar I 1
PHY 192 - Seminar II 1
Electives - choose at least one from: 2
ASTR 001 - Astronomy I 4
ASTR 180-183 - Directed Independent Study in Astronomy 1-3
ASTR 185/195 - Astrophysics I/II 4
PHY 060 - Biophysics 3
PHY 133 - Electronics 4
PHY 170 - Directed Physics Independent Study 1-3
PHY 181 - Quantum Theory 4
PHY 182 - Thermodynamics and Statistical Physics 4
PHY 188 - Advanced Classical Physics 4
PHY 197/198 - Research I/II (Senior Capstone)* 4
TOTAL 31

NOTE: Students in the B.A. program must be advised that graduate studies in physics will require more of the advanced courses.

Requirements for the program also include General Chemistry I, with laboratory and related courses in mathematics and computer science appropriate to the options chosen by the student.

Depending on the student’s career goals, the academic advisor may recommend courses chosen from electives.

Grade Requirements for Graduation

2.0 minimum (C) average is required in all physics-credit courses. In addition a C is required for Modern Physics, Advanced Lab I, Theoretical Mechanics and Electromagnetic Theory.

* Research Participation (Capstone):  3 cr (min) of PHY 197 and/or PHY 198 at Drake and/or at least one REU (Research Experience for Undergraduates).  A paper and an oral presentation are required.


B.S. Degree Requirements

This degree is suitable for students who want to pursue graduate studies leading to research and academic careers in physics, biophysics or related fields.  It can also be used as the basis for other careers such as engineering, actuarial science, medicine, law, computer programming and finances.  It can be accompanied by the Biophysics concentration for those students interested in applications of physics to biological systems.  The Physics B.S. program is very rigorous in Mathematics.

Course Credit Hours
PHY 001 (with lab and discussion) - Physics 1 4
PHY 002 (with lab and discussion) - Physics 2 4
PHY 003 - Contemporary Topics in Physics and Astronomy Seminar 1
PHY 050 (with recommended discussion) - Modern Physics 4
PHY 059 - Advanced Lab I 2
PHY 061 - Error Theory 1
PHY 121 - Theoretical Mechanics 4
PHY 122 - Electromagnetic Theory 4
PHY 133 (with lab) - Electronics 4
PHY 149 - Advanced Lab II 2
PHY 181 - Quantum Theory 4
PHY 182 - Thermodynamics and Statistical Physics 4
PHY 191 - Seminar I 1
PHY 192 - Seminar II 1
Electives - choose at least one from: 9
ASTR 185/195 - Astrophysics I/II 4
PHY 025 - Special Topics 1-3
PHY 132 - Medical Biophysics 3
PHY 170 - Directed Physics Independent Study 1-3
PHY 180 - Atomic and Molecular Physics 4
PHY 183 - Nuclear and Particle Physics 4
PHY 186 - Plasma Physics 3
PHY 187 - Solid State Physics 3
PHY 188 - Advanced Classical Physics 4
PHY 197/198 - Research I/II (Senior Capstone)* 4
TOTAL 49

* Research Participation (Capstone):  4 cr (min) of PHY 197 and/or PHY 198 at Drake and/or at least one REU (Research Experience for Undergraduates).  A paper and an oral presentation are required.

Requirements for the program also include General Chemistry I, with laboratory and related courses in mathematics and computer science appropriate to the options chosen by the student.

Depending on the student’s career goals, the academic advisor may recommend courses chosen from electives.

Grade Requirements for Graduation

2.0 minimum (C) average is required in all physics-credit courses.  In addition, a C is required for Modern Physics, Advanced Lab I, Theoretical Mechanics, and Electromagnetic Theory.


Physics Minor

The physics minor can complement any degree in the sciences (such as Mathematics, Computer Science, Biology, Chemistry, Biochemistry or Environmental Science), liberal arts or professional degrees (such as Pharmacy, Health Sciences, or Education), providing a solid background in scientific knowledge and analytical skills.  The physics minor program requires some mathematics.

Course Credit Hours
PHY 001 (with lab and discussion) - Physics 1 4
PHY 002 (with lab and discussion) - Physics 2 4
PHY 003 - Contemporary Topics in Physics and Astronomy Seminar 1
PHY 050 (with recommended discussion) - Modern Physics 4
PHY 059 - Advanced Lab I 2
PHY 061 - Error Theory 1
PHY 191 - Seminar I 1
PHY 192 - Seminar II 1
TOTAL 18

Requirements for the program also include General Chemistry I, with laboratory and related courses in mathematics and computer science appropriate to the options chosen by the student.

Grade Requirements for Graduation

2.0 minimum (C) average is required in all physics-credit courses.

NOTE: There is no minor in Astronomy.  Interested students can select a minor in Physics and also take Astronomy I with laboratory.


Physics/Engineering 3+2 or 4+2 Programs

This is a dual-degree Physics and Engineering program. 

Students take all the general education courses at Drake University as well as three years of physics or astronomy courses following the B.S. or B.A. curricula and then, upon satisfactory completion of the coursework, transfer to Washington University to finish a program in an engineering field of their choice.  At the end they acquire two degrees, one in Physics or Astronomy and one in Engineering. Typical engineering fields include electrical, electronic, mechanical, computer, civil, chemical (this may require more chemistry courses), and biomedical (this may require biophysics or some biology courses). 

A Master’s degree option is also available.

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