2008-2009 Undergraduate Catalog 
    Oct 24, 2020  
2008-2009 Undergraduate Catalog [Archived]


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Interim Chairperson: Dr. Eric Glendening
Department Office: Science Building, room 165
Web site: http://www.indstate.edu/physics
E-mail: physics@indstate.edu

Physics seeks to better human knowledge of matter and energy in the universe, from atomic nuclei to galaxy clusters, and to apply this knowledge in the development of new technologies. Students with a drive for solving challenging scientific problems and looking for careers in science, computing, engineering, or medicine should consider majoring in physics. Completing an undergraduate degree in physics tells prospective employers students have the ability to solve complex problems and effectively communicate the results. These skills transfer readily to many fields; physicists go on to become doctors, lawyers, investment bankers, and engineers, as well as teachers and research scientists.

The Physics Program at Indiana State University begins with a core curriculum that provides a strong foundation in physical science and problem-solving skills. After completing the core, students may choose to concentrate in a particular field of physics with several degree tracks.

In support of the liberal arts and sciences mission of the College of Arts and Sciences and Indiana State University, the Department of Physics participates in the General Education Program and the Honors Program.


Degrees Offered

The Department of Physics offers a curriculum leading to a bachelor of arts or a bachelor of science degree. Candidates for either degree must successfully complete the University requirement of at least 124 credit hours, including the course requirements for the physics major and the General Education Program. Candidates for the bachelor of arts must also complete two years, or the equivalent, of a foreign language. A minor is not required for either degree.

Each physics major must complete the core curriculum and the requirements for one of the tracks: professional physics, computational physics, chemical physics, or geophysics.

Departmental Opportunities

Each major and minor in the department is assigned a faculty academic advisor. Students are encouraged to meet regularly with their advisors and teachers, as this partnership fosters academic and professional success. All students must consult with their advisor prior to registration each semester.

The highlight of the Physics Program is the opportunity to work closely with faculty in modern laboratory facilities. This practical research experience is essential preparation for professional or advanced academic work. Current faculty pursue research in many different fields, including geophysics, laser optics, nonlinear dynamics, condensed matter physics, biophysics, and nanotechnology. Results of student research projects have been published in professional journals and featured at scientific conferences. Students involved in research may receive course credit or be employed as paid research assistants.

Physics majors and minors can become members of the Society of Physics Students. Students who meet the requirements can become members of the physics honor society Sigma Pi Sigma.


The Department of Physics offers advising as well as a recommended course of study for students interested in transferring to an engineering program at another university. The curriculum typically consists of two years of course work that provides the science and mathematics foundation along with a liberal studies component. After completion of two or three years at Indiana State University, students may decide to transfer to an engineering college to complete their professional training. The program also provides a strong foundation for students who choose to move into one of several science majors at Indiana State University. Students are encouraged to contact the pre-engineering advisor in the Department of Physics, and to write to prospective schools for course requirements and credit transfer policies.

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