Physics

Degrees:Bachelor of Science (B.S.)
Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)
Major:Physics
Specializations:BS in Engineering Physics
BS in Physics
BA in Physics
BA in Physics Teaching
Minor:Physics
Department:Building 58, Room 151
(850) 474-2267
http://uwf.edu/physics/
College:Hal Marcus College of Science and Engineering
CIP Code:40.0801
Semester Hours Required For Degree: 120

The B.S. in Physics focuses on the study of matter and its motion.  Ultimately, the goal of physics is to understand how nature behaves from the smallest sub-atomic particle to the entire universe, making it the most fundamental natural science. The various topics covered include electricity and magnetism, electronics, fluids, mechanics, optics, quantum phenomena, concepts of relativity, thermodynamics, waves, and several related laboratory activities.

The Physics Department offers the traditional B.S. program in Physics with specializations in Physics or Engineering Physics.  In addition to graduate school, a trained physicist may enter the employment market as a research scientist. Those with an engineering physics background are eligible for entry-level jobs as engineers in organizations such as the Department of Defense, NASA, and the various national labs.

Students interested in obtaining certification to teach this subject area in secondary education need to contact an advisor in this department to carefully plan the course work to satisfy degree and some teacher certification requirements. A degree in this major is required for participation in teacher education certification options.

Program Requirements

In addition to the University’s general requirements, students seeking the B.S. in Physics must meet the requirements listed below.

Students should consult with their Physics department advisor for courses which may satisfy both the General Education requirements and common prerequisites. A grade of C- or better is required for major and  major-related courses.

Engineering Physics Specialization

General Education

In addition to the General Education requirements listed on this page, students must satisfy all additional University requirements, including the Gordon Rule, multicultural, and foreign language requirements. With appropriate planning and coordination with an academic advisor, students may satisfy some of the general University requirements through the General Education curriculum. For a complete listing of general degree requirements, refer to the "University Requirements" section of this catalog.

General Education Curriculum

Physics majors should take the following courses to satisfy the natural science component of General Education.

CHM 2045+LGeneral Chemistry I (+Lab)4
CHM 2046+LGeneral Chemistry II (+Lab)4

Multicultural Requirement

Civic Literacy Requirement

The 2017 Florida Legislature amended Section 1007.25, Florida Statutes, to require students initially entering a State University System (SUS) and/or Florida College System (FCS) institution in 2018-2019 and thereafter to demonstrate competency in civic literacy.  The 2021 Legislature further amended Florida Statutes, requiring students to complete both a civic literacy course and exam. As a result, there are three cohorts of students currently matriculating at Florida public institutions subject to varying requirements. As demonstrated in the table below, the exact civic literacy requirements are based on the academic term in which a student first enrolled in a Florida public institution.

Students Included in Cohort Civic Literacy Competency Requirement
Cohort 1: Students first entering the SUS or FCS prior to fall 2018 None
Cohort 2: Students first entering the SUS or FCS in fall 2018 – summer A 2021 Complete a course or exam
Cohort 3: Students first entering the SUS or FCS in summer B 2021 (on or after July 1, 2021) and thereafter Complete both a course and exam

Additionally, the 2021 Legislature made two additional exceptions: approving the use of accelerated mechanisms for meeting the course competency requirement and exempting high school students who pass the Florida Civic Literacy Exam in high school from the postsecondary exam requirement. These two changes are in effect for Cohort 3.

There are multiple ways to satisfy this requirement. Students should work with their academic advisor to determine which option is best for their degree requirements/degree plan. 

Additional information can be found on our Civic Literacy website.

*BOG 8.006s.1007.25(4,a-b) 

Common Prerequisites

State-mandated common prerequisites must be completed prior to graduation, but are not required for admission to the program. See the Common Prerequisite Manual for course substitutions from Florida colleges and universities.

CHM 2045+LGeneral Chemistry I (+Lab) *4
CHM 2046+LGeneral Chemistry II (+Lab) *4
MAC 2311Analytic Geometry and Calculus I *4
MAC 2312Analytic Geometry and Calculus II *4
MAC 2313Analytic Geometry and Calculus III4
PHY 2048+LCalculus-Based Physics I (+Lab) *4
PHY 2049+LCalculus-Based Physics II (+Lab) *4
Total Hours28

Lower Division Electives

Students must complete sufficient 1000/2000 level electives to satisfy at least 60 sh in the lower division. Current UWF students may use elective courses at any level (1000-4000) to meet this elective requirement.0-9

It is recommended that students take a computer programming language course, such as COP 2253 Programming Using JavaCOP 2334 Programming Using C++, or equivalent.

Major

Physics Core
PHY 3106Calculus-Based Physics III +3
PHY 3107Calculus-Based Physics IV +3
PHZ 3108LPhysics Skills1
PHZ 3151CIntroduction to Scientific Computing3
PHY 3802LIntermediate Physics Lab3
PHY 4323Electricity and Magnetism I +3
PHY 4325Electricity and Magnetism II +3
PHY 4513Thermal and Statistical Physics +3
PHY 4604Quantum Theory I +3
PHY 4822LAdvanced Physics Lab3
PHZ 4113Mathematical Physics I +3
Engineering Core
EGN 3204Engineering Software Tools +1
EGM 2500Engineering Mechanics-Statics3
EEL 3111Circuits I +3
EEL 3111LElectrical Circuits Laboratory +1
Physics or Engineering Electives
Major or related electives as approved by advisor. +9
Engineering Electives
3000/4000 Major or related elective as approved by advisor +9
Major Related Courses
MAP 2302Differential Equations3
Total Hours60

Physics Specialization

General Education

In addition to the General Education requirements listed on this page, students must satisfy all additional University requirements, including the Gordon Rule, multicultural, and foreign language requirements. With appropriate planning and coordination with an academic advisor, students may satisfy some of the general University requirements through the General Education curriculum. For a complete listing of general degree requirements, refer to the "University Requirements" section of this catalog.

General Education Curriculum:

Physics majors should take the following courses to satisfy the natural science component of General Education.

CHM 2045+LGeneral Chemistry I (+Lab)4
CHM 2046+LGeneral Chemistry II (+Lab)4

Multicultural Requirement

Civic Literacy Requirement

The 2017 Florida Legislature amended Section 1007.25, Florida Statutes, to require students initially entering a State University System (SUS) and/or Florida College System (FCS) institution in 2018-2019 and thereafter to demonstrate competency in civic literacy.  The 2021 Legislature further amended Florida Statutes, requiring students to complete both a civic literacy course and exam. As a result, there are three cohorts of students currently matriculating at Florida public institutions subject to varying requirements. As demonstrated in the table below, the exact civic literacy requirements are based on the academic term in which a student first enrolled in a Florida public institution.

Students Included in Cohort Civic Literacy Competency Requirement
Cohort 1: Students first entering the SUS or FCS prior to fall 2018 None
Cohort 2: Students first entering the SUS or FCS in fall 2018 – summer A 2021 Complete a course or exam
Cohort 3: Students first entering the SUS or FCS in summer B 2021 (on or after July 1, 2021) and thereafter Complete both a course and exam

Additionally, the 2021 Legislature made two additional exceptions: approving the use of accelerated mechanisms for meeting the course competency requirement and exempting high school students who pass the Florida Civic Literacy Exam in high school from the postsecondary exam requirement. These two changes are in effect for Cohort 3.

There are multiple ways to satisfy this requirement. Students should work with their academic advisor to determine which option is best for their degree requirements/degree plan. 

Additional information can be found on our Civic Literacy website.

*BOG 8.006s.1007.25(4,a-b) 

Common Prerequisites

State-mandated common prerequisites must be completed prior to graduation, but are not required for admission to the program. See the Common Prerequisite Manual for course substitutions from Florida colleges and universities.

CHM 2045+LGeneral Chemistry I (+Lab) *4
CHM 2046+LGeneral Chemistry II (+Lab) *4
MAC 2311Analytic Geometry and Calculus I *4
MAC 2312Analytic Geometry and Calculus II *4
MAC 2313Analytic Geometry and Calculus III4
PHY 2048+LCalculus-Based Physics I (+Lab) *4
PHY 2049+LCalculus-Based Physics II (+Lab) *4
Total Hours28

Lower Division Electives

Students must complete sufficient 1000/2000 level electives to satisfy at least 60 sh in the lower division. Current UWF students may use elective courses at any level (1000-4000) to meet this elective requirement.0-9

Major

Physics Core:
PHY 3106Calculus-Based Physics III +3
PHY 3107Calculus-Based Physics IV +3
PHZ 3108LPhysics Skills1
PHY 3802LIntermediate Physics Lab3
PHY 3722CElectronics3
PHZ 3151CIntroduction to Scientific Computing3
PHY 3220Intermediate Mechanics +4
PHY 4323Electricity and Magnetism I +3
PHY 4325Electricity and Magnetism II +3
PHY 4513Thermal and Statistical Physics +3
PHY 4604Quantum Theory I +3
PHY 4822LAdvanced Physics Lab3
PHZ 4113Mathematical Physics I +3
Physics Electives:
3000/4000 Physics (PHY, PHZ, AST) elective +9
Total Hours47

Major-Related

MAP 2302Differential Equations3
Total Hours3

Upper Division Electives

Student must complete sufficient 3000/4000 level electives to meet UWF’s requirement of 48 sh in the upper division or complete all departmental requirements at the 3000/4000 level, whichever is greater. +10
Total Hours10

The B.A. in physics program imparts an understanding of fundamental branches of physics, such as classical mechanics, electrodynamics, thermodynamics, optics, and quantum mechanics, and relativity. In addition, the student will be able to minor in any one of several fields. The primary purpose of this program is to prepare students for a career in many different fields, such as secondary education, software engineering, quality control, and business. Graduates of the physics B.A. program are strongly suited for a career in medicine, finance, education, or law, with physics majors having the highest aggregate scores on the MCAT and LSAT exams. The degree program may include a minor in any of the fields of interest, such as pre-professional biology, chemistry, mathematics, physics/science education. 

Program Requirements

In addition to the University's general requirements, students seeking the BA in Physics must meet the requirements listed below. Students should consult with their Physics department advisor for courses which may satisfy both the General Education requirements and common prerequisites. A grade of C- or better is required for major and major-related courses.

General Education

In addition to the General Education requirements listed on this page, students must satisfy all additional University requirements, including the Gordon Rule, multicultural, and foreign language requirements. With appropriate planning and coordination with an academic advisor, students may satisfy some of the general University requirements through the General Education curriculum. For a complete listing of general degree requirements, refer to the "University Requirements" section of this catalog.

Multicultural Requirement

Civic Literacy Requirement

The 2017 Florida Legislature amended Section 1007.25, Florida Statutes, to require students initially entering a State University System (SUS) and/or Florida College System (FCS) institution in 2018-2019 and thereafter to demonstrate competency in civic literacy.  The 2021 Legislature further amended Florida Statutes, requiring students to complete both a civic literacy course and exam. As a result, there are three cohorts of students currently matriculating at Florida public institutions subject to varying requirements. As demonstrated in the table below, the exact civic literacy requirements are based on the academic term in which a student first enrolled in a Florida public institution.

Students Included in Cohort Civic Literacy Competency Requirement
Cohort 1: Students first entering the SUS or FCS prior to fall 2018 None
Cohort 2: Students first entering the SUS or FCS in fall 2018 – summer A 2021 Complete a course or exam
Cohort 3: Students first entering the SUS or FCS in summer B 2021 (on or after July 1, 2021) and thereafter Complete both a course and exam

Additionally, the 2021 Legislature made two additional exceptions: approving the use of accelerated mechanisms for meeting the course competency requirement and exempting high school students who pass the Florida Civic Literacy Exam in high school from the postsecondary exam requirement. These two changes are in effect for Cohort 3.

There are multiple ways to satisfy this requirement. Students should work with their academic advisor to determine which option is best for their degree requirements/degree plan. 

Additional information can be found on our Civic Literacy website.

*BOG 8.006s.1007.25(4,a-b) 

Common Prerequisites

State-mandated common prerequisites must be completed prior to graduation, but are not required for admission to the program. See the Common Prerequisite Manual for course substitutions from Florida colleges and universities.

CHM 2045+LGeneral Chemistry I (+Lab)4
CHM 2046+LGeneral Chemistry II (+Lab)4
MAC 2311Analytic Geometry and Calculus I4
MAC 2312Analytic Geometry and Calculus II4
MAC 2313Analytic Geometry and Calculus III4
PHY 2048+LCalculus-Based Physics I (+Lab)4
PHY 2049+LCalculus-Based Physics II (+Lab)4
Total Hours28

Lower Division Electives

Students must complete sufficient 1000/2000 level electives to satisfy 60 credits in the lower division. Current UWF students may use elective courses at any level (1000-4000) to meet this elective requirement.

Core

PHY 3106Calculus-Based Physics III +3
PHY 3107Calculus-Based Physics IV +3
PHY 3802LIntermediate Physics Lab +3
PHY 3220Intermediate Mechanics +4
PHZ 3108LPhysics Skills +1
PHZ 4113Mathematical Physics I +3
Approved upper division Physics electives +9
Total Hours26

Major-Related

MAP 2302Differential Equations3
Total Hours3

Upper Division Electives

Student must complete sufficient 3000/4000 level electives to meet UWF’s requirement of 48 sh in the upper division or complete all departmental requirements at the 3000/4000 level, whichever is greater. Of these credits, 15-20 can be used to earn a minor such as Mathematics, Chemistry, Biology, or Teacher Education.31
Total Hours31

Admission to Physics Teaching

Students declaring a major in the Physics Teaching degree programs will automatically be placed in a pending status until they are fully admitted to the program. While in the pending status, students may not take 3000/4000 level education coursework, but should work closely with their advisor to plan an appropriate course of study in preparation for application to the program.

To be admitted, students must meet the following requirements:

  • A cumulative GPA of 2.50 in all previously attempted college work;
  • A passing score on the General Knowledge Test of the Florida Teacher Certification Exam;
  • Completion of EDG 2041 Exploring Inquiry Teaching or equivalent with a grade of "C-" or higher.

The admission process requires students to complete the Application for Admission to Teacher Education (which includes a self-rating on dispositions toward teaching) and complete the orientation requirement.

General Education

In addition to the General Education requirements listed on this page, students must satisfy all additional University requirements, including the Gordon Rule, multicultural, and foreign language requirements. With appropriate planning and coordination with an academic advisor, students may satisfy some of the general University requirements through the General Education curriculum. For a complete listing of general degree requirements, refer to the "University Requirements" section of this catalog.

General Education Curriculum:

Multicultural Requirement 

Civic Literacy Requirement

The 2017 Florida Legislature amended Section 1007.25, Florida Statutes, to require students initially entering a State University System (SUS) and/or Florida College System (FCS) institution in 2018-2019 and thereafter to demonstrate competency in civic literacy.  The 2021 Legislature further amended Florida Statutes, requiring students to complete both a civic literacy course and exam. As a result, there are three cohorts of students currently matriculating at Florida public institutions subject to varying requirements. As demonstrated in the table below, the exact civic literacy requirements are based on the academic term in which a student first enrolled in a Florida public institution.

Students Included in Cohort Civic Literacy Competency Requirement
Cohort 1: Students first entering the SUS or FCS prior to fall 2018 None
Cohort 2: Students first entering the SUS or FCS in fall 2018 – summer A 2021 Complete a course or exam
Cohort 3: Students first entering the SUS or FCS in summer B 2021 (on or after July 1, 2021) and thereafter Complete both a course and exam

Additionally, the 2021 Legislature made two additional exceptions: approving the use of accelerated mechanisms for meeting the course competency requirement and exempting high school students who pass the Florida Civic Literacy Exam in high school from the postsecondary exam requirement. These two changes are in effect for Cohort 3.

There are multiple ways to satisfy this requirement. Students should work with their academic advisor to determine which option is best for their degree requirements/degree plan. 

Additional information can be found on our Civic Literacy website.

*BOG 8.006s.1007.25(4,a-b) 

Common Prerequisites 

State-mandated common prerequisites must be completed prior to graduation, but are not required for admission to the program. See the Common Prerequisite Manual for course substitutions from Florida colleges and universities.

BA Physics Teach Common Prerequisites

CHM 2045+LGeneral Chemistry I (+Lab)4
CHM 2046+LGeneral Chemistry II (+Lab)4
MAC 2311Analytic Geometry and Calculus I4
MAC 2312Analytic Geometry and Calculus II4
MAC 2313Analytic Geometry and Calculus III4
PHY 2048+LCalculus-Based Physics I (+Lab)4
PHY 2049+LCalculus-Based Physics II (+Lab)4
Total Hours28

Major-Related

EDG 2041Exploring Inquiry Teaching3
MAP 2302Differential Equations3
Total Hours6

Lower Division Electives

Students must complete sufficient 1000/2000 level electives to satisfy 60 credits in the lower division. Current UWF students may use elective credits at any level (1000-4000) to meet this elective requirement.

Physics Teach Core Requirement

PHY 3106Calculus-Based Physics III +3
PHY 3107Calculus-Based Physics IV +3
PHY 3802LIntermediate Physics Lab +3
PHY 3220Intermediate Mechanics +4
PHZ 4113Mathematical Physics I +3
Approved upper division Physics electives +9
Total Hours25

Physics Teaching Education Core

EDF 3234Applied Foundations of Education +3
EDG 4323Methods of K-12 Literacy Instruction +3
EDG 4948Apprenticeship Teaching +6
ESE 4322Instruction, Management, and Assessment: Secondary Education +3
ESE 4940Secondary Practicum +3
MAE 4320Teaching Mathematics in Middle and Secondary Schools +3
TSL 4080ESOL Principles and Practices +3
Total Hours24

Upper Division Electives

Student must complete sufficient 3000/4000 level electives to meet UWF's requirement of 48 sh in the upper division or complete all departmental requirements at the 3000/4000 level, whichever is greater.11
Total Hours11

Physics

A Minor in Physics requires completion of PHY 2048 Calculus-Based Physics I, PHY 2049 Calculus-Based Physics II, the calculus sequence, MAP 2302 Differential Equations and 15 sh approved by the Physics Department above 3000 level, including PHY 3106 Calculus-Based Physics III and PHY 3107 Calculus-Based Physics IV.  A grade of C- or better is required for each of these courses. Physics majors may not earn this minor.