Chair: Jeffrey Bierman
Professors: Jeffrey Bierman, John Byrne (Emeritus), Allan Greer, Steven Hoffmaster (retired), Eric Kincanon
Assistant Professors: Erik Aver, Adam Fritsch, Matthew Geske, Nicole Moore
Lecturers:  Paul Emigh, Heather Hoeck, Jason Stoke, John Wilson

The Department of Physics offers the Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Arts degrees in physics. Students are expected to declare their major in these areas in their freshman year; students in their sophomore year and students in the Florence program, however, can be accommodated by special arrangement with the department.

The Bachelor of Science is designed as a terminal degree. Students who are considering graduate school studies should plan on taking additional course work. Students should be able to work out a four-year course of study with their advisor that will satisfy graduate school requirements. Physics majors interested in careers in health sciences should discuss course requirements and potential accommodations with a physics faculty member.

Majors in physics are expected to achieve a familiarity with computer programming.

Students planning on majoring in physics and attending medical school should meet with a physics faculty member as early as possible to discuss course scheduling and potential course substitutions for particular degree requirements. Students may rather elect to earn a B.A. Physics degree. The basic degree requirements are essentially the same as the B.S. Physics degree except that rather than choosing two additional upper division PHYS courses, as the B.S. degree requires, the B.A. degree requires two courses from any area that are agreed to by the department chair. The B.A. physics degree is intended to better allow College of Arts and Sciences students to complete double majors, therefore, students who earn a B.A. physics degree must also be earning a B.A. degree in another College of Arts and Sciences department.

B.S. Major in Physics: 53 Credits

Lower Division Courses (30 credits)

PHYS 103 & 103L & 103R Scientific Physics I 4 credits
PHYS 204 & 204L & 204R Scientific Physics II 4 credits
PHYS 205 Modern Physics 3 credits
PHYS 217 Modern Physics Lab 2 credits
CHEM 101 or 105 (with pertinent labs) 4 credits
CPSC 121 Computer Science I 3 credits
MATH 157, 258 Calculus I and II 8 credits
PHYS 210 Linear Electronics 2 credits

Upper Division Courses (23 credits)

PHYS 300 Mathematical Methods 3 credits
PHYS 301 Intermediate Mechanics 3 credits
PHYS 306 Electricity and Magnetism 3 credits
PHYS 310 Intermediate Laboratory 2 credits
PHYS 464 Quantum Physics 3 credits
MATH 350 Elementary Numerical Analysis 3 credits
In addition, at least two of the following courses:
PHYS 307 Physical Optics 3 credits
PHYS 402 Advanced Mechanics 3 credits
PHYS 407 Electricity & Magnetism II 3 credits
PHYS 409 Nuclear & Particle Physics 3 credits
PHYS 450 Statistical Physics 3 credits
PHYS 465 Advanced Topics 3 credits
Physics majors are also encouraged to take:
MATH 259 Calculus III 4 credits
MATH 260 Ordinary Differential Equations 3 credits
MATH 339 Linear Algebra 3 credits
and additional CPSC courses.

Minor in Physics: 28 Credits

Lower Division Courses

PHYS 103 & 103L & 103R Scientific Physics I 4 credits
PHYS 204 & 204L & 204R Scientific Physics II 4 credits
PHYS 205 Modern Physics 3 credits
MATH 157 Calculus I 4 credits
MATH 258 Calculus II 4 credits

Upper Division Courses

PHYS ---- Electives 9 credits

Courses that can be counted as a minor elective are any 300 or 400 level course other than PHYS 300. For chemistry and engineering students, consideration of their course work for their major has led to credit for part of the minor. These students, after finishing PHYS 205, need only get the following PHYS credits:

  • Chemistry (assuming Physical Chemistry is taken for the major),  6 credits
  • Civil Engineering,  8 credits
  • Mechanical Engineering,  8 credits
  • Computer Engineering,  9 credits
  • Electrical Engineering (must be other than PHYS 306),  5 credits
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502 E. Boone Avenue
Spokane, WA 99258-6741

Jeffrey Bierman
Professor and Chair, Physics
Phone: (509) 313-6768