Degree Requirements

The Department of Physics and Physical Oceanography offers programs leading to the B.S. and B.A. degrees that prepare students for careers in teaching and industry, or for advanced study in physics and related disciplines.  [See Undergraduate Catalogue for B.A. in Physics, B.S. in Physics, and Science Teacher Licensure.]

Student Learning Outcomes for the B.S. and B.A. degrees in Physics

 1. Communication

  • Students will be able to write a well-organized, logical, scientifically sound research paper or report.
  • Students will be able to present a well-organized and scientifically sound oral presentation on a topic in physics or an application of physics.

2. Knowledge

  • Students will demonstrate an understanding of scientific methodology and experimental techniques.
  • Students will demonstrate proficiency in the fundamental subfields of physics (classical and quantum mechanics, electromagnetism, thermal physics), as well as one or more areas of application (e.g., optics, nuclear physics, solid state physics).

3. Scientific Reasoning

  • Students will develop their skills in critical thinking and problem solving, allowing them to formulate and solve quantitative problems.
  • Students will demonstrate proficiency in analyzing and critiquing the development of physics ideas in published texts, reports, and research proceedings.

4. Career

  • Students will be competitive in the employment markets and professional programs.

Computer Requirement: To satisfy the computer requirement for the B.A. or B.S. degree in physics a student must successfully complete PHY 300, 315 or 400.
Oral Communication Requirement:
To satisfy the oral communication requirement for the B.A. or B.S. degree in physics a student must successfully complete PHY 495 or any other approved oral intensive course.
Applied Learning Requirement:
To satisfy the applied learning requirement for the B.A. or B.S. degree in physics a student must successfully complete one of the following: directed individual study in any scientific discipline; departmental honors in any science department; PHY 493, 495.

Requirements for a Major in Physics for the B.A. Degree: 46 hours. PHY 201-202, 260, 300, 321, 335, plus 6 hours of physics course electives at the 300-400 level; CHM 101-102; MAT 161-162 and 261.

Requirements for a Major in Physics for the B.S. Degree: PHY 201-202, 311, 321, 335, 411, 444, 455, and 495; CHM 101- 102; MAT 161-162, 261, and 361; These core courses must be supplemented with one of the following options to fulfill the degree requirements.

Option 1. General Physics. 66 hours. Core requirements plus PHY 300, 322, 400, and 412; MAT 335.
Option 2. Physical Oceanography
. 72 hours. Core requirements plus PHY 315, 350, 475, 477, 481 and 1 course chosen from PHY 478, 479, 480; and GLY 150.

Note: Students interested in the B.S. degree in physics are advised to take the PHY 201-202 sequence in the freshman year.

Students must attain a grade point average of “C” (2.00) or better computed over all the courses used to fulfill the requirements of the major and a grade of “C-“ or better for each PHY course used to fulfill the requirements of the major.

Requirements for Teacher Licensure

Students who plan to become licensed teachers in the North Carolina public schools must complete the university’s Basic Studies expectations, all requirements in the major, and be formally admitted to the Watson School of Education. Requirements for admission are listed in the UNCW Undergraduate Catalogue, and also are listed on the Watson School’s website at www.uncw.edu/ed. For the secondary education program, completion of SEC 200, SEC 210 and SEC 220 is required, all with a grade of “C” (2.00) or better.

In addition to the core requirements for a B.A. degree or a B.S. degree, Physics majors who wish to be licensed in Secondary Science must complete at least 21 hours from three science areas other than physics including: BIO 110 and a higher level biology course,. GLY 120 or 150, andCHM courses.

Minors

Requirements for a Minor in Physics: 18 hours. PHY 201-202, 335 and 6 additional hours in physics, not to include PHY 101, 102, or 105; at least 3 of these additional hours must be at the 300-400 level. A grade of "C" or better is required in each physics course counted toward the minor. 

Requirements for a Minor in Physical Oceanography:
21 hours. PHY 201-201, 475, 477, 481 and 1 additional course from PHY 315, 350, 478, 479, 480. GLY 150. A grade of “C” or better is required in each physics course counted toward the minor.

The Three-Plus-Two Program in Physics and Electrical Engineering

The Three-Plus-Two Physics and Electrical Engineering Program is a cooperative agreement between the University of North Carolina Wilmington Physics Program and the North Carolina State University Electrical Engineering Program. The program gives students the opportunity to earn a Bachelor of Science degree in physics from the University of North Carolina Wilmington and a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from North Carolina State University. Students must complete all coursework listed below to satisfy the Three-Plus-Two Program requirements. The UNCW phase of study can be completed in three years. Students meeting NCSU’s transfer admission requirements (see below) are automatically accepted in the Electrical Engineering Program at NCSU. This program can be completed in two years. UNCW will accept credits from NCSU to complete degree requirements at UNCW and NCSU will accept credits from UNCW to complete degree requirements at NCSU. Thus, the student receives a degree from UNCW and a degree from NCSU.

To complete the Three-Plus-Two Program, a student must complete the following coursework:

All UNCW basic studies requirements.
Physics Computer Requirement: PHY 400.
Physics Oral Requirement: PHY 495.
Physics Applied Learning Requirement.

Physics General Core Requirements: CHM 101, 102; MAT 161, 162, 261; PHY 201, 202, 321, 335.
Physics for the B.S. Degree Core Requirements: MAT 361; PHY 311, 322, 411, 412, 444, 455.
Additional courses prescribed by the Electrical Engineering Program at NCSU. Of these, the following are taught on-site at UNCW as distance education classes:  ECE 109, 200, 209, 212; E 115. 

A student must finish the UNCW phase of study with an overall GPA of at least 2.90 and have at least a 2.50 GPA in the last two calculus courses (MAT 162 and 261) to meet NCSU’s transfer admission requirements. Students in this program will be advised jointly by the chair of Physics and Physical Oceanography and the director of the Engineering Program at UNCW to assure completion of the correct requirements for both programs.

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