Office: Donnelly Science, Room 247
Chair: Joseph Ganem, Professor
Professors: Gregory N. Derry; Joseph Ganem; Frank R. Haig, S.J. (emeritus); Mary L. Lowe; Bernard J. Weigman (emeritus)
Associate Professors: Andrea Erdas; Randall S. Jones; Helene F. Perry (emerita)
Affiliate Faculty: Charles A. Gehrman
The Physics Department focuses on undergraduate physics education. Courses are offered at all levels for physics majors, science majors in other disciplines, and nonscience majors. The mission of the department is twofold: to open students' minds to the power, beauty, and utility of the physical sciences; and to help students hone their quantitative skills and problem-solving abilities.
The department has developed six learning aims for the physics major (see the department's website for a detailed discussion of these aims):
These attributes are important for many areas of endeavor and can lead to graduate study, professional programs, and a wide variety of careers. In addition to graduate programs in physics, Loyola students have entered into many professions: health, including medicine, dentistry, and pharmacy; engineering, including electrical and mechanical; law; computer science; mathematics; astronomy; meteorology; biophysics; business; the military; education; and other fields.
A Major in Physics leads to a fundamental understanding of nature and technology, an ability to think creatively, and a highly developed set of problem solving skills. Loyola's program in physics offers a high degree of flexibility and choice, making it ideal for a variety of careers, as well as graduate study in physics. The foundation of the program is a sequence of eight physics courses, four mathematics courses, one computer science course, and six physics laboratories. All of these courses are taken in common by all physics majors. Beyond these foundation courses, students can elect one of three tracks: analytic, applied science, or general.
The analytic track consists of three advanced physics courses, a senior laboratory course, and a semester of physics research. If the student has a significant research experience during a summer, another advanced physics course may be substituted for the research requirement. This track is ideally suited as preparation for graduate study in physics or a related field. It provides the broadest physics background in preparation for any career choice.
The applied science and general tracks require that the student take a coherent program of six courses from other disciplines. This curriculum can be tailored to the interests and career goals of the student. The details must be planned with the physics advisor and approved by the department. The applied science track is for majors interested in technical subjects such as computing, engineering, or the health professions, while the general track allows for a focus in nontechnical areas such as finance, education, or science writing. It is possible to complete either the applied science or general track in three years with careful planning.
Physics majors may participate in a 3-2 combined degree program leading to two bachelor's degrees: a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Physics from Loyola University Maryland and a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Engineering from Columbia University. Students take courses from Loyola for the first three years and then from Columbia for two years. This track enables students to obtain a strong liberal arts education and training in an engineering discipline from a major engineering institution. Students with a 3.000 average at Loyola are guaranteed admission to Columbia. For more information on the curriculum, consult the department chair and the department's website.
Physics majors may participate in a five-year program resulting in a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Physics and a Master of Science (M.S.) in Computer Science. This program enables students to take graduate computer science courses in the senior year that count toward both the bachelorís and masterís degrees. CS201 and CS202 should be taken in the freshman year. Interested students should speak with the physics department chair as soon as possible, preferably in the freshman year. Consult the graduate catalogue for more information on the graduate program in computer science.
In the event a student is interested in a physics or astronomy course that is not offered at Loyola, the student may take that course at one of the participating institutions in the Baltimore Student Exchange Program at no additional tuition charge (fees are not included) during the fall and spring semesters. For more information, see the Baltimore Student Exchange Program under Curriculum and Policies.
Requirements for the major are as follows:
Applied Science or General Tracks
Six courses selected in consultation with the physics advisor.
An example of a typical program of courses in the analytic track is as follows:
* Required for major
† For the applied science or general track, these courses are replaced by six courses approved by the Physics Department. It is possible to complete either track in three years with careful planning.
The following are a few examples of areas of study within the applied science and general tracks. More examples can be found on the department's website. Students should consult an advisor in the Physics Department to design their particular program.
Applied Science Track: Mathematics
Applied Science Track: Prehealth
General Track: Business
General Track: Physics Teaching
Note: To complete the coursework needed to become certified to teach at the secondary level, students must take additional courses that fulfill a Minor in Secondary Education (see requirements under Teacher Education).
This major is jointly offered by the Physics and Biology Departments. The curriculum allows students to apply the principles of physics, math, and chemistry to their study of the molecular mechanisms of biological systems. This major prepares students for careers in medicine, other health-related professions, and graduate school in biophysics. For program details and course requirements, visit the department's website.