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Information for Majors

As the most fundamental of sciences, physics deals with energy in all its forms, with the interactions of matter and energy, with the structure of matter and with energy-transforming processes at the most fundamental and general level. It is the foundation on which engineering and technology are built. Physics, with its companion science chemistry, has probably exerted a more powerful influence on the cultural, intellectual and economic life of the world in recent years than has any other human activity.

The physicist is primarily interested in studying the laws which govern the operation of nature and in learning to increase the security, comfort and enlightenment of mankind. Physicists design, build and operate instruments with which they measure solar flares, nuclear radiation, strength of materials, atomic structure or electromagnetic forces.

Others, in applied physics, use their knowledge of the laws of nature to solve specific problems in applications ranging from manufacturing to medicine. Theoretical physicists may work only with pencil and paper, discovering new relationships in nature by applying mathematical analysis or logic to data from the experiments of others. Wofford's facilities offer nitrogen and helium liquefaction, hard vacuum capability, a dark room, a shop, and a research area that includes a multi-channel analyzer for gamma-ray spectra and an electron-spin resonance spectrometer. Students regularly participate in research.

Majors in Physics
A major in physics is a good preparation for a variety of careers, since quantitative and analytical thought patterns are developed and enhanced by the study of physics. At Wofford, there are two tracks offered in physics. The pre-professional physics major is designed for those who plan to enter graduate school in physics leading to a career in the field. The industry and education track is designed for those who plan to attend graduate school in fields other than physics, or seek employment in industry, government, public schools, etc. 

Major Requirements

Pre-Professional Track:

The pre-professional physics major is designed for those who plan to attend graduate school in physics, leading to a career in the field.

An example 4-year curriculum is given below:

  First Semester  Second Semester 
Freshman PHYS141
MATH181
PHYS142
MATH182
Sophomore

PHYS211
MATH212
CHEM123
PHYS371L
 

PHYS221
MATH240
CHEM124
PHYS372L
Junior PHYS331
PHYS ELECTIVE
 
PHYS ELECTIVE
COMPUTER SCIENCE
Senior

PHYS441
PHYS ELECTIVE

PHYS442
PHYS ELECTIVE 

Industry Track

The industry and education track is designed for those who plan to attend graduate school in fields other than physics, or seek employment in industry, government, medical school, etc.

An example 4-year curriculum is given below:

  First Semester  Second Semester 
Freshman PHYS141
MATH181
PHYS142
MATH182
Sophomore

PHYS211
MATH212
CHEM123
PHYS371L

PHYS221
MATH240
CHEM124
PHYS372L

Junior PHYS331
COMPUTER SCIENCE

PHYS206
PHYS ELECTIVE
PHYS311*

 

Senior PHYS ELECTIVE PHYS ELECTIVE
PHYS311*

*Course taken in either Junior or Senior Year.