Department of Physics

Student Learning Outcomes

College of Sciences
Bachelor of Science in Physics

  1. Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of fundamental principles of physics including classical and quantum mechanics, electricity and magnetism, and thermodynamics.
  2. Demonstrate the ability to apply fundamental principles of physics in a variety of advanced topics such as condensed matter, materials science, signals analysis, optics, and computational physics.
  3. Demonstrate an ability to work effectively in a research environment, including the use of instrumentation and computer, experimental design, and analysis of results.
  4. Develop problem-solving skills using mathematical and computational tools as applied to the solution of physical problems.
  5. Collaborate effectively and productively in teams for research and applications of physics.
  6. Effectively communicate physics in both written and oral form.

Curriculum in Physics

Degree Requirements

College of Sciences
Bachelor of Science in Physics

General Education Requirements
Course Name/ # Credit Hours  Course Name/#  Credit Hours
English    PHYS 10625  3
ENGL 1157 3  Humanities  
ENGL 1158 or 11591 3  Humanities Electives2  6
Mathematics3    Literature2  3
MATH 2114, 2124 8  Social Sciences  
Science    Social Sciences Electives2  6
BIOS 3  Arts  
PHYS 10615 3  Arts Elective2 3
    Total 39
Other Requirements
Course Name/ # Credit Hours  Course Name/#  Credit Hours
CHEM 1017 and 1007 4  Applied Science and Engineering Electives  9
CHEM 1018 and 1008 4  MATH 2221  3
CSCI 1581/1583 or 1205 3  MATH 2134  4
Mathematics or Mathematical Physics Elective 3  Electives  19
    Total 514
Course Requirements for Major
Course Name/ # Credit Hours  Course Name/#  Credit Hours
PHYS 1063, 10655  2  PHYS 4160  3
PHYS 3064  3  PHYS 4401  3
Physics Undergraduate Research6  3  PHYS 4601  3
PHYS 3198  1  PHYS 4501  3
PHYS 3301  3  Approved PHYS 3000+ level Electives  6
    Total 30
Total Credit Hours Required Credit Hours
  120
Additional Requirement
Minimum grade of C in all science courses (BIOS, CHEM, CSCI, EES, MATH, PHYS, PSYC)
  1. "C" or better required.
  2. Check General Education Courses to confirm courses fulfilling this requirement.
  3. 6 credits of Math satisfy the general education requirements.
  4. Includes 2 credits of Math listed in general education requirements section.
  5. Physics 1031, 1032, 1033, and 1034 may be substituted with consent of the department.
  6. Research may be any combination of Physics 3094, 2191, 3191, or 4191 to a total three credit hours.

Recommended Four-Year Plan of Study

College of Sciences
Bachelor of Science in Physics

Four Year Plan of Study
First Year of Enrollment 
First Term  Second Term
Course Prefix & Number Credit Hours Course Prefix & Number Credit Hours
ENGL 1157  3  ENGL 1158 or 1159  3
MATH 2114  4  MATH 2124  4
CHEM 1017/1007  4  PHYS 1061/1063  4
UNIV 10011  1  CHEM 1018/1008  4
Social Science Elective  3    
Total Hours  15 Total Hours 15
Second Year of Enrollment
First Term  Second Term
Course Prefix & Number Credit Hours Course Prefix & Number Credit Hours
PHYS 1062/1065  4  PHYS 3064  3
MATH 2134  4  Humanities Elective  3
CSCI 1205 or 1581/1583  3  MATH 2221  3
Social Science Elective  3  BIOS  3
     ENGL Literature  3
Total Hours  14 Total Hours 15
Third Year of Enrollment
First Term  Second Term
Course Prefix & Number Credit Hours Course Prefix & Number Credit Hours
PHYS 3301  3  PHYS 4501  3
PHYS 4601  3  PHYS 4160  3
MATH or Mathematical Physics  3  PHYS 3000+ level elective  3
Humanities Electives  3  Arts  3
General Electives  3  General Electives  3
Total Hours  15 Total Hours 15
Fourth Year of Enrollment
First Term Second Term
Course Prefix & Number Credit Hours Course Prefix & Number Credit Hours
PHYS 4401  3  Approved Science/Engineering Elective  3
Approved Science/Engineering Elective  3  Approved Science/Engineering Elective  3
PHYS 3094  3  PHYS 3198  1
PHYS 3000+ level elective  3 General Electives  9
General elective  3    
Total Hours  15 Total Hours 16
Total Degree Hours 120
  1. Required for all first-time full-time students.

Physics as a career

Students wishing to pursue graduate school in physics should take additional physics courses including PHYS 4302, 4402, 4503 and 6 approved physics electives at the 4000 level.

Combining Physics with a Second Discipline

As a foundational science, physics combines well with many other subjects. The curriculum has the flexibility to allow a Minor in disciplines such as Education, Philosophy, Music, Math, Earth and Environmental Sciences, Electrical Engineering, Computer Science and other areas. Students may also choose to pursue a foundation in other areas that do not offer minors. Examples are: Pre-Med: add 5 hrs of Biology, 8 hours of organic Chemistry, 3 hours of Biochemistry, and 3 hours of Statistics to meet minimum med school requirements (see pre-med section of Biology for details). Other possibilities include Civil Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Earth and Environmental Science (Geophysics), and other fields tailored to the student's interests.

Minor in Physics

An undergraduate minor in physics may be obtained by completing 18 credit hours in physics with a grade of C or better in each course. These 18 credit hours will consist of Physics 1061, 1062, 1063, 1065 (or 1031, 1032, 1033, 1034), 3064, 3198, 3301, and 4501 or departmentally-approved alternatives. The last nine hours must be taken at UNO.

Honors in Physics

An honors program is available to superior students. Successful completion of the program results in graduation with Honors in Physics. For admission to the program a student must be enrolled in or have completed Physics 3198 and 4194 and have grade point averages of at least 3.2 cumulative and in all science courses taken, and at least 3.5 in all physics courses taken. Before graduation the student must complete six hours of Senior Honors Thesis (Physics 4194), present an acceptable honors thesis, and obtain an honors-level grade on a thesis-defense examination.