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2014-2015 Undergraduate & Graduate Catalog

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Physics - Program Description

For additional information about opportunities your college offers, please refer to the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences section in this catalog.


Physicists are explorers of the physical universe. They seek to know and understand the fundamental behavior of nature, from elementary particles to the galaxies. Physicists must develop both experimental and analytical skills to carry out their search for a detailed description of the behavior of matter and energy.

The Physics Department offers a bachelor's degree with a major in physics. This is a well-defined program of observation, experimentation, and theoretical study of the various phenomena of nature. A highlight of our program is the senior project, which requires each student to perform an independent research project in collaboration with a faculty mentor.

The department also offers a minor in physics and the option for secondary teacher certification with the major or minor. In addition, the College of Education in cooperation with the department of physics offers the M.Ed. degree with an emphasis in physics.

The undergraduate physics curriculum requires careful planning because most courses in physics and the required cognates can be taken only in sequence. Students who expect to major or minor in physics should consult a faculty member of the Physics Department to plan their programs at the earliest opportunity, preferably before registration for their first term. It is especially important that transfer students meet with a department faculty advisor to evaluate previous work and plan an appropriate program of study.

Participating Programs:

M.Ed. with emphasis in Physics

Honors Organization:

Sigma Pi Sigma: Sigma Pi Sigma is the national honor society of the SPS. Students who have 80 credits (with a minimum of one year at GVSU) may be elected to become Sigma Pi Sigma members based on academic achievement and service. An annual induction ceremony is held in April.

The following programs are available:

Bachelor of Science in Physics

Physics Minor

Master of Education Advanced Content Specialization in Physics

If you are in need of assistance please submit any questions or comments.