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2021-2022 Undergraduate & Graduate Catalog

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Bachelor of Science in Physics

Requirements for a Major in Physics

The following courses fulfill the B.S. degree requirements:

In addition, students must complete the general university degree requirements as identified in the General Academic Policies section of the catalog.

Core Courses

Major students must complete 39 semester credit hours of required physics courses with a minimum grade of C (2.0) in each course.

Transfer students must complete at least 11 credit hours in physics courses taken at Grand Valley at the 300-level or above.

All physics majors must complete the following (39 credits):

Cognate Courses

The following cognate courses must be completed with a minimum grade of C (2.0) in each course (25 to 28 credits):

Option One:

Option Two:

Note: Physics majors intending to go to graduate school should take MTH 204 and MTH 304 rather than the MTH 302 option.

Science Electives

Six credits of science electives must be chosen from the following list and completed with a minimum grade of C (2.0) in each:

Suggested Order of Coursework for a Major in Physics

The following example assumes student has a good mathematics background.

  • F indicates course should be taken in the fall semester
  • W indicates course should be taken in the winter semester

Year One

Year Two

Year Three

Year Four

Certification for Secondary Teaching

All students seeking certification to teach at the secondary level with a major in physics must complete the major requirements for a physics degree as noted previously, as well as four additional courses:

A minimum GPA of 2.7 in the major is required to be recommended for teacher certification. Certification for secondary teaching also requires meeting the admission and professional requirements of the College of Education and Community Innovation as outlined in this catalog. Note that the extra coursework necessary for teaching certification normally requires a full fifth year of work.

All students seeking teacher certification are required to clock at least 30 hours of assisting in the department's tutoring program or as a laboratory assistant setting up equipment and demonstrations and helping students in a laboratory setting, which includes required reading and experience in laboratory safety.

Integrated Science Major for the B.S. Degree

The integrated science major is designed for students seeking certification to teach at the elementary school level. It provides the preservice teacher broad exposure in all the sciences and emphasizes the connections among the scientific disciplines, their relationship with technology, and their relevance to society. In order to be certified, students must complete this major and the elementary teaching minor with at least a 2.7 GPA in each. Students are advised to take the MDE subject area test after they have completed the major with a 2.7 GPA.

Integrated Science Secondary Endorsement

Students who have declared or completed a major and minor in a science discipline may complete additional courses for an integrated science secondary endorsement. The Michigan Department of Education will allow teachers with the integrated science secondary endorsement to teach biology, chemistry, earth science, or physics at the secondary level.

Program Description

Click here for the program description.

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