Interdepartmental Concentrations

 

There are several degree programs available in conjunction with other departments or administered by other departments:

Chemical Physics (administered jointly with the Department of Chemistry), Sc.B. only

This concentration provides students with a broad-based understanding in fundamental molecular sciences, as well as a background for graduate studies in physical chemistry, chemical physics, or molecular engineering.

Twenty semester courses in chemistry, physics, and mathematics, with a minimum of four semester courses in mathematics. Core Courses are:

CHEM 330, 350, 500, and 1140
PHYS 70,160, and 470
One laboratory course: CHEM 1160, PHYS 560, or PHYS 1560
One course in statistical mechanics: CHEM 1150 or PHYS 1530
MATH 190, 200, and 520
Six courses, primarily at the 1000 or 2000 level, in chemistry or physics
Two semesters of independent study: CHEM 970, 980 or PHYS 1980

Other approved courses in applied mathematics, biology, computer science, geological sciences, or engineering may be substituted for some of the twenty.

Students are advised to take at least six courses in the humanities and social sciences

Engineering-Physics (administered jointly with the School of Engineering), Sc.B. only

This concentration provides students with an in-depth understanding of the fundamental principles underlying modern technology. Specifically, it gives those who are interested in applied technical problems a strong background in physics and mathematics beyond that given in the standard engineering program. Students take a significant part of the usual engineering and physics programs, obtain substantial laboratory experience, and take several upper-level courses focusing on applied physics. The program allows students to take either the standard physics or engineering programs during their freshman and sophomore years and then switch to this combined program.     

The courses are as follows:

  • PHYS 50, 60; or PHYS 70,160; or ENGN 30, 40
  • MATH 170, 180 (or equivalently, MATH 190, 200) and three additional math or applied math courses (two of which are usualy APMA 330,340 or APMA 350, 360).
  • CSCI 40 or higher-level programing course such as CSCI 150 or 170
  • PHYS 470, 1510 or ENGN 510, 1560
  • PHYS 500 or ENGN 1370
  • PHYS 1410-1420
  • PHYS 1530 or ENGN 720
  • ENGN 1620
  • One course from the following: ENGN 1310, ENGN 810, CHEM 330, or a physics course on continuum mechanics
  • One course from the following: ENGN 1690, ENGN 410, PHYS 560
  • One course from the following: PHYS 1560, ENGN 1590, ENGN 2920
  • A thesis under the supervision of a physics faculty member (PHYS 1980) or engineering faculty member (ENGN 1970 or ENGN 1971)

In addition, students must take four courses in the humanities and social sciences. They are encouraged to consider taking courses dealing with the philosophical, ethical, or political aspects of science and technology.

Physics and Philosophy (administered jointly with the Department of Philosophy), A.B. only

The Physics and Philosophy A.B. Concentration is for undergraduates who have a deep interest in understanding physics but do not need to acquire the laboratory and computational skills of a professional physicist. It acquaints students with the most philosophically interesting physics and balances the student's need to grapple with some computational problems with their need to deepen their investigation of conceptual and epistemological issues. This concentration should prepare a student either for graduate study, especially in a history and philosophy of science (HPS) program, or for employment in science education or journalism. Other professions such as law and medicine will look favorably on such concentrators for having versatile interests and being able to master difficult material. The concentration may serve as an excellent preparation for a law school since physics and philosophy both exercise a rigorous approach to problems of immediate relevance to life but at the same time assume two complimentary and sometimes competing viewpoints.

Physics Courses:

  • An introductory course in Modern Physics:
    • PHYS 0060 - Foundation of Electromagnetism and Modern Physics or
    • PHYS 0160 - Introduction to Quantum Mechanics and Relativity.
  • A course in Special Relativity and Classical Field Theory: PHYS 0470 - Electricity & Magnetism.
  • A course in Methods of Experimental and Theoretical physics:
    • PHYS 0500 - Advanced Classical Mechanics or
    • PHYS 0560 - Experiments in Modern Physics.
  • A course in Quantum Mechanics and its applications:
    • PHYS 1410 - Quantum Mechanics or
    • PHYS 1530 - Thermodynamics & Statistical Mechanics.
  • One more 1000-level Physics course;

Philosophy Courses:

  • A gateway course:
    • PHIL 0210 - Science, Perception, and Reality or
    • PHYS 0100 - Flat Earth to Quantum Uncertainty: On the Nature and Meaning of Scientific Explanation.
  • A course in Early Modern Philosophy:
    • PHIL 0360 - Early Modern Philosophy,
    • PHIL 1700 - British Empiricists,
    • PHIL 1710 - 17th Century Continental Rationalism, or
    • PHIL 1720 - Kant: The Critique of Pure Reason.
  • Two courses in Epistemology, Metaphysics and Philosophy of Science:
    • PHIL 1310 - Myth and the Origins of Science,
    • PHIL 1590 - Philosophy of Science,
    • PHIL 1610 - Philosophy of Relativity Physics,
    • PHIL 1620 - Philosophy of Quantum Mechanics,
    • PHIL 1630 - Deductive Logic,
    • PHIL 1660 - Metaphysics,
    • PHIL 1670 - Time,
    • PHIL 1750 - Epistemology, or
    • PHIL 1850 - Philosophical Logic.

History Courses:

 One more Philosophy course or a course in History of Science: 

  • HIST 1140 - Nature, Knowledge, and Power in Early Modern Europe,
  • HIST 1180 - The Rise of the Scientific Worldview,
  • HIST 1190 - Nineteenth-Century Roots of Modern Science, or
  • HIST 1200 - Science and Society in the Twentieth Century.

A course in Calculus:

  • MATH 0180 - Intermediate Calculus,
  • MATH 0200 - Intermediate Calculus, or
  • MATH 0350 - Honors Calculus.

A final project (one from the following list):

  • PHIL 1990 - Independent study or honors thesis in Philosophy
  • PHYS 1990 - Senior Conference Course
  • PHIL 0990 - Senior Seminar
  • Any graduate seminar in Philosophy

Biophysics (administered by the Division of Biology and Medicine), A.B. or Sc.B.

Geology-Physics/Mathematics (administered by the Department of Geology), A.B. or Sc.B.