Christian Higher Education Since 1892

Physics Major



The Majors and Minors section of the academic catalog explains graduation requirements. You can also read more about courses in the Undergraduate Course Listings section of the academic catalog.

Below are some of the courses offered for the Physics Major.

Courses Credits  
CHEM 111 General Chemistry I 4 Info

Basic principles of chemical reactions and descriptive chemistry are integrated in terms of atomic structure, bonding theory, molecular geometry, reaction rates, equilibrium, and thermodynamics. (Three lecture hours and three lab hours per week.)

CHEM 112 General Chemistry II 4 Info

A continuation of CHM 111. (Three lecture hours and three lab hours per week.)

MATH 115 Calculus I 4 Info

The first course in the regular calculus sequence. Basic techniques of differentiation and integration are covered. Topics from Analytic Geometry are introduced.

MTH 116 Calculus II 4 Info

Techniques of integration, sequences and series, parametric equations, vector valued functions.

PHY 120 University Physics I 4 Info

A calculus-based introductory physics course that covers kinematics and Newton's laws of motion; conservation laws for momentum, energy, and angular momentum; torques and static equilibrium; simple harmonic motion. (Three hours lecture, two hours of lab and one hour of tutorial per week.)

CIS 210 Programming and Data Structures I 4 Info

Using a modern high-level programming language, this course introduces algorithmic problem solving, basic control structures, basic data structures, and procedural abstraction.

PHYS 210 University Physics II 4 Info

Continuation of PHY 120 covering electric fields and forces, electric potential, resistors, capacitors and DC circuits; magnetic fields and forces, electromagnetic induction and inductors, electromagnetic waves and Maxwell's equations; and geometrical and physical optics. (Three hours lecture, two hours of lab and one hour of tutorial per week.)

MTH 217 Multivariable Calculus 3 Info

The differential and integral calculus of multi-variate functions, line and surface integrals, Green's Theorem, Divergence Theorem, Stokes' Theorem.

MTH 218 Differential Equations 3 Info

First-order differential equations, linear equations, and linear systems, power series solutions, Laplace Transforms.

PHY 220 University Physics III 4 Info

The third semester of the introductory physics sequence as required by physics and pre-engineering majors. Topics covered include rotational motion and rigid-body motion; mechanical waves, sound waves and acoustical phenomena; statistical mechanics; AC circuits; special relativity; and interference and diffraction of light. (Three hours lecture, two hours of lab and one hour of tutorial per week.)

PHY 311 Electricity and Magnetism 4 Info

An intermediate course that is basic for graduate work in physics. Topics covered include direct and alternating current circuits, static electric and magnetic fields, and Maxwell's equations. Three hours lecture and three hours lab per week.

PHY 318 Theoretical Mechanics 4 Info

The motion of a particle and a system of particles as described by Newtonian mechanics are studied. Vector algebra and vector calculus are used. Velocity dependent forces, central forces, oscillatory motion, rigid body motion, and moving coordinate frames are typical topics.

PHY 321 Thermodynamics 4 Info

Equilibrium thermodynamics, the first law, equations of state, changes of state, the second law, criteria for spontaneity, electrochemistry, and applications to chemical and physical systems. (Three hours lecture and three hours lab per week.) Cross listed with CHM 321 Physical Chemistry.

PHY 322 Modern Physics 4 Info

In this course a quantitative understanding of atomic, molecular, and nuclear physics is presented through the applications of introductory quantum mechanics. The course is valuable to both physics majors and chemistry students who need a background in quantum mechanics. Three hours lecture and three hours lab per week. Cross listed with CHM 322 Physical Chemistry.

PHY 400,401 Senior Physics 4 Info

This is an independent study of theoretical physics at an advanced undergraduate level. Students will meet with the professor for guidance and discussion at regularly appointed times. This course is designed to allow students to choose the area of advanced study most relevant to their educational goals. Any student planning to apply to a graduate program in physics is strongly advised to take two Senior Physics courses, one of which should focus on the study of advanced quantum mechanics. The second course should be an area of interest to the student. Standard topics for students continuing to graduate school include advanced optics, nuclear physics, particle physics and solid state (condensed matter) physics. Students interested in engineering graduate school might consider further study in the area of Advanced Mechanics. Students may choose an area of interest other than those listed above, provided it is approved by their advisor and the course instructor. (offered fall and spring semesters, respectively.)

PHY 409 Seminar in Physics 2 (WI) Info

Students present oral and written reports and discuss topics dealing with the history and philosophy of science. This course is to be taken by all physics majors in either the junior or senior year. Meets the general education writing intensive requirement.

Available Emphases

Engineering Dual Degree Program

For nearly 50 years, our Engineering Dual Degree students have seen great success at two of the best engineering schools in the country. Greenville College offers a unique program that allows students to earn a Physics, Chemistry or Biology degree from Greenville College along with an Engineering degree from the University of Illinois or Washington University.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor statistics, engineering is projected to be one of the top five areas of employment for the next decade. If you have been prepared by your high school education in writing, communications, mathematics and science, you should be ready to move into the college level courses. You will have to study a lot, but anything worth doing requires some effort. The payback occurs in career satisfaction. The engineering profession ranks in the upper 15% among the 250 types of work endeavors.

Dual Degree with University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

The Engineering School at UIUC ranks number 6 overall in the United States, according to U.S. News and World Report. The Dual Degree (3-2) program results in a Bachelor of Arts in Physics, Chemistry or Biology from Greenville College and a Bachelor of Science in Engineering from UIUC.

Dual Degree with Washington University in St. Louis

The Engineering School at Washington University in St. Louis is ranked number 14 overall according to U.S. News and Word Report. This Dual Degree (3-2) program results in a Bachelor of Arts in Physics, Chemistry or Biology from Greenville College and a Bachelor of Science in Engineering from Washington University.

The following degree plan provides a glimpse of what your schedule may look like as you complete this program:

Benefits of the 3/2 Program

  1. Successful completion of Greenville's engineering program, with an appropriate GPA, guarantees admission to top quality engineering schools for the remaining two years.
  2. Receive personal attention in the math and physics courses that provide the backbone of any engineering program.
  3. Gain exposure to the many engineering opportunities before making a final commitment to a specific field.
  4. Remain flexible in your career options by starting with the practical, broad- natured pre-engineering courses that prepares one for many fields.
  5. Obtain two degrees -- a liberal arts degree in addition to an engineering degree. Employers seek graduates with a broad background to better adapt to our constantly changing society.
  6. Spend three years at a campus where Christian principles and values are taught and practiced.

International Students

Greenville College works alongside Yenching Elite Education as our premier partner in China for recruiting qualified Chinese students into its engineering dual-degree program. Yenching Elite Education focuses on providing access to our “Pathways Programs” designed to assist Chinese students upon graduating from high school. Students completing a one-year Pathway Program enjoy a curriculum focused on English language development and additional coursework to prepare them for attending the school’s four-year degree program. Yenching Elite Education also collaborates to find top students interested in pursuing our Engineering Dual Degree (3:2) partnerships with University of Illinois and Washington University

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Engineering Triple Degree Program

The Triple Degree (3-3) program offers direct entry into the graduate engineering program at Washington University in St. Louis. Graduates will receive a BA in Physics, Chemistry or Biology from Greenville College, a BS in Engineering and a MS in Engineering from Washington University.

Triple Degree (3-3) program graduates will receive a Bachelor of Arts in Physics, Chemistry or Biology from Greenville College, a Bachelor of Science in Engineering and a Master of Science in Engineering from Washington University. The GRE is not required for admission. Generous scholarships are available for both domestic and international students including 50 percent of tuition during the first year, 55 percent of tuition during the second year and 60 percent of tuition during the third and final year of a student's enrollment at Washington University.

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General Engineering

This regular 4-year engineering program prepares students with engineering physics for today’s complex engineering challenges.

Students will work on major technical projects or have practical experiences. Graduates will be able to work in the private sector or in research laboratories at the forefront of technology, or pursue an advanced degree in engineering or applied physics.

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Career Opportunities

  • Graduate/PhD Work
  • Research
  • Architect
  • Clinical Scientist
  • Engineering