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.

Physics Major Courses

CHEM111 General Chemistry I (4 Credits)
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.) (Offered fall semester.)
CHEM112 General Chemistry II (4 Credits)
Basic principles of chemical reactions and descriptive chemistry are integrated in terms of the periodic table, atomic structure, bond types, molecular geometry, reaction rates, and thermodynamics. (Three lecture hours and three hours lab per week.) (Offered fall and spring semesters respectively.)
MATH115 Calculus I (4 Credits)
The first course in the regular calculus sequence. Basic techniques of differentiation and integration are covered. Topics from Analytic Geometry are introduced. Prerequisite: MTH 111 or equivalent background. (Offered fall semester.)
MATH116 Calculus II (4 Credits)
Techniques of integration, sequences and series, parametric equations, vector valued functions. Prerequisite: MTH 115. (Offered spring semester.)
PHYS120 University Physics I (4 Credits)
PHYS210 University Physics II (4 Credits)
CIST210 Programming and Data Structures I (3 Credits)
Using a modern high-level programming language, this course introduces algorithmic problem solving, basic control structures, basic data structures, and procedural abstraction. Prerequisites: MTH 111 and CIS 140, or MTH 115. (Offered fall semester.)
MATH217 Multivariable Calculus (3 Credits)
The differential and integral calculus of multi-variate functions, line and surface integrals, Green's Theorem, Divergence Theorem, Stokes' Theorem. Prerequisite: MTH 116. (Offered fall semester.)
MATH218 Differential Equations (3 Credits)
First-order differential equations, linear equations, and linear systems, power series solutions, Laplace Transforms. Prerequisite: MTH 116. (Offered fall semester.)
PHYS220 University Physics III (4 Credits)
PHYS311 Electricity And Magnetism (4 Credits)
PHY 311 Electricity and Magnetism Four Credits 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. Prerequisite: PHY 220, MTH 217, 218. (Offered fall semester of even calendar years.)
PHYS318 Analytical Mechanics (4 Credits)
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. Prerequisite: PHY 220, MTH 217, 218. (Offered spring semester.)
PHYS321 Thermal and Statistical Physics (4 Credits)
Introduction to the principles of thermodynamics and statistical physics. Topics include: probability theory, statistical description of systems of particles, kinetic theory, thermodynamic laws, entropy, microcanonical and canonical ensembles, distribution functions, ideal and real gases, Fermi-Dirac and Bose-Einstein statistics. Applications include the specific heat of solids, black body radiation; non-interacting Bose and Fermi gases; mean field theories for real gases; magnetism; phase transitions; propagation of heat and sound and critical phenomena. Prerequisite: CHM 112, MTH 217, PHY 220. (Offered irregularly.)
PHYS324 Quantum Mechanics (4 Credits)
An intermediate course on quantum mechanics using matrix formalism and operator methods; quantum states of photons and electrons, measurement, angular momentum and rotation, two-particle systems and entanglement, time evolution, harmonic oscillator, wave mechanics in three dimension. Three hours lecture and three hours lab per week. Prerequisite: PHY 220, MTH 217, 218. (Offered fall semester of odd calendar years.)
PHYS400 Advanced Quantum Mechanics (4 Credits)
Introduction to path integrals, identical particles, WKB approximation, time-dependent perturbation theory, photons and atoms, scattering theory, and relativistic quantum mechanics. Key applications to quantum optics, solid state physics, quantum information, and high energy physics. Three hours lecture and two hours of projects. Prerequisite: PHY 324 (Offered irregularly)
PHYS405 Practicum (3 Credits)
PHY 405 Practicum Variable Credit This course is for all physics students completing a BS degree. The student is given an opportunity to apply his/her physics training by working in business, industry, or in a research laboratory. For students who plan to attend graduate school, an on-campus practicum experience will be provided. Students taking PHY 405 are evaluated with a letter grade.
PHYS409 Seminar in Physics (2 Credits)
PHY 409 Seminar in Physics One Credit (WI) 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. Prerequisite: Attainment of junior standing. (Offered every spring.)

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

More Info +

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.

More Info +

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.

More Info +

Career Opportunities

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