Chatham University

Physics (BA/BS) Curriculum

Chatham University offers both B.A. and B.S. degrees in physics in collaboration with Carnegie Mellon University (CMU). This major prepares students for graduate or engineering study or for employment in industry. Students take first-year physics requirements and mathematics courses at Chatham; upper-level physics requirements and electives are taken at CMU through a special cross-registration agreement. Students also may choose to seek certification in physics at the secondary level by completing the appropriate courses in the education program at Chatham. A minor in physics is not available. To complete this major, students should plan to register for both Calculus and Physics during the first semester of the first year. Integrative Capstone work will be done at CMU with collaboration between Chatham and CMU faculties.

Program Requirements

+Major Requirements (BA)

20 courses, including:

IND350 Scientific Research Methods

This course serves as an introduction to research literature and research methodology in the sciences. Students prepare a research proposal including literature review, experimental design and methods, budget, timetable, and bibliography. Other topics include professional presentation techniques and research ethics. The student's major department must approve proposals prior to the Tutorial. Prerequisite(s): Junior status and completion of at least two courses at the 200-level or above in the major, or permission of the instructor.

2
INTPHY303 Internship - Physics

3
MTH151 Calculus I

This is the first course in the calculus sequence. Topics include differential and integral calculus for algebraic and trigonometirc functions with applications. Four hours of class per week.

4
MTH152 Calculus II

This is the second course in the calculus sequence. Topics include differential and integral calculus for the transcendental functions, advanced methods of integration, and infinite sequences and series. Prerequisite(s): MTH 151

4
MTH222 Multivariate and Vector Calculus

An introduction to multivariate calculus using vector spaces, partial differentiation and multiple integration, calculus of vector functions, applications to extremum problems, and differential equations. Three hours of class per week. Prerequisite(s): MTH 152

3
PHY251 Principles of Physics I

Introduction to the concepts, laws, and structure of physics. This is the first course in a calculus-based sequence that focuses on classical mechanics. Topics include vector analysis, kinematics, Newton’s laws, work, conservation of energy and momentum, collisions, gravity, harmonic motion, and wave phenomena. Prerequisite(s) or Corequisite: MTH 151.

4
PHY252 Principles of Physics II

Introduction to the concepts, laws, and structure of physics. The second course in a calculus-based physics sequence. Topics include thermodynamics, fluids, electricity, circuit analysis, magnetism, Maxwell’s equations, properties of light, and optics. Four hours of class per week.

Prerequisite(s): PHY 251

4
PHY255 Physics 1 Laboratory

PHYSICS LABORATORY I 1

1
PHY256 Physics II Laboratory

PHYSICS LABORATORY II EQUIV

1
PHY490 Integrative Capstone

The integrative capstone , undertaken by the student during the senior year, is an extended project that helps the student complete their transition from an undergraduate student to a world-ready professional.  The study usually centers on the student’s major and may be conducted, at least in part, in the context of a group experience.  Such programs are crafted to meet the unique needs of each major, and could include, for example, fieldwork, theatre production, creative work in the arts, independent research, or independent readings. The integrative capstone in an interdisciplinary major must have the approval of both academic programs.  

3
Physics 211, 231, 234, 331, 338, 340, and 341 at CMU are also required.
One physics elective taken at CMU.
One “technical” elective in physics, mathematics, computing, chemistry, or biology that is approved in advance.

+Major Requirements (BS)

23 courses, including:

IND350 Scientific Research Methods

This course serves as an introduction to research literature and research methodology in the sciences. Students prepare a research proposal including literature review, experimental design and methods, budget, timetable, and bibliography. Other topics include professional presentation techniques and research ethics. The student's major department must approve proposals prior to the Tutorial. Prerequisite(s): Junior status and completion of at least two courses at the 200-level or above in the major, or permission of the instructor.

2
INTPHY303 Internship - Physics

3
MTH151 Calculus I

This is the first course in the calculus sequence. Topics include differential and integral calculus for algebraic and trigonometirc functions with applications. Four hours of class per week.

4
MTH152 Calculus II

This is the second course in the calculus sequence. Topics include differential and integral calculus for the transcendental functions, advanced methods of integration, and infinite sequences and series. Prerequisite(s): MTH 151

4
MTH222 Multivariate and Vector Calculus

An introduction to multivariate calculus using vector spaces, partial differentiation and multiple integration, calculus of vector functions, applications to extremum problems, and differential equations. Three hours of class per week. Prerequisite(s): MTH 152

3
PHY251 Principles of Physics I

Introduction to the concepts, laws, and structure of physics. This is the first course in a calculus-based sequence that focuses on classical mechanics. Topics include vector analysis, kinematics, Newton’s laws, work, conservation of energy and momentum, collisions, gravity, harmonic motion, and wave phenomena. Prerequisite(s) or Corequisite: MTH 151.

4
PHY252 Principles of Physics II

Introduction to the concepts, laws, and structure of physics. The second course in a calculus-based physics sequence. Topics include thermodynamics, fluids, electricity, circuit analysis, magnetism, Maxwell’s equations, properties of light, and optics. Four hours of class per week.

Prerequisite(s): PHY 251

4
PHY255 Physics 1 Laboratory

PHYSICS LABORATORY I 1

1
PHY256 Physics II Laboratory

PHYSICS LABORATORY II EQUIV

1
PHY490 Integrative Capstone

The integrative capstone , undertaken by the student during the senior year, is an extended project that helps the student complete their transition from an undergraduate student to a world-ready professional.  The study usually centers on the student’s major and may be conducted, at least in part, in the context of a group experience.  Such programs are crafted to meet the unique needs of each major, and could include, for example, fieldwork, theatre production, creative work in the arts, independent research, or independent readings. The integrative capstone in an interdisciplinary major must have the approval of both academic programs.  

3
Physics 211, 231, 234, 331, 338, 340, 341, and 439 at CMU are also required.
Two physics electives taken at CMU.
Two “technical” electives in physics, mathematics, computing, chemistry, or biology that are approved in advance.