1997-98 UAF Catalog

Degrees and Programs

Course Description Index


College of Science, Engineering and Mathematics
Department of Physics
(907) 474-7339

Degrees: B.A., B.S., M.S., M.A.T., Ph.D.

Minimum Requirements for Degrees: B.A.: 130 credits; B.S.: 130 credits; M.S.: 30 additional credits; M.A.T.: 36 additional credits; Ph.D.: no fixed credits

The physics department is responsible for the physics, space physics, atmospheric sciences, and the general science programs. See space physics and atmospheric sciences listings for more information on degree requirements in these disciplines.

The science of physics is concerned with the nature of matter and energy and encompasses all phenomena in the physical world from elementary particles to the structure and origin of the universe. Physics provides, together with mathematics and chemistry, the foundation of work in all fields of physical science and engineering, and contributes to other fields such as biology and medicine.

The undergraduate curriculum provides a solid foundation in general physics with emphasis on its experimental aspects. Furthermore, opportunity is given to the physics student to study areas in applied physics such as atmospheric physics, space physics and engineering physics. A student completing this curriculum should be prepared for careers in education and industry, and for advanced work in the fields of physics, applied physics and related sciences.

The curriculum in the Physics Department provides opportunities for students seeking M.S., M.A.T., and Ph.D. degrees in physics, atmospheric sciences, space physics, and general science.

Graduate work is offered in various areas of physics and applied physics including many of the research areas found in the University of Alaska Fairbanks Geophysical Institute. Faculty and student research programs currently emphasize investigation of auroral, ionospheric, magnetospheric and space plasma physics, the physics and chemistry of the upper and middle atmosphere, radio wave propagation and scattering, solar-terrestrial relations, laser physics, condensed matter physics, and polar meteorology. Students will pursue their studies under the supervision of an advisory committee which will advise on the course of study to be followed.

A graduate student may designate his/her major field as physics, space physics or atmospheric sciences. He/she will pursue his/her studies under the supervision of an advisory committee which will advise on the course of study to be followed.

Teaching and research assistantships are available on a competitive basis. Contact the department or individual faculty members for more information.

Undergraduate Degree Requirements

Physics -- B.A. Degree

  1. Complete the general university requirements and B.A. degree requirements.
  2. Complete the following program (major) requirements:
    Complete the foundation courses:

    PHYS 113 -- Concepts of Physics (1 credit)
    PHYS 211X-212X -- General Physics (8 credits)
    PHYS 213 -- Elementary Modern Physics (3 credits)
    Complete a minor in mathematics, which includes MATH 200-201-202, and six credits at the 300-level or above.
    Complete 20 additional credits of approved courses in physics.

    Minimum credits required (130 credits)

Physics -- B.S. Degree

  1. Complete general university requirements and B.S. degree requirements.
  2. Complete the following program (major) requirements:
    MATH 200X-201X-202X, 302 and 9 additional credits at the 300-level or above.
    PHYS 113, 211X-212X, 213X, 311-312-313, 331-332, 411-412, 381, 382, 445 and 462.

    Minimum credits required (130 credits)

Suggested Curriculum for B.S. Degree

MINOR in Physics:

A minor in Physics requires 20 credits: PHYS 103X-104X or PHYS 211-212 and 12 credits selected from PHYS 213 and any 300-400 level course.

Graduate Degree Requirements

Physics -- M.S. Degree

Degree Requirements

  1. Complete UAF degree requirements.
  2. Course Requirements (30-33 credits):

    Thesis Option (30 credits)
    Complete a minimum of 30 credits of approved courses, including PHYS 699, thesis. At least 24 credits, including thesis and/or research, must be at the 600 level.
    Basic courses in physics (minimum 12 credits) (12 credits)
    PHYS 611 -- Mathematical Physics
    PHYS 612 -- Mathematical Physics
    PHYS 621 -- Classical Mechanics
    PHYS 622 -- Statistical Mechanics
    PHYS 631 -- Electromagnetic Theory
    PHYS 632 -- Electromagnetic Theory
    PHYS 651 -- Quantum Mechanics
    PHYS 652 -- Quantum Mechanics
    Other approved PHYS or ATM 600-level courses
    (min. 12 credits) (12 credits)
    Thesis (minimum 6 credits)
    Write a research-based thesis and pass an oral defense of thesis.
    PHYS 699 -- Thesis 6-12

    Non-thesis Option (33 credits)
    Complete at least 33 credits, of which at least 30 credits must be regular coursework, with 24 of these (including the basic course requirements) at the 600 level. A minimum of 3 and a maximum of 6 credits may be devoted to research (PHYS 698). The student must complete a research paper in a style which the advisory committee judges to be of publishable quality.
    Basic courses (see thesis option (12 credits)
    Additional approved courses (18 credits)
    PHYS 698 -- Research 3-6

Physics -- M.A.T. Degree

Students must complete UAF degree requirements. A minimum of 36 credits is required. Contact the department head for specific degree requirements.

Physics -- Ph.D. Degree

Degree Requirements

  1. Complete UAF degree requirements.
  2. Pass a written and an oral comprehensive examination.
  3. Demonstrate competency in a foreign language or a research tool.
  4. Complete the required program as arranged by conference with the graduate advisory committee and in accordance with the Physics Department manual of Policies and Procedures for graduate students.