Major in Physics

Students who major in physics must complete 58 to 59 hours, including

  • CHEM 101-101L and 102-102L;
  • MATH 201, 202, 301, 302, and 401;
  • PHYS 1500 or 1600; PHYS 1610*, 2100, 2900, 3100, 3200, 4000, and 4100;

Select 3-4 hours from the following:

  • CSC 1231-1231L or 250;

and six hours of PHYS electives at the 2500-level or above.

*Notes: If a student has taken general physics 1500 or physics with calculus 1600 from PC, or its equivalent at another school, before declaring the physics major, s/he must pass a qualifying examination given by the physics department. A grade of ‘C-‘ or higher in PHYS 1500 or its approved equivalent course is required to enroll in PHYS 1610. A grade of ‘C-‘ or higher in PHYS 1610 or its approved equivalent is required to enroll in any upper division physics course and the student must pass a qualifying examination given by the physics department.

Major in Medical Physics

Students who major in medical physics must complete 69 hours, including

  • PHYS 1500 or 1600, 1610**, 2100, 2900, 3200, 4000, 4100, and 4200
  • BIOL 1150-1150L*, 1151-1151L, and 311-311L;
  • CHEM 101-101L, 102-102L***, 221-221L, and 222-222L;
  • MATH 201, 202, 301, 302, and 401;

Notes: *All students should take BIOL 1151-1151L. A grade of ‘C-‘ or higher in BIOL 1150-1150L or its approved equivalent course is required to enroll in BIOL 1151-1151L. A grade of ‘C-‘ or higher in BIOL 1151- 1151L or its approved equivalent is required to enroll in any upper division biology course.

**If a student has taken general physics 1500 or physics with calculus 1600 from PC, or its equivalent at another school, before declaring the medical physics major, s/he must pass a qualifying examination given by the physics department. A grade of ‘C-‘ or higher in PHYS 1500 or its approved equivalent course is required to enroll in PHYS 1610. A grade of ‘C-‘ or higher in PHYS 1610 or its approved equivalent is required to enroll in any upper division physics course and the student must pass a qualifying examination given by the physics department.

****All students must complete the American Chemical Society General Chemistry Exam with a grade of 60% or higher to receive credit for Chemistry 102.

Major in Physics: Engineering Dual Degree

Students participating in this program will be expected to complete all Presbyterian College general education requirements while in residence. In addition, students must complete 45 to 46 hours (or 48 hours), including

  • CHEM 101-101L and 102-102L;
  • MATH 201, 202, 301, 302, and 401;
  • PHYS 1500 or 1600; PHYS 1610, 2100, and 2600;

Select 3-4 hours from the following:

  • CSC 1231-1231L or 250;

Select 3 hours from the following:

  • PHYS 2900, 3100, or 3200.

Physics Capstone (choose one option):

  • PHYS 4000
  • Capstone Equivalent at Engineering School

Students entering a dual-degree program should be aware of stipulations from other institutions regarding transfer work, i.e., most institutions do not accept grades of “D” and some may not accept all of Presbyterian College’s general education requirements. Students participating in this program will be expected to complete all Presbyterian College General Education Requirements while in residence at PC. After earning a minimum of 92 semester hours at PC, students enter an engineering program at Auburn University, Clemson University, Georgia Institute of Technology, University of South Carolina, or Vanderbilt University, and in two years earn a PC degree and an engineering degree from Auburn, Clemson, Georgia Tech, USC, or Vanderbilt.

Notes: If a student has taken general physics 1500 or physics with calculus 1600 from PC, or its equivalent at another school, before declaring the physics (dual degree) major, s/he must pass a qualifying examination given by the physics department. A grade of ‘C-‘ or higher in PHYS 1500 or its approved equivalent course is required to enroll in PHYS 1610. A grade of ‘C-‘ or higher in PHYS 1610 or its approved equivalent is required to enroll in any upper division physics course and the student must pass a qualifying examination given by the physics department.

Minor in Physics

Students minoring in physics must complete 17 to 19 hours, including

  • PHYS 1500 or 1600;
  • PHYS 1510 or 1610;
  • three to four hours chosen from PHYS 2100, 2600, 2900, 3100, 3200, or 4100;
  • and six to seven hours chosen from any PHYS elective (three of which may be an internship).

Notes: If a student has taken general physics 1500 or physics with calculus 1600 from PC, or its equivalent at another school, before declaring the physics minor, s/ he must pass a qualifying examination given by the physics department. A grade of “C-“ or higher in PHYS 1500 or its approved equivalent course is required to enroll in PHYS 1610. A grade of “C-“ or higher in PHYS 1610 or its approved equivalent is required to enroll in any upper-division physics course and the student must pass a qualifying examination given by the Physics Department.

Minor in Computer Science

The minor in computer science consists of 18 hours, including CSC 1231, 1231L, 1232, 1232L, 336, and six additional hours of CSC electives.

CO = Co-requisite, POI = Permission of Instructor, PR = Prerequisite, RE = Recommended, XL = Cross-listed

1000 The Physics of How Things Work (4)

(3 hrs. lecture, 3 hrs. lab weekly • Students cannot receive General Education credit for both PHYS 1000 and PHYS 1500.) Students engaged in this course will grasp the workings of the world around them. They will gain a basic understanding of everything from growing trees to flying jets; from crashing cars to cell phone operation. The course relies heavily on conceptual understanding rather than rigorous math, and is highly applicable to everyone who lives in a world of physical things. The lecture will utilize many demonstrations. The lab will allow the student to interact with the concepts learned in class through equipment that is readily available.This course does not require math higher than basic algebra.

1100 Earth Science (4)

(3 hrs. lecture, 3 hrs. lab weekly) This class introduces students to the features and processes involving our earth. These include mineralogy and rocks, plate tectonics, volcanoes, earthquakes, weathering, and soil studies.The class also explores oceanic, atmospheric, and space sciences.

1200 Introduction to Astronomy (4)

(3 hrs. lecture, 3 hrs. lab weekly) This course presents an overview of the major fields of astronomy. The course begins with a brief history of astronomy followed by an in-depth discussion of the basic concepts and tools used throughout astronomy.Topics include history of astronomy, naked-eye observations, light, telescopes, stars, stellar evolution, black holes, galaxies, and cosmology. Some of the lab sessions will be scheduled in the evening to allow astronomical viewing. No previous experience in astronomy is expected.

1500 General Physics I (4)

(3 hrs. lecture, 3 hrs. lab weekly) The first of two introductory courses in physics designed to emphasize the experimental laws of physical science.Topics to be covered include mechanics, heat, wave motion and sound, electricity and magnetism, optics, and modern physics. In the laboratory portion of the course, students will perform experiments and analyze the results based on physical law. (Fall)

1510 General Physics II (4)

(3 hrs. lecture, 3 hrs. lab weekly • PR: PHYS 1500) The second of two introductory courses in physics designed to emphasize the experimental laws of physical science.Topics to be covered include mechanics, heat, wave motion and sound, electricity and magnetism, optics, and modern physics. In the laboratory portion of the course, students will perform experiments and analyze the results based on physical law. (Spring)

1600 Physics I with Calculus (4)

(3 hrs. lecture, 3 hrs. lab weekly • PR/CO: MATH 201) First of three courses in a calculus-based physics sequence. Topics include vectors, laws of motion, conservation principles, rotational motion, gravitation, solids, liquids, and wave motion.In the laboratory portion, students will perform experiments and analyze the results based on the topics covered in the class. (Fall)

1610 Physics II with Calculus (4)

(3 hrs. lecture, 3 hrs. lab weekly • PR: PHYS 1500 or PHYS 1600; PR/CO: MATH 202) Continuation of PHYS 1600.Topics include thermodynamics, kinetic theory of gases, electric and magnetic fields, electric currents, and motions of charged particles in fields. In the laboratory portion, students will perform experiments and analyze the results based on the topics covered in the class. (Spring)

2100 Physics III with Calculus (4)

(3 hrs. lecture, 3 hrs. lab weekly • PR: PHYS 1610; PR/CO: MATH 301) Continuation of PHYS 1610. Topics include geometric optics, electromagnetic waves, interference and diffraction, relativity, atomic particles, and atomic and nuclear structure. (Fall)

2500 Methods of Theoretical Physics (3)

(PR: MATH 202) An introduction to mathematical methods that are commonly used in advanced physics. The main topics are vector algebra and calculus (including divergence, gradient, curl, Stokes’ theorem, line and surface integrals, and curvilinear coordinate systems) and the solution of boundary value problems involving the wave equation and Laplace’s equation (separation of variables, power series, and special functions). Other topics such as complex variables and Fourier analysis may be included at the discretion of the instructor.

2600 Engineering Physics (4)

(3 hrs. lecture, 3 hrs. lab weekly • PR: PHYS 1500 or PHYS 1600, and MATH 201) The in-class portion of this course will be devoted to the rigorous topic ‘Statics’ which is fundamental to nearly all fields of engineering. This study will also provide a mechanism to learn how engineers think and how that compares to the thought processes of a physicist. The lab portion of this class is essentially an “engineering seminar” that will be devoted to understanding the field of engineering. In addition to learning engineering experimental methods, students will be exposed to the wide variety of engineering disciplines through guest speakers and field trips. (Spring, odd years)

2700 Basic Electronics (4)

(3 hrs. lecture, 3 hrs. lab weekly • PR: PHYS 1510 or PHYS 1610, and MATH 201) An introduction to analysis of AC and DC circuits, amplifiers, semi-conductor devices, and instrument systems.

2900 Advanced Dynamics (3)

(PR: PHYS 1600; PR/CO: MATH 302) A course in classical mechanics covering the dynamics of system of particles, dynamics of rigid bodies in two and three dimensions, Euler’s Equations of rotational motion, an introduction to Lagrange’s equations, as well as other topics of interest to the advanced physics and engineering student. A thorough knowledge of integral calculus is assumed. (Spring, even years)

3100 Heat and Thermodynamics (3)

(PR: PHYS 1610; PR/CO: MATH 302) This course includes a study of thermometry, physical states of matter, calorimetry, heat balance equations, gas laws for real and ideal gases, kinetic theory, cyclical operations, and the laws of thermodynamics. (Fall, odd years)

3200 Electricity and Magnetism I (3)

(PR: PHYS 1610 and MATH 302) This course is designed to introduce the student to the basic laws of electricity and magnetism as they are formulated using differential and integral calculus. Gauss’ law, Laplace’s equation, the Biot-Savart law, Faraday’s law and Maxwell’s equations are studied along with the phenomena of polarization, electric and magnetic fields, electromagnetic radiation, and other topics. (Fall, even years)

3210 Electricity and Magnetism II (3)

(PR: PHYS 1610 and MATH 302) A continuation of PHYS 3200.

3300 Classical Optics (3)

(PR: PHYS 2100 and MATH 302) An intermediate course in light from the viewpoint of both geometrical and physical optics. (Alternate years)

3400 Physics in Biology and Medicine (3)

(PR: BIOL 1150, PHYS 1500, and PHYS 1510) Applications of introductory physics to the processes and systems of biology and medicine.Topics may include the physics of (1) walking, running, and jumping; (2) temperature regulation and metabolism; (3) flight; (4) respiration and circulation; (5) hearing and vision; (6) the nervous system; and (7) medical diagnostics techniques.

3600 Plasma Physics (3)

(PR: PHYS 3200) Its purpose is to expose students to the basic physical principles governing the solar-terrestrial interactions, including space and atmospheric weather. Its goal is to emphasize the applications of plasma physics to an understanding of the interplanetary environment and earth’s place in that environment, as well as alternative energy sources from plasma fusion.(Alternate years)

4000 Advanced Physics Laboratory (2)

(PR: PHYS 2100 and MATH 301) This course consists of several experiments designed to illustrate important concepts in quantum mechanics and modern physics and to introduce the student to some of the techniques of modern experimental physics research. (Spring, even years)

4002 Special Projects (1-9)

4003 Honors Research (3-6)

4005 Directed Studies (1-9)

4007 Internship (1-6)

4008 Research (1-9)

4009 Special Topics (1-6)

4100 Quantum Mechanics (3)

(PR: PHYS 2100; PR/CO: MATH 401) A rigorous presentation of the fundamental principles of quantum mechanics.Topics include the wave function for a free particle, superposition of states, construction and behavior of wave packets, the position and momentum representations, general techniques for constructing solutions to Schrodinger’s equation, and the time development of quantum-mechanical systems. (Spring, odd years)

4200 Nuclear Physics (3)

(PR: PHYS 1610 • CO: MATH 301) Properties and behavior of atomic nuclei: mass, binding energy, spin, decay modes, nuclear reactions, and an introduction to nuclear models. Medical applications such as radioactive traces and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). (Alternate years)

CO = Co-requisite, POI = Permission of Instructor, PR = Prerequisite, RE = Recommended, XL = Cross-listed

1231 Introduction to Our Digital World (3)

(CO: CSC 1231L1 or 1231L2) This course will introduce the student to the field of computer science. Students will learn about the history of the field, how computer science is used in overlapping fields (business, forensics, law, mathematics, networking, computations science, etc.), the terminology of the field, hardware components, problem-solving skills, ethics and societal impact, and safety and security.In the co-requisite lab component, students will obtain hands-on experience with what is being taught in class. (Fall)

1231L1 Introduction to Our Digital World Lab I (1)

(CO: CSC 1231) This lab is suggested for students majoring or minoring in a science. This lab will emphasize logic and problem-solving skills through the use of the programming language “Java.” Students will leave the class with a strong introductory knowledge of programming and problem-solving skills. (Fall)

1231L2 Introduction to Our Digital World Lab II (1)

(CO: CSC 1231) This lab will illustrate the use of popular software applications, emphasize how computers are used in business and research, explore/use/program databases, learn web development, explore the creation of mobile applications, and cover basic programming techniques and skills.

1232 Program Design (3)

(CO: CSC 1232L) Principles of program design and implementation using a modern programming language. Fundamentals of object-oriented programming include basic data types, file input/output, conditional and looping statements, subprograms, arrays and lists, recursion, threads, introduction to graphical user interface design, etc. Students must develop and demonstrate proficiency in writing and debugging programs up to an intermediate level of complexity. (Spring)

1232L Program Design Lab (1)

(CO: CSC 1232) This laboratory course expands on the topics covered in CSC 1232. Students will be given programs. They must use the principles of language taught during lecture to develop a programming solution to the problem and thoroughly test their results. (Spring)

214 Enterprise MIS (3)

(PR: BADM 299 • XL: BADM 314) This course is designed to introduce the student to the ways businesses use information technologies to enhance and transform business operations and support business objectives. The key topics include enterprise applications (ERP, CRM, and SCM), web-based systems (E-Commerce, B2B, and intranets), and decision support (data mining and data warehouse). The course is intended to be a survey of the current concepts and practices related to MIS implementations in businesses. As time allows, students will also apply these concepts to hands-on labs.

250 Computing Methods for Science and Math (3)

(PR: MATH 202) Covers techniques for numerical calculations, symbolic mathematical manipulations, and graphical presentation of results using spreadsheets, symbolic math packages, and procedural programming languages. (Alternate years)

258 Special Topics (1-6)

305 System and Network Administration (3)

(PR: CSC 1231-1231L) This course is a broad overview of the process of administering desktop and server computers. Operating systems will include Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux. Heavy emphasis will be placed on service management and user management in a multi-user environment. The course will also deal specifically with hardware/ software installation and support. Other topics will include network topography (using the OSI model) and maintenance. (Alternate years)

307 3D Modeling and Animation (4)

(PR: CSC 1231) This course explores concepts and methodologies for creating and exploring 3D graphics and animation. This class will introduce fundamental 3D theories and principles of computer modeling and animation. The class will also explore the history, development, and theories behind modeling and animation. Essential concepts will be made concrete through a major term-long team project in which student teams will develop their own 3D models that are then used in a short animation.

308 Graphics Programming and Animation (3)

(PR: CSC 1231-1231L • XL: ART 308) This course introduces the student to programming that draws 2D or 3D images on the screen. In particular, we will study graphics packages that enable interactive drawing and animation in 2D and 3D spaces. (Alternate years)

311 Computer Organization (3)

(RE: CSC 1231-1231L) This course introduces the student to foundational mechanisms of computer architecture including Boolean and sequential circuits, assembly languages, instruction sets, internal data representations, and essential hardware components that support operating systems.

320 Web Design (3)

This class will provide students with the knowledge of how to create a fully functioning website. Students will learn various programming languages used in web design, including JavaScript, PHP, ASP. NET, and Ruby. Students will also be introduced to the standard markup languages, stylesheets, and how to use Flash. Finally, students will study how to make the site aesthetically pleasing in every browser while conforming to today’s web standards.

328 Programming Languages (3)

(PR: CSC 1231-1231L) This course is designed to introduce the student to a variety of programming languages with the goal of studying the design of languages. This course gives particular emphasis to the differences and similarities among imperative, functional, object-oriented, and logic paradigms. Students will have hands-on assignments to illustrate language design issues and introduce them to programming in a variety of environments. (Every third year)

333 Database Processing and Design (3)

(PR: CSC 1231 or BADM 299, or POI • XL: BADM 333) This course will introduce database concepts including data modeling, normalization, database design and implementation, data 121 administration, and, as time allows, data warehouses and data mining. The course will include hands-on experience using commercially available database software beyond simple desktop databases. (Every third year)

336 Algorithms and Data Structures (4)

(PR: CSC 1232-1232L) A thorough introduction to the analysis of computer algorithms and to advanced techniques for representing information. Analysis of algorithms involves measuring the time and space an algorithm uses, thus providing a method for comparing algorithms. Common algorithms and data structures are introduced and analyzed including search and sort methods, lists, trees, and graphs.

346 Business Intelligence and Data Analysis (3)

(PR: BADM 299 • XL: BADM 346) This course surveys methods for analyzing, visualizing, and transforming business data to discover patterns that lead to predictive, diagnostic and descriptive models. The student will apply many of these methods using spreadsheets and specialized tools with hands-on projects. The course also introduces the student to data warehouse design as well as principles of data mining.

350 Numerical Methods (3)

(PR: CSC 1232-1232L, and MATH 202, or POI • XL: MATH 350) A study of the use of the computer to solve mathematical problems of interest to scientists and engineers.Topics include function approximation, numerical differentiation and integration, systems of linear equations, least-squares fitting, function minimization, and Monte-Carlo methods. Special emphasis is placed on using matrix methods where appropriate. Students are expected to write several programs illustrating these topics. (Alternate years)

398 Honors Research (3-6)

411 Operating Systems (4)

(PR: CSC 1231-1231L and 311) This course is an overview of the essential components of a modern operating system whose primary task is to manage the computer’s hardware resources.Topics include, but are not limited to, process management, memory management, device management, file systems, and interrupt handling. As time allows, students will have hands-on experience in systems programming by writing a device driver or system call. Emphasis will be in handling concurrency inherent in much of the operating system.

420 Network and Web Programming (3)

(PR: CSC 1231-1231L • RE: CSC 336) This course is designed to introduce the student to how programs communicate over a network. Particular emphases is given to sockets programming, servlets, and web services. This class is primarily a hands-on programming course involving a series of programming projects designed to practice the areas of emphasis. (Every third year)

425 Software Development I (2)

(PR: CSC 1232-1232L • RE: CSC 411) A hands-on introduction to the basic concepts of software development as principles are applied to medium-sized software projects. The larger part of this course is manifested as a team project that follows a software development methodology whose result is a complete and practical software system. Students are introduced to software development tools and environments as well as various development methodologies and ethics in software development.

426 Software Development II (2)

(PR: CSC 1232-1232L • RE: CSC 411) A continuation of CSC 425.

430 Artificial Intelligence (3)

(PR: CSC 1232-1232L • RE: CSC 336) This course will introduce the student to a wide variety of concepts and ideas from artificial intelligence through (1) practice programming exercises; (2) readings from the text and a variety of journals; (3) interactive intelligent agents distributed through the web and other sources; and (4) lively classroom discussions. Using various components of the course, students will conduct critical analysis of current literature and formulate their own arguments to support their view of the discipline. (Every third year)

432 Theory of Computation (3)

(PR: CSC 336 and MATH 199 or 308) A survey of the mathematical foundations of what can and cannot be computed by introducing various classes of languages and their corresponding computational machines. The major categories of complexity for computation are introduced and analyzed including regular expressions, context-free languages, recursively enumerable sets, and intractable problems. (Every third year)

442 Directed Studies (1-3)

(PR: JR or SR status and minimum of 9 hrs. in CSC) Course designed to allow the student to pursue a topic of special interest under the direction of a member of the department.

444 Internship (1-6)

446 Readings (1-9)

448 Research (1-9)

450 Seminar (1-9)

452 Special Projects (1-9)

458 Special Topics (1-6)