Connecticut State Colleges and Universities
Charter Oak State College Official Catalog


The Physics concentration is designed to help students understand the concepts of classical and modern physics while also developing their ability to solve quantitative problems in these areas. It provides opportunity for students to acquire the skills necessary to perform experimental work. The program should develop the student's ability to communicate, in form and content, both verbally and in writing, the results of scientific work. The Physics concentration offers a background suitable for students planning to pursue graduate study or careers in industry, research or teaching. It also provides a solid foundation for any career requiring analytical reasoning.

Concentration Requirements

A concentration designated as Physics may be established in one of two ways:

Option 1: Completion of a minimum of 36 credits, at the appropriate levels, which should include four semesters of General Physics with Lab, plus credits for two years of college-level mathematics through Calculus and Differential Equations or other advanced mathematics. The upper level component should include Modern Physics and Quantum Mechanics.

Calculus Based Physics (four semesters with lab) 16 cr
Modern Physics3 cr
Quantum Mechanic3 cr
Calculus I, II, and III9 cr
Differential Equations3 cr
Physics Electives (as needed)0-4 cr
PHY 499: Capstone3 cr

Option 2: The GRE Subject Test in Physics, evaluated at 24 credits (15 lower, 9 upper), at least 12 additional credits with 3 credits at the upper level in faculty approved courses, and capstone.

Student Learning Outcomes

Students who graduate with a concentration in Physics will be able to:

  1. demonstrate an understanding of the concept of classical and modern physics, by explaining:
    1. the fundamental laws of classical physics, their consequences and limitations, by solving qualitative and quantitative problems using Newton's Laws, Maxwell's Equations, and the Laws of Thermodynamics;
    2. the fundamental laws of modern physics and their consequences by solving qualitative and quantitative problems using the laws of Special Relativity and Quantum Theory;
  2. formulate and solve quantitative problems by identifying the conceptual underpinnings and determining how relevant physical quantities are related;
  3. experimentally investigate physical phenomena by performing experiments in classical and modern physics using appropriate instruments, analysis of data and interpretation of results; and
  4. communicate, in form and content, both verbally and in writing, the results of scientific work by writing reports of laboratory experiments and by orally presenting scientific findings.