COLLEGE OF ARTS AND SCIENCES
PHYSICS seeks to understand the properties and behavior of matter
and energy, the fundamental elements of nature. Equipped with tools
and skills to solve complex problems, students can explore the world
and the universe beyond—from the smallest of atoms and nuclei
(particle physics) to the cosmic scale of the galaxies (astrophysics).
Students examine natural phenomena, obtain a broad education in
science, learn the historical development of physical science and the
application of physical laws, and become knowledgeable scientists
with a deep appreciation for the arts and the humanities.
Bachelor of Science (BS) in:
Applied Physics/Natural Science
Applied Physics/Alternate Concentration
The Xavier Advantage:
Work side-by-side with expert faculty on research.
Use sophisticated equipment, including an evaporation
deposition system and a holographic optical trapping system.
Prepare for a career, or graduate or medical school, in a profession
expected to grow faster than average in the coming years.
Join the Physics Club for academic and social events with
peers and faculty.
Xavier physics graduates go on to:
U.S. Department of State
Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory
Argonne National Laboratory
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Learn more www.xavier.edu/physics
Ask us firstname.lastname@example.org
Visit campus www.xavier.edu/visit
XAVIER UNIVERSITY: A JESUIT CATHOLIC UNIVERSITY IN CINCINNATI, OHIO
RECOMMENDED CLASS SCHEDULES
BACHELOR OF SCIENCE [BS] IN PHYSICS
These schedules serve as a guideline for progress toward a degree. Students should consult with their academic advisor.
First Semester Sem. Hrs. Second Semester Sem. Hrs.
PHYS 170, University Physics I 3 PHYS 172, University Physics II 3
PHYS 171, Explorations in Physics I 1 PHYS 173, Explorations in Physics II 1
MATH 170, Calculus I 4 MATH 171, Calculus II 4
PHIL 100, Ethics 3 CSCI elective 3
Foreign Language elective 3 Foreign Language elective 3
ENGL 101 OR 115, Engl Comp/Rhetoric 3
Total 14 Total 17
PHYS 242, Electronics I 3 PHYS 340, Modern Physics II 3
PHYS 243, Electronics I Lab 1 PHYS 341, Modern Physics II Lab 1
PHYS 330, Modern Physics I 3 MATH 230, Differential Equations 3
PHYS 331, Modern Physics I Lab 1 PHIL 290, Theory of Knowledge 3
MATH 220, Calculus III 4 Fine Arts elective 3
THEO 111, Theological Foundations 3 History elective II 3
History elective I 3
Total 18 Total 16
PHYS 350, Theoretical Mechanics 3 PHYS 382, Thermodynamics 3
PHYS 360, Electromagnetism I 3 PHYS 364, Physical Optics 3
PHYS 355, Advanced Physics Lab 2 PHYS 365, Physical Optics Lab 1
Mathematics elective 3 Literature elective 3
CHEM/BIOL elective + Lab 4/5 Theo Scrip/Hist OR Christ Sys elective 3
Total 15/16 Total 13
PHYS 376, Quantum Mechanics I 3 PHYS 377, Quantum Mechanics II 3
PHYS 395, Physics Research 1 PHYS 398, Physics Thesis 1
PHYS, MATH, OR CSCI elective 1 3 Physics elective - Capstone 3
Philosophy elective 3 Theology Ethics OR Rel/Cult elective 3
Social Science elective 3 Social Science elective 3
ENGL/CLAS/SPAN/FREN 205 Lit & Moral Imagination 3 E/RS Focus elective 3
Total 16 Total 16
Scheduling notes: 1 Not required, but strongly recommended for those who plan to attend graduate school.
• Consult the undergraduate Core Curriculum requirements.
• The E/RS Focus elective requirement may be used to satisfy another element of the Core or the major.
• A minimum of 120 credit hours is required for the degree.
• Students are required to take 6 hours of approved courses representing two different disciplines to fulfill the Core Diversity requirement.
For additional degree class schedule information, see www.xavier.edu/physics.
The Department of Physics offers the Bachelor of Science (BS)
in Physics and Applied Physics with concentrations in engineering,
natural sciences, or an alternate concentration designed by
Three times since 1982, the Xavier class valedictorian has been a
physics major. The national average for the number of bachelor’s
degrees in physics granted annually per institution (by BS/
BA granting institutions) is 4.3. Xavier’s physics program has
averaged 8.4 per year over the past 40 years.
Physics: Students learn the techniques of mathematical and
experimental physics relevant to pursuing industrial research or
engineering careers; teaching physics; or going on to graduate
work in any of the varied fields of physics, astronomy, space
science, biophysics, computer science, engineering, geophysics,
medicine or law.
Applied Physics: Majors develop a strong foundation in physics
and add a breadth of knowledge across sub-disciplines of
engineering or many other areas by customizing a program with
one of the following concentrations:
Engineering: Consists of three years of study at Xavier,
followed by a fourth year at the University of Cincinnati
(UC) School of Engineering. Most students, however, elect
to stay at Xavier for their fourth year and take engineering
courses at UC through the consortium. Students wishing to
continue education in a field of engineering can ultimately
complete a master’s degree at UC. Fields of specialization
include: aerospace, civil, mechanical, electrical and computer,
industrial and material science engineering.
Natural Sciences: Designed as an alternative to the
natural sciences major, and allowing students to study
physics while preparing for medical school, this program may
also be of interest to those pursuing careers in biophysics,
biomedical engineering, medical physics and other health
Alternate Concentration: Designed for students desiring
a strong foundation in physics while also pursuing study in
other fields, this program enables students to minor in any
other discipline, such as English, art, business, theology
and so on.
The physics faculty is committed to superior teaching, supported
by a 13-to-1 student-faculty ratio and close faculty-student
interaction promoting discussion and exploration.
The physics program is located in the Carl H. Lindner Family
Physics Building, which is part of the Xavier Science Center that
includes Logan Hall (chemistry) and Albers Hall (biology).
Lindner Hall houses lecture rooms, classrooms, faculty offices
and a variety of research facilities, including laboratories for
electronics, holography, optical trapping, quantum optics,
device physics, superconductivity, atomic and nuclear physics,
The building also includes an astronomical observatory and a
complete machine shop.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment
of physicists and astronomers is expected to grow 16 percent,
faster than the average for all occupations, through 2018.
In addition to pursuing graduate study, physics/applied physics
majors are prepared for a range of employment opportunities in
science, industry and research. Here are some of the positions
held by Xavier physics graduates:
• Attaché, U.S. Department of State
• Comptroller, ITT Corp.
• University professor
• High-school teacher
• Researcher, Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory
• Researcher, Argonne National Laboratory
• Medical doctor
• Vice president, IBM
• Vice president, Macy’s
• Product developer, Procter & Gamble
• Nuclear naval officer
• NASA engineer
• Venture capitalist
• Executive officer, Army Corps of Engineers
More than 40 percent of graduates have earned a doctorate
or are presently studying in a doctoral program. Xavier physics
graduates have gone on to graduate programs at:
• Johns Hopkins
• Ohio State
• University of Michigan
• Michigan State
• Georgia Institute of Technology
• University of California-Berkeley
A dedicated student lounge offers a place to relax, socialize and
study. Students also have extensive use of computer facilities and
wireless network access.
Physics majors are encouraged to work side-by-side with faculty
in one of the department’s numerous research programs. The
department also provides funding to support student research
activities during the academic year as well as fellowships to
support summer research efforts.
Every physics major must complete a senior research project
under the supervision of a faculty member as a requirement of
graduation. Recent student projects have included:
u Enhancement of two-dimensional images using optical spatial filtering
u The fabrication and measurement of normal metal tunnel junctions
u Development of a potocol to study the conformational stability of protein
using the model protein cytochrome c
u Ambipolar diffusion in star forming regions
All undergraduate physics/applied physics majors are members of the Physics
Club, which provides opportunities to meet, socialize and discuss a wide range
of topics, from class work to world politics.
Students who demonstrate excellence in the study of physics are invited to join
Sigma Pi Sigma ∑∏∑, the national physics honor society.
Opened in August 2010, the Conaton Learning Commons is the heart of
the James E. Hoff, S.J., Academic Quad on Xavier’s campus. The Commons
provides students with the facilities, technologies and services to help them
master essential skills and gain a competitive advantage in their respective
disciplines and careers.
u Features 84,000 square feet, five floors and 24/7 environment.
u Equips students with all the latest academic and technological tools in a
u Offers ample space for individual study and group work in a wireless setting
with access to plasma screens, movable white boards—and a café.
u Houses centers for academic advising and career services and labs for math,
writing and modern languages.
Resources include a digital media lab, classrooms, auditorium and a centralized
location for reference and technology assistance.
The foundation of Xavier’s success is its commitment to its Jesuit heritage.
The Core Curriculum embodies Xavier’s mission and philosophy of education
and serves as a valuable foundation for all undergraduate students. Within
the Core, the four-course Ethics/Religion and Society (E/RS) Focus fosters
students’ understanding of socially significant issues through study of the
humanities, especially literature, philosophy and theology, as well as the social
and natural sciences. Along with courses in their major, Xavier students also
take Core courses in: cultural diversity, English composition, fine arts, foreign
language, history, literature, mathematics, philosophy, science, social science
Core Curriculum: Minimum 64 credit hours
Major in physics: 46 semester hours of specific physics courses, 15 semester
hours of specific math courses, and four semester hours of biology or
Major in applied physics/natural sciences: These programs combine 32 or
more semester hours of courses in physics, 27 semester hours in chemistry and
biology, and 15 hours in mathematics to provide an interdisciplinary program
fulfilling the requirements necessary for acceptance to medical school as well
as other career options.
Major in applied physics/engineering: This program exchanges 12 semester
hours of physics courses with 12 hours of program electives, including biology,
chemistry, mathematics, computer science and engineering courses taken at
the University of Cincinnati through the consortium. Specific programs are
designed in consultation with the department chair.
Each program also includes a senior research project, with a recommended
sequence of courses, as a requirement for graduation.
XAVIER AT A GLANCE
Founded in 1831, Xavier University is a Jesuit
Catholic university in Cincinnati, Ohio, annually
ranked among the nation’s best universities.
Its three colleges offer 85 undergraduate majors,
54 minors and 11 graduate programs to 7,019
total students, including 4,368 undergraduates.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
OFFICE OF ADMISSION
DEPARTMENT OF PHYSICS
Marco Fatuzzo, PhD, Chair
On Campus: 110 Lindner Hall
Office of Admission
3800 Victory Parkway
Cincinnati, Ohio 45207-5131
Xavier is an equal opportunity educator and employer. Information in this brochure is correct as of 11/12.