Physics is the study of matter and energy and its interactions, therefore, physics describes the fundamental nature of our reality in this existence.
It is the most basic of the sciences and the foundation of many aspects of our modern civilization. Look around, you would be hard pressed to find pieces of technology i.e., micro and nanoelectronics, lasers, solar panels, nuclear power plants, as well as medical devices, that were not at one time research tools of, or, examples of some fundamental principles discovered and explored by physicists.
As our world continues on its juggernaut of unstoppable technical progress, sustaining economic activity will require increased numbers of individuals educated at higher and higher levels of technical skill.
There is no level higher than that of physics, thus, studying physics is great preparation for any endeavor that you may desire to undertake. On the other hand, you may just have an insatiable curiosity about how the universe works! Studying physics is the best way to satisfy this curiosity and to prepare for the challenges of life in the 21st century.
Three degree options are available:
1. B.S. in physics: This option prepares students to pursue advanced degrees in physics and engineering or to immediately work in science research and development. Students in this stream take 61 credit hours of physics courses, with related courses in mathematics, computer science and required humanities courses.
2. B.S. physics (applied track): The applied physics option prepares students to pursue a more diversified career in many science-related areas such as computers, environment, management, government agencies, and research laboratories. In addition to 52 credit hours of physics courses with a strong emphasis on hands-on skills, applied physics students take courses in business and management, computer science and humanities to assist in their future careers.
3. B.S. in science education with a major in physics education. The Teacher Certification option prepares a student to teach physics and related science courses in grades K-12. Teacher Certification students take a total of 120 credit hours for their degree with 34 credit hours of Physics and 46 credit hours in Education. The remaining credit hours are from mathematics and required humanities courses.
(In order to see a full list of the degree requirements use the following links.) 2008-2011 Course Catalog
(College of Arts & Sciences, pages 57 - 121, .pdf file)Online Catalog
If you would like to know how a major in physics might fulfill your interests, please contact the FAMU Physics Department to learn more about the various programs so that together you can design a program to fit your specific needs.
The Physics department offers students the opportunity for hands-on learning in a number of newly-established undergraduate laboratories. Modern equipment and exciting experiments are available in optics, electronics and condensed matter labs. The department has a newly-remodeled astrophysics lab with a fully automated observatory including a remote control kiosk at the Tallahassee Challenger Center. Beginning in Spring 2007 the department will offer an undergraduate introduction to Biophysics.
Physics undergraduate students at FAMU are strongly encouraged to work on research projects with faculty members. Research assistantships are often available throughout the term and during the summer months. Often, by working with various professors throughout their undergraduate degree, students can get a good feeling for what areas of research would interest them for a career. Experience is also available with Research Experience for Undergraduates at major universities with ties to FAMU.