According to Physics Department Chairman Prof. Kevin Bedell, the sequence of courses will provide students with a rigorous basic training in the fundamental physics principles, as well as a grounding in physical thinking, problem-solving techniques and experimental skills. The four required courses for freshmen and sophomores will be identical to those for physics majors, and all will have labs.
Bedell said that the minor can enhance the education of undergraduates majoring in the natural and physical sciences.
"Physics is one of the most basic of all sciences and is central to a wide range of disciplines," he said. "It's a way of looking at the world that orders it, when there appears to be no order. A physics minor can serve as a good complement to one's academic major from an interdisciplinary perspective and it provides students with a solid scientific foundation for other majors."
Bedell added that, with its prerequisites in mathematics and a strong component in computer technology, the physics minor also offers "more options down the road for students who are interested in graduate work."
"The addition of a physics minor is part of an ongoing movement to strengthen the department," said Fr. Barth. "It ties in with the University's investment in renovating Higgins Hall, which will provide a first-rate facility for the Physics Department."
Physics is the 10th minor to be introduced since the A&S Educational Policy Committee adopted guidelines last fall allowing individual departments to offer them. Previously, students could elect to take a second major, or choose a sequence from the A&S Interdisciplinary Minors Program, which consists of six courses taught by various departments.
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