B.A. in Physics
Research the fundamental laws of nature, leading to new technologies and solutions.
There are two paths to study physics at the University of Mississippi. Choose between the Bachelor of Arts in physics and the Bachelor of Science in physics. The B.A. degree provides a broad training in physics and allows more flexibility for combinations with other areas of study. Students take advanced mathematics and have lots of physics electives to pursue their own interests.
Physics majors obtain a broad understanding of the physical laws of nature, and develop excellent skills in critical thinking, problem solving, and research. The Jamie Whitten National Center for Physical Acoustics is a world-class research facility that provides research opportunities for students.
A liberal arts education prepares graduates to deal with complexity and change. They gain key skills in communication, problem-solving, and working with diverse groups. Related careers in physics include education, medicine, business, quality assurance, systems safety, military, energy resources, and law.
Physics majors have the opportunity to become involved in cutting edge research projects with faculty in the fields of acoustics, atmospheric physics, condensed-matter physics, high-energy physics, gravitational physics and astrophysics. Students receive personalized attention and participate in some of the most exciting developments in the discipline.
B.A. in Physics Faculty
The University of Mississippi's Department of Physics and Astronomy includes faculty with expertise in atmospheric physics, gravitational physics, condensed matter physics, physical acoustics, and experimental and theoretical high energy physics.
A major in physics for the B.A. degree requires 29 semester hours of physics classes. Students must follow one of two tracks:
- Phys 211, 212, 221, 222, and 303; or
- Phys 213, 214, 223, 224, and 303. Students may satisfy the Phys 211-212 or the 213-214 requirements by demonstrating a high level of proficiency on an exam, but will need to complete the 29 hours of physics by taking additional higher-level Phys courses. Both tracks require Math 261, Math 262, at least 16 hours of approved physics courses at the 300 level or higher, and must include at least 6 hours of approved physics courses at the 400 level or above. Of the 6 hours of physics courses at the 400 level and above, at least 2 but no more than 3 hours must be chosen from Phys 461, 463 and/or 464. The special B.A. physics curriculum for pre-medical students uses the same two tracks, but specifies that the 16 hours of physics electives must be chosen from the following group of courses: Phys 317, 319, 321, 413, 417, and 422.
Admission requirements for the Bachelor of Arts in Physics is the same as the general undergraduate admission requirements.
Chioma (2012) was an honors student, president of Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority, president of Increasing Minority Access to Graduate Education (IMAGE), a tutor for student athletes, and a physics teaching assistant. She had numerous research experiences: Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory; pulmonary and critical care medicine research at Johns Hopkins that resulted in a publication; and research with faculty at the National Center for Physical Acoustics at UM. Her honors thesis with Dr. Cecille Labuda focused on temperature-time profiles induced by acoustic radiation force impulse imaging ultrasound exposure. After graduation Chioma attended Duke University School of Medicine where she was awarded the Howard Hughes Medical Institute Medical Fellowship and researched chemo-resistant ovarian cancer. She is currently completing an internal medicine-pediatrics residency program at Tulane University.
Why study physics at UM?
"A degree in physics offers a great opportunity to engage in complex thought processes and problem solving. It taught me how to be an abstract thinker and to use science as a tool to unlock my full potential as a learner. It has so many applications in the real world, including the field of medicine and renewable energy. It prepared me well for my path in medicine and can open the door to any career you choose to pursue."
Join the Society of Physics Students, Sigma Pi Sigma honors society, or the UM Women in Physics organization.