Physics  Life Sciences
The paradigm below is one example of how you can begin your studies in this major. Consult your advisor on plans of study to complete the major. Students may use their elective credits to explore other majors or to enroll in skillbuilding courses in mathematics, reading, writing and/or study skills. With planning, students may use these credits to complete a minor, enroll in a practicum or internship, or study abroad.
Calculusready Students






NonCalculusready Students (Begin major coursework in year 2)






The example laid out above is one of many ways to complete the first year in this program; there are a number of options that students may exercise to tailor this major to their strengths and interests. Students wishing to enter this program should strenuously attempt to prepare themselves to place into (at least) M 151 Calculus I in their first semester, and to place into E 220. Students should be aware that almost all upper division physics courses are offered in alternate years, and should plan accordingly and consult early and often with a physics department advisor. Students may use their elective credits to explore a second major, complete a minor, or enroll in a practicum, internship, or skillbuilding courses. It is the responsibility of the student to complete all major and university requirements. Students interested in this major should consult with the Physics Department chair as early as possible and refer to the university catalog for additional information regarding the program.
The major paradigm offered above is the optimal pathway to completion of the major. However, several factors affect a student's ability to follow this specific pathway, including timing of a student's decision to major, course availability, course demand, course scheduling conflicts, and faculty availability. Therefore, a student may not follow this optimal pathway to completion of the major. A student may use the paradigm as a resource and preparation guide, but a student's academic advisor is the best resource for planning course schedules.
▪Students enrolled in the Lasallian Honors Program should consult the program director for the appropriate sequence of courses.
(From the 1315 Catalog)
A. Physics Core
All of the following courses:
(Either M148 & M149 or M151)
C131  General Chemistry I (3 credits)
This course covers the fundamental principles upon which the study of chemistry is based. Stoichiometry, atomic structure, molecular structure, chemical bonding, behavior of gases, kinetic molecular theory, properties of solutions, chemical reactivity and thermochemistry are included. Three hours of lecture per week.
Offered fall semester. Prerequisites: M151 placement, or M149, or minimum grade of C in M148 with concurrent enrollment in M149; concurrent with C133. Students who complete C131/C133 may not enroll in C110.
C133  General Chemistry I Laboratory (1 credit)
This laboratory is an inquirybased approach to understanding the process of doing chemistry. Each week, as a team member with a specific role working for a consulting company, the student receives a letter from a ﾓchemical clientﾔ requesting the solution to a chemical problem. It is the responsibility of the team to design a solution, collect data, and report the results to the client in report form.
Offered fall semester. Prerequisite: concurrent with C131
C142  General Chemistry II (3 credits)
This course includes the study of the chemistry of redox reactions, chemical kinetics, chemical equilibrium theory, electrochemistry, chemical dynamics, organic chemistry, phase behavior and solution chemistry. Three hours of lecture per week.
Offered spring semester. Prerequisites: minimum grade of C in C131/133 and concurrent with C144.
C144  General Chemistry II Laboratory (1 credit)
This laboratory is an inquirybased approach to understanding the process of doing chemistry. Each week, as a team member with a specific role working for a consulting company, the student receives a letter from a ﾓchemical clientﾔ requesting the solution to a chemical problem. It is the responsibility of the team to design a solution, collect data, and report the results to the client in report form.
Offered spring semester. Prerequisites: minimum grade of C in C131/133 and concurrent with C142.
M148  Calculus with Precalculus I (4 credits)
This course, followed by M149, provides a twosemester sequence that covers the material of a traditional Calculus I course along with builtin coverage of precalculus topics. Topics in M148 include: solving equations, functions, classes of functions (polynomial, rational, algebraic, exponential, logarithmic), right triangle trigonometry, angle measure, limits and continuity, derivatives, rules for derivatives. Credit is not granted for this course and M151 or courses equivalent to college algebra and college trigonometry.
Prerequisite: mathematics competency satisfied.
M149  Calculus with Precalculus II (4 credits)
This course completes the twosemester sequence that begins with M148, and together with M148 provides a twosemester sequence that covers the material of a traditional Calculus I course along with builtin coverage of precalculus topics. Topics in M149 include: trigonometric and inverse trigonometric functions, rules for derivatives, applications of derivatives, and definite and indefinite integrals. Credit is not granted for this course and M151.
Prerequisite: M148.
This course provides an introduction to the differential and integral calculus. Topics include: the concepts of function, limit, continuity, derivative, definite and indefinite integrals, and an introduction to transcendental functions. Credit is not granted for this course and M148 and M149.
Prerequisites: departmental placement or courses equivalent to college algebra and college trigonometry.
M152  Calculus II (4 credits)
This course is a continuation of M151. Some of the topics of M151 are revisited at a higher mathematical level. Topics include: applications of the definite integral, techniques of integration, improper integrals, introduction to differential equations, numerical methods for integration and approximation, curves in the plane given parametrically, polar coordinates, and vectors in 2space and 3space.
Prerequisite: Minimum grade of C in either M149 or M151 or departmental placement.
M251  Calculus III (4 credits)
This course continues the development of Calculus from M151 and M152. Topics include: sequences and series, and differentiation and integration of vectorvalued functions and functions of several variables.
Offered fall semester. Prerequisite: Minimum grade of C in M152.
P201  Introductory Physics I (3 credits)
This course is the first half of a twosemester introductory, calculusbased, physics course for all students planning to enter one of the scientific professions. It covers the fundamental principles of mechanics, oscillations, and fluid mechanics.
Offered fall semester. Prerequisites: M149 or M151 (M151 may be concurrent) and concurrent with P202.
P202  Introductory Physics I Laboratory (1 credit)
One threehour laboratory is held each week covering topics studied in the lectures.
Offered fall semester. Concurrent with P201.
P211  Introductory Physics II (3 credits)
This course is the second half of a twosemester introductory, calculusbased, physics course for all students planning to enter one of the scientific professions. It covers the fundamental principles of waves, physical and geometrical optics, and electricity and magnetism.
Offered spring semester. Prerequisites: P201/202; concurrent with P212.
P212  Introductory Physics II Laboratory (1 credit)
One threehour laboratory is held each week covering topics studied in the lectures.
Offered spring semester. Concurrent with P211.
P304  Introduction to Modern Physics with Laboratory (4 credits)
This course considers atomic and nuclear physics and studies the experimental evidence that led to the development of the theories of quantum mechanics. The special theory of relativity, wave particle duality, and atomic structure are also examined. Students meet for three lectures and one threehour lab per week.
Offered in alternate fall semesters. Prerequisites: M152 and P211/212.
B. All of the following courses:
B110  Botany and Zoology I (3 credits)
Emphasis is placed upon photosynthesis and respiration, and physiological processes including nutrition, gas exchange, transportation and regulation of body fluids. It is an investigation of the structure and function of both plants and animals and intended as an introductory overview. Three lecture/discussion periods are held weekly.
Offered fall semester. Concurrent registration in B111 is required.
B111  Botany and Zoology I Laboratory (1 credit )
These laboratory studies complement the concepts presented in B110. Investigations including physiological and molecular relationships and interactions are the basis for the course. The lab meets for one threehour session each week.
Offered fall semester. Concurrent registration in B110 is required.
B120  Botany and Zoology II (3 credits)
Emphasis is placed on plant and animal phyla, organs and organ systems of both plants and animals. Three lecture/discussion periods are held weekly.
Offered spring semester. Concurrent registration in B121 is required.
B121  Botany and Zoology II Laboratory (1 credit)
Laboratory studies complementing B120 include plant and animal hormones and reproduction, bacterial techniques, and phylogenetic investigations. The lab meets for one threehour session each week.
Offered spring semester. Concurrent registration in B120 is required.
C321  Organic Chemistry I (3 credits)
Organized by chemical functional groups and reaction mechanisms, this course presents both classical and modern theories of organic chemistry while rigorously exploring chemical structure reactivity relationships. The fundamentals of nomenclature, physical properties, chemical structure, stereochemistry, organicreactions, mechanisms, synthesis, purification, and compound characterization are emphasized. Biological, medical, and familiar realworld examples are discussed in the context of organic chemistry.
Offered fall semester. Prerequisites: C131/133 and C142/144; concurrent with C323
C323  Organic Chemistry I Laboratory (1 credit)
This laboratory complements the lecture segment of the course by demonstrating and utilizing the concepts learned in the classroom to acquire, isolate, and characterize desired organic reaction products. In this laboratory, students become familiar with the equipment, glassware, techniques, and expertise required to implement the chemistry proposed on paper, to optimize it, and to communicate it to the chemical community. A practical context for the developed chemical intuition is provided.
Offered fall semester. Prerequisites: C131/133 and C142/44; concurrent with C321
M252  Linear Algebra (4 credits)
This course provides an introduction to techniques and applications of linear algebra. Topics include: systems of linear equations, matrices, determinants, Euclidean nspace, real vector spaces, basis and dimension, linear transformations, inner products, and eigenvalues and eigenvectors.
Offered spring semester. Prerequisite: Minimum grade of C in M152.
P314  Digital Systems with Laboratory (4 credits)
This is a course on digital electronics and its applications in modern electronic instrumentation. Emphasis is placed on gaining experience with the use of individual digital integrated circuits and programmable arrays. The course covers Boolean algebra, simple gates, combinational and sequential logic circuits, counters, shift registers, state machines, astable multivibrators, encoding, decoding, multiplexing, and conversion between analog and digital representations. Coursework involves both circuit simulation and actual hardware implementations. The course targets applications in the natural sciences, mathematics, and computer science. Three hours of lecture and one threehour laboratory per week.
Offered in alternate fall semesters. Prerequisites: P211/212.
P340  Classical Mechanics (3 credits)
This course is an analytical study of Newtonian mechanics, including the harmonic oscillator, central force motion, non linear oscillators, and an introduction to the Lagrangian formulation.
Offered in alternate spring semesters. Prerequisites: M152 and P201/202.
P390/391  Advanced Laboratory I, II (1 credit each)
Up to four credits may be earned in Advanced Laboratory (P390, P391, P490, P491), one hour each semester. This course is generally taken during junior year. Selected experiments from the following areas are included: mechanics, thermodynamics, radiation physics, optics, electronics, electricity and magnetism, and solid state physics. For each credit received the student selects a minimum of eight experiments spread over these areas. Typical experiments performed would be the FranckHertz experiment, photoelectric effect, Xray diffraction, thermoluminescent dosimetry, positronelectron annihilation, neutron activation analysis, thermionic emission, the Hall effect, nuclear magnetic resource. Michelson interferometer, forced harmonic oscillator, air gyroscope, velocity of light, Rutherford scattering.
This course is offered in alternative spring semesters or as needed for majors.
C. Three of the following courses:
B310  Genetics with Laboratory (4 credits)
The principles underlying hereditary variation in living organisms are the focus of this course. These topics are centered about the transmission of hereditary traits, cytogenetics, basic gene concepts, introductory molecular biology, population genetics, and the genetic basis of evolution. Three class meetings and one threehour laboratory period each week with several laboratory periods replaced with a onehour lecture/discussion.
Offered spring semester. Prerequisites: B110/111 and B120/121
B311  Cell Biology with Laboratory (3 credits)
This course is a study of the cell at the ultrastructural, biochemical, and physiological levels. Special consideration is given to respiration, photosynthesis, secretion, cytoskeleton, cell cycle, cell growth, movement, membranes, and other organelles. Two lectures and one threehour lab weekly with two laboratory periods replaced with a onehour lecture/discussion.
Offered fall semester. Prerequisites: B110/111, B120/121, and C321 (C321 may be concurrent).
B313  Physiology with Laboratory (4 credits)
This course explores the functions of the body systems of humans. The interrelationships of organ systems processes to maintain homeostasis are emphasized. Laboratory sessions provide experiences with procedures and instrumentation to gather data that highlight the function of the body systems. Course topics are particularly relevant to the health sciences. The class meets for three lectures and one threehour lab weekly.
Offered spring semester. Prerequisites: B110/111 and B120/121 Recommended: C142/144.
B409  Biochemistry with Laboratory (4 credits)
The principal concepts of biochemistry are the focus of this course. The major themes include the relationship between the threedimensional structure of proteins and their biological function and the chemistry and metabolism of biologically important macromolecules including proteins, carbohydrates, lipids and nucleic acids.
Offered spring semester. Prerequisites: B110/111, B120/121, C321, and C322 (C322 may be concurrent with consent of instructor).
B450  Radiation Biology (3 credits)
The effects of radiation, particularly ionizing radiation, on molecules, cells, tissues, and the whole organism are studied. A brief background of the nature, sources and absorption of radioactive energy is presented. Some emphasis is also placed on the understanding and use of modern instrumentation and techniques available for biological research and fluorescence analysis. The class meets for three lectures weekly.
Offered fall semester. Prerequisites: B110/111 and B120/121. B310 is strongly recommended.
D. Recommended electives:
C322  Organic Chemistry II with Laboratory (4 credits)
A continuation of C321/323, this course builds upon the fundamentals presented in C321/323. It is organized by functional groups and reaction mechanisms, while integrating this knowledge into chemical synthesis. Additional topics include aromaticity, NMR and IR spectroscopy, mass spectrometry, carbonyl chemistry, synthetic strategy, and advanced CC bond forming reactions.
Offered spring semester. Prerequisite: minimum grade of C in C321 and C323
CS106  Introduction to Programming for Sciences (3 credits)
This course teaches introductory programming within a problem solving framework applicable to the sciences. The course emphasizes technical programming, introductory data storage techniques, and the processing of scientific data. There is an emphasis on designing and writing correct code using an easy to learn scientific programming language such as Python. Advanced excel spreadsheet concepts will be taught and utilized during the programming process.
Prerequisite: mathematics competency.
M341  Differential Equations with Applications (3 credits)
This course provides an introduction to the theory, methods, and applications of ordinary differential equations. Topics include: first order differential equations, linear differential equations with constant coefficients, and systems of differential equations.
Prerequisites: M251 and M252.
P344  Mathematical Methods for Science (3 credits)
This course serves physics majors as well as those mathematics majors whose area of interest is analysis. Topics include: Fourier series, complex numbers, analytic functions, and derivatives and integrals of complex functions. Other topics may include Laurent series and residues, partial differential equations, and boundary value problems.
Offered in alternate spring semesters. Prerequisites: M251 and M252.
P380  Quantum Mechanics I (3 credits)
This course expands on the ideas of quantum mechanics introduced in P304, and develops the necessary formalisms and tools for further work. Topics include the Schr�dinger equation in its time independent and timedependent forms, an introduction to operators, squarewell and harmonic oscillator potentials, scattering, the hydrogen atom, angular momentum, and perturbation theory.
Offered in alternate fall semesters. Prerequisites: M252 and P304.
E. Elective Courses
P356  Introduction to Scientific Computing (3 credits)
A course designed to provide undergraduates students with the basic computational tools and techniques needed for their study in science and mathematics. Students learn by doing projects that solve problems in physical sciences and mathematics using symbolic and compiled languages with visualization. By use of the Sage problemsolving environment and the Python programming language, the students learn programming and numerical analysis in parallel with scientific problem solving.
Also offered as CS356 and M356. Prerequisites: CS106, M251, M252, and ST232.
P360  Electricity and Magnetism I (3 credits)
This course is an introduction to the physics of electricity and magnetism at the intermediate undergraduate level. It examines the experimental evidence that led to the development of the theories of electromagnetism (electrostatics, polarization and dielectrics, magnetostatics and magnetization, electrodynamics, electromagnetic waves, potentials and fields, and radiation) and the development of Maxwellﾒs laws. The mathematical analysis of electromagnetic situations uses vector calculus to a great degree, so students also are exposed to working with a variety of vector operators.
Offered in alternate spring semesters. Prerequisites: M251 and P211/212.
P370  Microcontroller Organization and Architecture with Laboratory (4 credits)
The course covers the PIC18F4520 and Arduino microcontrollers as a paradigmatic microprocessor; other devices may be used as well. A brief survey of number systems, logic gates and Boolean algebra are followed by a study of the structure of microprocessors and the architecture of microprocessor systems. Programming microprocessors and the use of an assembler and a higherlevel language (C) is covered. Peripheral interface devices are studied along with some wired logic circuits. Students gain experience through the use of microprocessor simulators and hardware implementations.
Offered in alternate spring semesters. Prerequisite: CS106 and P314.
P410  Physics Directed Research (2 credits)
This course is intended for all physics majors; it is recommended for majors in physics science education. It may be taken in addition to or in place of P390 Advanced Laboratory. Its purpose is to provide students an opportunity to explore a topic in physics in depth over a period of at least one semester under the guidance of a member of the physics faculty, and thereby demonstrate understanding of a particular concept or focused set of concepts at the advanced undergraduate level. It is also intended to give students projectbased experience in experimental design, record keeping, and scientific writing.
Prerequisites: minimum junior standing and P304.
P456  Scientific Computing Project (1 credit)
This course is required for all Scientific Computing minors. Its purpose is to provide students the opportunity to develop a research project or participate in an ongoing research project under direction of a faculty advisor. The project must combine scientific computing tools and techniques with a substantive scientific or engineering problem. It is also intended to give students experience in experimental design, recordkeeping, and scientific writing.
Also offered as CS456 and M456. Prerequisites: consent of both the faculty advisor and the minor supervisor, and CS/M/P 356.