All prospective physics majors should consult with a facutly member in the department as early as possible. Prospective physics majors should try to take Physics 111-112 and its associated laboratory in their first year, along with a differential calculus course (if needed) and mathematics 122 (Integral Calculus). Physics 101, 105, and 107 may not be used for credit towards a major or minor in physics, but they may be used for general degree credits.

Honors in Physics

  1. Courses required: those listed for the B.S. degree with a major in physics, plus Physics 495-496, Honors Tutorial.
  2. A research project in physics, usually involving a topic related to Physics Faculty research. The Honors Project must be approved by the Department of Physics and must follow the department and college guidelines and schedule for honors work. A creditable thesis must be presented to the Department at the end of the academic year.

Physics: Faculty and Staff


Brent K. Hoffmeister. 1996. Chair. The Van Vleet Fellow in Physics. B.A., Wabash College; Ph.D., Washington University. (Ultrasonics, medical physics.)

Associate Professors

Ann M. Viano. 1999. B.S., Santa Clara University; Ph.D., Washington University. (Materials science, solid-state physics, medical imaging, biophysics.)
Shubho Banerjee. 2002. M.S., Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur; Ph.D., Carnegie Mellon University. (Electrostatics, thermodynamics, theoretical physics.)
David S. N. Rupke. 2010. The J. Lester Crain Professor of Physics. B.S., Calvin College; Ph.D., University of Maryland. (Observational and extragalactic astronomy.)

Technical Associate

Glen W. Davis. B.S., University of Memphis; M.S., Murray State University.

Instructional Support Specialist

Victor O. Obadina (Lanre). B.S., Fisk University; M.S., Alabama A&M University.


Requirements for a Major in Physics Leading to the B.S. Degree

A total of fifty-one (51) credits as follows:

  1. Physics 111-112 (or 109-110 with departmental approval), 113-114.
  2. Physics 211 and 213.
  3. Physics 250.
  4. Physics 301, 305, 401, and 406.
  5. Physics 486.
  6. At least 8 additional Physics credits, 4 of which must be at the 300-level or above.
  7. Mathematics 122 and 223. 

Mathematics 112/113 (Precalculus and Differential Calculus) should be taken by those who have not had a differential calculus course in high school or elsewhere before taking Mathematics 122 (Integral Calculus). Math 122 is a prerequisite for Physics 211. Mathematics 223 (Multivariable Calculus) is a prerequisite for Physics 250. All math requirements for the major should be completed in the first two years.

Students planning to pursue graduate study in physics are strongly encouraged to take as many upper-level elective physics courses as possible. Other recommended course include Mathematics 251 (Differential Equations), 261 (Linear Algebra), 311 (Probability Theory), 312 (Mathematical Statistics), 324 (Vector and Advanced Calculus),  370 (Complex Variables). Computer Science 141 (Programming Fundamentals) and 142 (Object-Oriented Programming) also are recommended.

Students planning to pursue a dual degree program in engineering should consult with the faculty member who serves as the pre-engineering advisor as early as possible after beginning coursework at Rhodes.

Physics majors are encouraged to consider study abroad opportunities, and should consult with their academic advisor about suitable options.

Requirements for a Minor in Physics

A total of twenty (20) credits as follows:

  1. Physics 111-112 (or 109-110 with departmental approval), 113-114.
  2. Physics 211. 
  3. At least one additional 4-credit Physics course at the 200-level or above.
  4. Mathematics 122. 

Note: Physics 213 is not required. Mathematics 112/113 (Precalculus and Differential Calculus) should be taken by any student who has not had a course in differential calculus. Mathematics 223 (Multivariable Calculus) is recommended, but not required, and is a prerequisite for many upper-level physics courses.