All prospective physics majors should consult with the Department Chairperson as early as possible. As noted, prospective physics majors should take in their first year Physics 111-112 and associated laboratory. 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. B.A., Wabash College; Ph.D., Washington University. (Ultrasonics, medical physics.)

Associate Professors

Ann M. Viano. 1999. Chair. B.S., Santa Clara University; Ph.D., Washington University. (Materials science, solid-state physics, medical imaging.)
Shubho Banerjee. 2002. The Van Vleet Fellow in Physics. 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.)

Assistant Professors

Elizabeth J. Young. 2014. B.A., Smith College; B.E., Dartmouth College; Ph.D.; Princeton University. (Exoplanet imaging, astronomy instrumentation, optics.)

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-five (55) credits as follows:

  1. Physics 111-112 (or 109-110 with departmental approval), 113L-114L.
  2. Physics 211, 213.
  3. Physics 250.
  4. Physics 301, 305, 401, and 406.
  5. Physics 486.
  6. At least 4 additional Physics credits at the 300-level or above.
  7. Mathematics 121, 122, 251, and 223 or appropriate substitutes as approved by the Physics Department. It is recommended that these courses be taken in the first two years.

Students planning to pursue graduate study in physics are strongly encouraged to take as many upper elective physics courses as possible. Mathematics 261, 370 and Computer Science 141 also are recommended.

Students planning to pursue dual degree or graduate study in engineering should consult with Professor Elizabeth Young who serves as the pre-engineering advisor.

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-four (24) credits as follows:

  1. Physics 111-112 (or 109-110 with departmental approval), 113L-114L.
  2. Physics 211. Note: Physics 213 is not required.
  3. At least one additional 4-credit Physics course at the 200-level or above.
  4. Mathematics 121, 122. Mathematics 223 is recommended, but not required. 
    Note: Mathematics 223 is a prerequisite for many upper level physics courses.