Department of Physics and Astronomy


physics or astronomy minor

The department also offers a minor which gives students a basic background and allows them to explore a particular topic of interest. The department offers three different minors: physics, astronomy, and renewable energy.

Students seeking a minor in physics or astrophysics must complete at least 22 hours of course work in physics as follows:

  • Required for both minors:
    • PHYS 2130 and 2140 Calculus-based General Physics and Electromagnetism ... or PHYS 2070, 2080 and 2100 Algebra-based General Physics and Electromagnetism
    • PHYS 3180 Intermediate Lab
    • PHYS 3310 Quantum Physics 1
  • Required for the physics minor:
    • two physics courses numbered above 3400
  • Required for the astrophysics minor:
    • ASTR 4810 Astronomy for Science Majors 1
    • ASTR 4820 Astronomy for Science Majors 2

Renewable energy minor

The Minor in Renewable Energy (MRE) has been established as an interdisciplinary minor program. It is designed for students in the STEM areas majoring in the following departments: Physics and Astronomy, Chemistry, Environmental Sciences, Biology, Mathematics, MIME, Chemical and Environmental Engineering, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Civil Engineering and Bioengineering. Students with other majors can enroll in the MRE provided they complete the prerequisite courses. The goal of the minor is to expose students to quantitative analyses of the use of energy in human societies, its consequences and environmental impacts. A primary focus will be on the advantages and complexities of introducing renewable energy resources. Students will be required to take at least one course in the social, political, and economic ramifications of the use of energy in general and renewable energy in particular. An internship is required to enhance the practical training of students.

The program is designed to allow students to obtain the 21 hour minor with as few additional requirements as possible beyond their normal STEM major. That is, some of the courses will also serve to satisfy the distribution requirements for graduation. A more detailed description of the minor is available here.

Students must complete at least 21 hours of coursework selected as follows:

  • Required courses:
    • PHYS 3400 Physical Principles of Energy Sources for Humans
    • EEES 2200/GEPL 2200 Climate Change
    • CHEM 3810 Chemistry of Sustainable Energy Resources
    • PHYS 4940 Internship in Renewable Energy
  • Select one from the following
    • PSC 4340 Environmental Policy
    • ECON 3240 Environmental Economics
  • Select two of the following
    • PHYS 4400 Varieties of Solar Energy
    • MIME 4410 Renewable Energy
    • CHEE/BIOE 4980 Biofuels
    • CHEE 4980 Fuel Cells and the Hydrogen Economy
Last Updated: 8/28/19