The mission of the applied physics program is to develop strong student competencies in physics, with special focus areas in environmental physics and engineering, and to develop strong critical reasoning skills in students that they can apply to all areas of study. The program’s faculty is committed to providing meaningful undergraduate experiences for both majors and non-majors through high-quality, student-centered teaching and undergraduate research mentoring. Students completing a degree in applied physics should be well prepared for either a career or graduate school in physics or a related discipline.
Student Learning Outcomes
When students complete the program in applied physics, they will be able to:
- Explain and apply the principles, concepts, and processes of physics.
- Communicate and synthesize scientific knowledge through interactions with the scientific community and the public.
- Analyze content, and identify and use appropriate tools to solve problems.
- Use scientific reasoning to develop, test, analyze, and interpret models of physical systems.
The applied physics degree at CCU focuses on the application of physics to various problems in science and engineering. Students can easily merge their interest in physics with another subject at CCU such as chemistry, computer science, marine science or mathematics. Applied physics students can also pursue the dual-degree engineering program with Clemson University.
Six concentrations are available: astronomy, computational, engineering, environmental physics, general, and nuclear security & non-proliferation. All of these concentrations have a common core of introductory study (Conceptual Physics, Essentials of Physics I, and Fundamentals of Physics I and II with a strong math core) followed by more advanced courses in physics, research, and independent study, coupled with applied courses like physical oceanography and/or electronics and computer interfacing. Refer to major requirements for the courses that apply to each concentration. Students must earn a grade of ‘C’ or better in all foundation courses and major requirements.
Applied physics majors will receive a strong technical background, which serves as a good foundation for careers in industry, manufacturing, government, medicine, research and development, quality control, and environmental monitoring. Students interested in teaching science at the secondary level should also consider an applied physics degree and then pursue the M.A.T. (Master of Arts in Teaching) through the Spadoni College of Education and Social Sciences.