Program Objectives

Physics Undergraduate Program Objectives:

As the focus of its research and teaching mission, the Physics Department works to provide its students with:

  • A comprehensive, high-quality education in the physical sciences
  • A flexible curriculum with multiple concentrations that allows students to tailor their education according to their specific interests
  • The opportunity to experience the excitement of scientific discovery through direct participation in faculty research
  • An increased awareness of the physical processes in the surrounding world
  • The essential knowledge and analytical, mathematical and computational tools with which to pursue post-graduate education in a variety of physics-related and other fields
  • The foundation and practical skillsets for eventual success in any of a broad array of careers
  • The motivation for a lifelong love of learning

Physics Undergraduate Program Outcomes and Assessment:

UMass Dartmouth Physics graduates will be able to:

*************************  OUTCOME 1  ************************

1. Demonstrate a growing conceptual understanding of the basic fields of physics:

FieldCourse(s)
a. Classical Mechanics PHY 111/113 and 313
b. Electricity and Magnetism PHY 112/114 and 411
c. Modern Physics  PHY 213
d. Quantum Physics  PHY 341 and 342
e. Basic Thermodynamics  PHY 115

And at least one specialty area of application in the field of Physics as offered by the Department such as: Optics, Solid State Physics, Ocean Physics, Astrophysics, Traffic Physics, Relativity & Cosmology, Computational Physics, Fluid Mechanics, Nuclear Physics, Atomic Physics, and Physics Education.

INSTRUMENT of assessment of Outcome 1:

The assessment of this outcome is course specific.

  • FMCE and ECCE for introductory sequence (PHY 111/112 or 113/114)
  • E&M Diagnostic test (PHY 112 or 114)
  • In-class concept questions using Personal Response System (PRS in PHY 113/114)
  • Conceptual questions on exams and comprehensive final in all mentioned courses

*************************  OUTCOME 2  ************************

2. Use mathematics and computation to describe and manipulate fundamental physical constructs and to solve problems. 

INSTRUMENT of assessment of Outcome 2:

The assessment of this outcome is course specific. All required Physics courses are geared to attaining this program outcome.

  • Math diagnostic tests (PHY 112)
  • Comprehensive final exam grades
  • Homework grades, coursework projects, and capstone project

*************************  OUTCOME 3  ************************

3. Use basic experimental apparatus common to the study of physical phenomena.

INSTRUMENT of assessment of Outcome 3:

  • Laboratory homework and lab reports in PHY 111/112 or PHY 113/114, and PHY 225/227, PHY 322, and PHY 421

*************************  OUTCOME 4  ************************

4. Understand the inter relations between theory and observation; the role of systematic and random experimental errors and methods used to analyze experimental uncertainty and compare experiment with theory.

INSTRUMENT of assessment of Outcome 4:

  • Laboratory homework and lab reports in PHY 225/227, PHY 234, and PHY 322

*************************  OUTCOME 5  ************************

5. Communicate scientific ideas effectively both orally and in writing.

INSTRUMENT of assessment of Outcome 5:

  • Presentations and written reports in PHY 115, PHY 300, PHY 351 and 352, PHY 410, PHY 421, and capstone projects
  • Lab reports in PHY 225 and 227
  • Written assignments in coursework projects and research paper writing

The above is summarized in the table below.

Course Outcomes Grid (R=required, E=elective, O=optional but recommended)

 CourseOutcome-1Outcome-2Outcome-3Outcome-4Outcome-5
Class. Phy. I PHY 111/113 R R R    
Class. Phy. II PHY 112/114 R R R    
Intro. Class. Phy. PHY 115 R R     R
Appl. Mod. Phy. PHY 213 R R      
Intro. Exp. Phy. I PHY 225/227   R R R R
Int. Math. Phy. PHY 234 R R   R  
Elem. Astrophy. PHY 251/252 E E      
Seminar PHY 300   R     R
Mechanics PHY 313 R R      
Wave Motion PHY 314 O O      
Elect. Dev. II PHY 322   R R R R
Quantum I/II PHY 341/342 R R      
Environ. Phy. I/II PHY 351/352 E E     E
Int. Astrophy. PHY 363 E E      
Elect.& Mag. I/II PHY 411/412 R R      
Adv. Phy. Lab I/II PHY 421/422   R R R R
Meth. & Strat. Phys. Teachers PHY 430 E        
Stat. Thermo. PHY 441 E E      
Solid State Phy. PHY 442 E E      
Undergrad. Res. PHY 480   E E E E
Special Topics PHY 510 E E   E  
Comp. Phy. PHY 521 E E   E  
Intro. Sci. Prog. MTH 280   O      
Comp. modeling PHY 343/410 E E   E  
Capstone PHY 480/490 R R R R R
  1. Demonstrate a growing conceptual understanding of the basic fields of physics
  2. Use mathematics and computation to describe and manipulate fundamental physical constructs and to solve problems
  3. Use basic experimental apparatus common to the study of physical phenomena
  4. Understand the interrelations between theory and observation; the role of systematic and random experimental errors and methods used to analyze experimental uncertainty and compare experiment with theory
  5. Communicate scientific ideas effectively both orally and in writing

 

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