Bachelor of Science in Applied Physics

According to the Princeton Review: “With technology’s constantly expanding influence in our society, a major in applied physics could place you at the forefront of the next technology revolution.” Applied physics combines fundamental research in physics with knowledge of how to solve real-world problems, thus putting graduates of this major in high demand by employers. Through research in applied physics, lasers in DVD players, flash memories in iPods, diagnostic tools for medicine, and many other cutting edge technologies have been developed. With this degree, graduates will be prepared to immediately begin a career in a multitude of different areas or to enter into a graduate program in physics, engineering, or a non-physics related field. College Board sums up this degree in one word: flexibility.

The Bachelor of Science in Applied Physics degree provides an option for students who have a strong affinity for physics but who wish to pursue a career in application of basic scientific principles to the design of equipment, which includes electronic and electro-mechanical systems for use in measurements, communications, and data acquisition. The program is recommended for students interested in newly developing areas of physics, high technology, instrumentation, and communications. It provides students with a solid physics background while allowing for a significant engineering or other technical concentration.

Required Courses

Physics Requirements (52)
PHYS 100Intro to the Profession2
PHYS 123General Physics I: Mechanics4
PHYS 221General Physics II: Electricity and Magnetism4
PHYS 223General Physics III4
PHYS 240Computational Science3
PHYS 300Instrumentation Laboratory4
PHYS 301Mathematical Methods of Physics3
PHYS 304Thermodynamics and Statistical Physics3
PHYS 308Classical Mechanics I3
PHYS 309Classical Mechanics II3
PHYS 348Modern Physics for Scientists and Engineers3
PHYS 405Fundamentals of Quantum Theory I3
PHYS 406Fundamentals of Quantum Theory II3
PHYS 413Electromagnetism I3
PHYS 414Electromagnetism II3
PHYS 427Advanced Physics Laboratory I3
PHYS 485Physics Colloquium1
Specialization Requirements (27)
Select 27 credit hours in a specific engineering, math, or science discipline 127
Mathematics Requirements (18)
MATH 151Calculus I5
MATH 152Calculus II5
MATH 251Multivariate and Vector Calculus4
MATH 252Introduction to Differential Equations4
Technical Electives (3)
Select three credit hours from physics, mathematics, computer science, or engineering courses3
Chemistry Requirement (4)
CHEM 124Principles of Chemistry I with Laboratory4
Computer Science Requirement (2)
Select one of the following:2
Introduction to Computer Programming for Engineers2
Introduction to Computer Programming2
Object-Oriented Programming I2
Interprofessional Projects (IPRO) (6)
See Illinois Tech Core Curriculum, section E6
Humanities and Social Science Requirements (21)
See Illinois Tech Core Curriculum, sections B and C21
Total Credit Hours133

Bachelor of Science in Applied Physics Curriculum

Year 1
Semester 1Credit HoursSemester 2Credit Hours
PHYS 1002MS 20113
PHYS 1234PHYS 2214
CHEM 1244MATH 1525
MATH 1515Humanities 200-level Course3
 Humanities or Social Sciences Elective3
 15 18
Year 2
Semester 1Credit HoursSemester 2Credit Hours
PHYS 2234PHYS 2403
MATH 2514PHYS 3483
Specialization Course24MATH 2524
Social Sciences Elective3Specialization Course24
Computer Science Course32Humanities Elective (300+)3
 17 17
Year 3
Semester 1Credit HoursSemester 2Credit Hours
PHYS 30044PHYS 3043
PHYS 3013PHYS 3093
PHYS 3083IPRO Elective I3
Specialization Course23Specialization Course24
Social Sciences Elective (300+)3Humanities Elective (300+)3
 16 16
Year 4
Semester 1Credit HoursSemester 2Credit Hours
PHYS 4053PHYS 4063
PHYS 4133PHYS 4143
PHYS 4273PHYS 4851
IPRO Elective II3Technical Elective53
Specialization Course23Specialization Course23
Social Sciences Elective (300+)3Specialization Course23
 18 16
Total Credit Hours: 133

Engineering Specializations for Applied Physics

Courses should be chosen in consultation with an academic adviser. Approved specializations for the Bachelor of Science in Applied Physics degree include, but are not limited to, the following:

Aerospace Engineering

Required course (27)
MS 201Materials Science3
Students should take the following courses:
MMAE 200Introduction to Mechanics3
MMAE 202Mechanics of Solids3
MMAE 304Mechanics of Aerostructures3
MMAE 311Compressible Flow3
MMAE 312Aerodynamics of Aerospace Vehicles3
MMAE 313Fluid Mechanics3
MMAE 320Thermodynamics3
MMAE 372Aerospace Materials Lab3
The three credit hours of technical electives may be chosen from the following:
Aerospace Propulsion3
Aircraft Flight Mechanics3
Spacecraft Dynamics3
Spacecraft Design I3
Aircraft Design I3
Systems Analysis and Control3
Total Credit Hours27

Electrical Engineering

Students should take the following courses:
ECE 211Circuit Analysis I3
ECE 213Circuit Analysis II4
ECE 218Digital Systems4
ECE 308Signals and Systems3
ECE 311Engineering Electronics4
ECE 319Fundamentals of Power Engineering4
MATH 333Matrix Algebra and Complex Variables3
The remaining six credit hours may be chosen from the following:6
Introduction to Computer Networks3
Power Electronics4
Hybrid Electric Vehicle Drives4
Power Distribution Engineering3
Power System Analysis3
Introduction to VLSI Design4
Digital Signal Processing I with Laboratory3-4
Digital Signal Processing I
Control Systems3
Advanced Logic Design4
Total Credit Hours31

In addition, three credit hours of technical electives may be chosen from the ECE courses listed above if the required course, PHYS 300, is satisfied by ECE 211, ECE 213, and ECE 218.


Mechanical Engineering

Required course (28)
MS 201Materials Science3
Students should take the following courses:
MMAE 202Mechanics of Solids3
MMAE 232Design for Innovation3
MMAE 302Advanced Mechanics of Solids3
MMAE 313Fluid Mechanics3
MMAE 319Mechanical Laboratory I4
MMAE 323Heat and Mass Transfer3
MMAE 332Design of Machine Elements3
The remaining three credit hours may be chosen from below. The applied physics technical elective may be chosen from below as well.3
Mechanical Laboratory II4
Design of Mechanical Systems3
Introduction to Robotics3
Systems Analysis and Control3
Manufacturing Processes3
Total Credit Hours28