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  • Policy Number: SP.06.008
  • Version: Original
  • Drafted By: Geoff Dougherty, Gregory Wood, Ivona Grzegorczyk, Cindy Wyels, Bob Bleicher, Peter Smith, William Wolfe, Ching-Hua Wang
  • Approved By: Richard R. Rush
  • Approval Date: 9/21/06
  • Effective Date: 9/21/06
  • Supercedes:


  1. To provide students with a strong undergraduate educational preparation in applied physics, built around the application of physics to interdisciplinary problems in modern technology.
  2. To prepare students with the fundamental concepts of physics and the transferable skills (such as analytical thinking and problem solving, oral and written communication skills, the ability to read and understand primary technical/scientific literature, computer literacy and cooperative learning) relevant to a changing work environment.
  3. To provide students with hands-on exposure to laboratory research and instrumentation through laboratory exercises, projects, internships/service learning and independent and team-based research.
  4. To give students the opportunity to explore selected area(s) in applied physics in greater depth.
  5. Technology emphasis:
    • To provide students with the strong technical, industrial and management skills to enable them to obtain professional employment on graduation in physics-related research and development in industry or in the public sector, or to pursue further study in graduate or professional schools in the physical sciences or technology, for example in Computer Engineering, Materials Science, Biomedical Engineering, Medical Physics. (Students who wish to pursue graduate study in Applied or Experimental Physics are encouraged to take PHYS 301, PHYS 305 and PHYS 401 as electives to prepare themselves for the GRE exam).

          Physical Sciences emphasis:

    • To give students a broad foundation in applied physics as part of a liberal education in the sciences. This option provides the breadth needed for such innovative and challenging occupations as teaching, public service, business, and science journalism. (This option meets the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CCTC) subject matter standards for Physics and Sciences: Physics. Students wishing to become high school physics teachers or middle school physical science teachers must take certain course options).


Applied physics is the interface between science and technology, between the laboratory and industrial practice. It applies the concepts and models of physics to practical technological applications. Applied physics is essentially an inter-disciplinary undertaking, interacting with mathematics, computer science, engineering, the life sciences, medicine and other disciplines. Applied physicists use their understanding and skills at the new scientific and technological frontiers that are developing rapidly at the interface between more traditional disciplines, e.g. biophysics, biomedical engineering, bioinformatics, materials science, and medical imaging. They have the flexibility to adapt to changing technological requirements and the ability to make meaningful contributions to modern, interdisciplinary investigations.  



Academic Affairs, Mathematics, Physics 






Please see attached document.



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