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University of Colorado Denver College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

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Programs

Minors


 

We offer two options for students wanting to minor in Physics - either a traditional Physics program or an Astrophysics program.

General Requirements

A total of 16 credit hours is required for a minor in physics. No grade below a C can be used to meet the requirements for the minor. At least six credit hours of the requirements for the minor must be completed at the Downtown Campus.

Required Physics Courses (10 hours)

Either of these sequences:

Course Sequence #1

PHYS 2010, College Physics I (four credit hours)
PHYS 2020, College Physics II (four credit hours)
PHYS 2030, College Physics Lab I (one credit hour) 
PHYS 2040, College Physics Lab II (one credit hour)

Or 

Course Sequence #2

PHYS 2311, General Physics I: Calculus-Based (four credit hours)
PHYS 2321, General Physics Lab I (one credit hour)
PHYS 2331, General Physics II: Calculus-Based (four credit hours) 
PHYS 2341, General Physics Lab II (one credit hour)

Elective Physics Courses (6 credit hours)

At least three of the six credit hours must be at the 3000 level or above.

Astrophysics is an important and well-represented subdiscipline of physics. It includes the study of the solar system, galactic and extra-galactic astrophysics, as well as cosmology. A minor in this field combines a theoretical approach with observational analysis. There is also opportunity to do research in this field.

While the Department of Physics offers minors in both physics and astrophysics, it is not possible to receive minors in both fields. Physics majors may elect to receive only the astrophysics minor from the department.

General Requirements

A minor requires a total of 17 credit hours, in which no grade below a C (2.0) may be used to meet the requirements for the minor. At least six credit hours taken for the minor must be completed at the Downtown Campus. Requirements for the minor in astrophysics may be used to fulfill the requirements of the major in physics. However, a student majoring in physics who wants to minor in astrophysics needs to take 15 credit hours in astrophysics that do not overlap with the major.

Required Physics Courses (14 credit hours)

  • PHYS 1052, General Astronomy I (four credit hours)

Either of these sequences:

  • PHYS 2010, College Physics I (four credit hours)
  • PHYS 2020, College Physics II (four credit hours)
  • PHYS 2030, College Physics Lab I (one credit hour)
  • PHYS 2040, College Physics Lab II (one credit hour)

or

  • PHYS 2311, General Physics I: Calculus-Based (four 4 credit hours)
  • PHYS 2321, General Physics Lab I (one credit hour)
  • PHYS 2331, General Physics II: Calculus-Based (four credit hours)
  • PHYS 2341, General Physics Lab II (one credit hour)

Elective Physics Courses (3 credit hours)

Any approved elective in astrophysics from the following list:

  • PHYS 3040, Modern Cosmology (three credit hours)
  • PHYS 3050, General Astronomy II (three credit hours)
  • PHYS 3060, Astronomical Image Processing Lab (three credit hours)
  • PHYS 3840, Independent Study (one to three credit hours)*
  • PHYS 3939, Internship/Cooperative Education (one to three credit hours)*
  • PHYS 4550, Astrophysics (three credit hours)
  • PHYS 4840, Independent Study (one to three credit hours)*
  • PHYS 4920, Advanced Undergraduate Seminar (one credit hour)*
  • PHYS 4931, Internship in Applied Physics (two to four credit hours)*
  • PHYS 4980, Advanced Physics Topics (three credit hours)*

* Topics in these classes vary. See departmental advisor for approval.

The minor in biophysics enables students with primary interests in biology, chemistry, health sciences, mathematics, anthropology, psychology, or other disciplines to explore the deep connections between fundamental physical processes and the functions and development of life. Using mathematical and computational models as well as precise experimental measurements and advanced instrumentation, biophysics explores living processes within a framework that builds upon fundamental physics concepts of mechanics, electrodynamics, statistical physics, and quantum physics. Students taking a minor in biophysics will be able to synthesize some or all of these areas of physics at a mature level of understanding into their primary field(s) of study, bringing an enriched array of intellectual and experimental tools to the pursuit of their professional goals.

General Requirements

A minor requries a total of 16 credit hours, in which students must maintain a 2.0 minimum GPA, with at least 12 hours of the required sequence at grade C or higher. There is a 9 hour minimum residency requirement. Additional biophysics-related physics special topics or elective courses may be approved by the department advisor. Such courses include topics such as Radiation Physics in Biomedicine, Computational Modeling in Biophysics, Nonlinear Dynamics in Biomedicine, and specialized courses in biophysics-related instrumentation.

Requirements are (with individual course semester hours in parentheses):

Introductory Lecture and Lab Sequence                                       10 semester hours

  • PHYSICS 2010 (4), 2030 (1)(lab) , 2020 (4), and 2040  (1)(lab) (algebra-based)

or

  • PHYSICS 2311 (4), 2321 (1)(lab),  2331 (4), and 2341 (1)(lab) (calculus-based - recommended)   

Upper division electives drawn from the biophysics sequence   6 semester hours minimum

(Short summaries are provided: please see the course catalog for more complete descriptions.)

PHYS 3151 (1) Biophysics Outlook I  

PHYS 3161 (1) Biophysics Outlook II

  • 1-credit explorations of the connections of physics to topics of the two semesters of general biology, usually within a theme such as “origins of life”, “dynamics in biological systems”, etc.

PHYS 3251 (4) Biophysics of the Body

  • A synthesis of mechanics with understanding body structure, motion, and physiology.

PHYS 3451 (4) Biophysics of the Cell

  • A synthesis of thermal and statistical physics with understanding the fundamental processes of cells.

PHYS 4351 (4) 

Bioelectromagnetism

  • A synthesis of electromagnetism with understanding electrophysiological processes of cells, tissues, and organs as well as the use of electric and magnetic fields in medical diagnostics.

PHYS 4840 (1-3) Independent Study – approved project connected with ongoing biophysics research.

  • Note: No more than 3 credits of independent study may apply to the minor.

 

Students are strongly encouraged to consult with the biophysics advisor, meet physics faculty engaged in biophysics research, attend departmental biophysics-related seminars, and explore ways that biophysics relates to research undertaken by faculty in other disciplines – including both fundamental science and clinical medicine. Opportunities also arise to connect biophysics studies to outreach into regional high schools so that pre-college students can benefit from undergraduates sharing their experiences with connecting studies across disciplines.

                                                               

For more information, contact:

Randall Tagg (biophysics advisor)

randall.tagg@ucdenver.edu

Office: North Classroom 3111E