
Department
of Physics



Learning Objectives
Undergraduate Degrees
(BS and BA, Applied
and Professional Emphasis)



A physics degree
represents more than a
collection of courses.
It is a coherent set of
competencies and outcomes
which emerge from a student's
experience with the degree
program. Using a process
known as "tuning", physics
departments throughout the
state of Utah have determined
a set of learning objectives for the BA/BS
degrees (also with Applied or
Professional Emphasis) to which we all
aspire. They are
summarized
below. For a
detailed discussion of
these learning
objectives, please
visit the Utah
Tuning website.
Physics Knowledge
Students will be
able to understand and
apply the
basic physical principles
of Newtonian mechanics, relativistic
physics, electromagnetic
theory, wave phenomena,
optics,
thermal physics, quantum
mechanics.
Problem Solving and
Mathematical Analysis
Students will be
able to apply algebra,
calculus, linear algebra, and
differential equations to the
formulation, modeling, and solution of
physical problems in the areas described
under Physics Knowledge.
Laboratory Skills
Students will be
proficient in elementary aspects of experimental hardware, experimental
design, data
collection, data analysis, and
error analysis. Students will be
able to disseminate
experimental
results using
written and
oral methods.
Computer Skills
Students will be able to
use computational resources to help analyze physical models. This can include code
written in a language (e.g. Python) and/or
existing software
packages for
statistical/data
analysis,
graphics, symbolic manipulation,
and
so forth.
Communication
Students will be competent
(at a beginner level) in
the reading of scientific literature
and in
the
dissemination
of scientific knowledge
in written and
oral formats.
Research
Students will be able to use
elements from all the previous
Learning Objectives in
conjunction with systematic
methods of
scientific
inquiry to
ask and answer physics
questions about the natural
world, thereby
demonstrating
entrylevel ability to
create new
knowledge.


