Physics and Physical Oceanography

The Department of Physics and the Graduate School of Oceanography offer a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree in physics and physical oceanography.

Coordinators: Professors Heskett and Muller (Physics). The faculty consists of the members of the Department of Physics and the GSO’s physical oceanography faculty.

This program includes a comprehensive background in physics and a solid introduction to physical oceanography. The curriculum includes a full set of physics and mathematics courses required for a B.S. in physics, with extra emphasis on classical physics, plus additional upper-division or graduate-level courses in fluid dynamics and physical oceanography.

The senior physics research project (PHY 483 and 484) will be undertaken in the Graduate School of Oceanography under the supervision of a GSO faculty member. In addition, students may find summer employment or participate in oceanographic research cruises after their junior year.

Students graduating in this course of study are well prepared to pursue careers in conventional physics or physical oceanography. Technical positions in private or government oceanographic research laboratories are available for physical oceanographers at the B.S. level. Students who continue on to graduate studies should expect to find high demand for physical oceanographers with advanced degrees. It is recommended that students planning to attend an oceanography graduate school take PHY 520 (Classical Dynamics); students wishing to keep open the option of physics at the graduate level should take PHY 452 (Quantum Mechanics). Students entering the URI Graduate School of Oceanography from this program will have a significant head start compared to those entering from most other undergraduate institutions.

A total of 129 credits is required for graduation.

Freshman Year First semester: 17 credits
MTH 141 (4); OCG 110 (3); PHY 203, 273 (4), Basic Liberal Studies requirements and electives (6).

Second semester: 16 credits
CHM 101, 102 (4); MTH 142 (4); OCG 123 (4); PHY 204, 274 (4).

Sophomore Year First semester: 17 credits
CSC 211 (4); MTH 243 (3); PHY 205, 275 (4), Basic Liberal Studies requirements and electives (6).

Second semester: 17 credits
MTH 244 (3); PHY 306 (3); 410 (3), Basic Liberal Studies requirements and electives (8).

Junior Year First semester: 17 credits
PHY 322 (3), 381 (3); MTH 215 (3), Basic Liberal Studies requirements and electives (8).

Second semester: 17 credits
MCE 354 (3); PHY 331 (3), 382 (3), Basic Liberal Studies requirements and electives (8).

Senior Year First semester: 16 credits
OCG 501 (3); PHY 401 (1), 420 (3), 451 (3), 483 (3), Basic Liberal Studies requirements and electives (3).

Second semester: 12 credits
OCG 510 (3); PHY 425 (3), 484 (3), and 510 (3).