The Department of Physics offers a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree for students already registered and a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree. The department also offers the Master of Science (M.S.) and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degrees.

Faculty: Associate Professor Andreev, chairperson. Professors Heskett, Kahn, Kaufman, Malik, Meyerovich, Muller, Nightingale, and Steyerl; Associate Professors Andreev and Reshetnyak; Adjunct Professor McCorkle; Adjunct Associate Professors Bozyan, Karbach, and Ruffa; Professors Emeriti Desjardins, Hartt, Letcher, Nunes, Penhallow, Pickart, and Willis.


As of June 2009, new admissions to this program have been suspended. For program details, please refer to the 2009-2010 URI Catalog.


This curriculum provides a general background in both theoretical and experimental physics. It forms a foundation for further study at the graduate level toward an advanced degree, and also prepares the student for a career as a professional physicist in industry, education, or government. Initiative, independent solution of laboratory problems, and research are encouraged in the advanced laboratory courses.

The following courses are required for the B.S., but exceptions and/or substitutions are possible and can be arranged by consulting the department chairperson.

A total of 120 credits is required for graduation. PHY 483 and 484 are the capstone courses in this program.

Freshman Year First semester: 14 credits
MTH 141 (4); PHY 203/273 (4), Basic Liberal Studies requirements and electives (6).

Second semester: 16 credits
MTH 142 (4); PHY 204/274 (4), Basic Liberal Studies requirements and electives (8).

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: 14 credits
MTH 244 (3); PHY 306 (3), 410 (3), Basic Liberal Studies requirements and electives (5).

Junior Year First semester: 14 credits
PHY 322 (3), 381 (3); MTH 215 (3), Basic Liberal Studies requirements and electives (5).

Second semester: 17 credits
Mathematics elective at the 300 or 400 level (3), PHY 331 (3), 382 (3), Basic Liberal Studies requirements and electives (8).

Senior Year First semester: 13 credits
PHY 401 (1), 420 (3), 451 (3), 483 (3), Basic Liberal Studies requirements and electives (3).

Second semester: 15 credits
PHY 452 (3), 455 (3), 484 (3), 510 (3), Basic Liberal Studies requirements and electives (3).

Medical Physics Track: Five-Year Program leading to a B.S. in Physics and an M.S. in Medical Physics.

The field of medicine is facing a significant shortage of well-trained and qualified clinical medical physicists, due to the increasing use of complex technology in the field of radiation oncology and medical imaging. Consequently there is a growing demand for the training of professionals in medical physics. Only specially created programs can accomplish this mission, since among other things medical physics requires a multidisciplinary effort.

This degree program provides students with rigorous training in essential undergraduate and graduate physics courses, as well as in medical physics courses. Students are introduced to both research and clinical aspects of modern medical physics through the Rhode Island Hospital state-of-the-art medical imaging and therapy facilities. The program is based on the B.S. and M.S. programs in physics with the introduction of additional courses in photo medicine, nanotechnology, radiation physics and dosimetry, radiation oncology, radio-biology, and a clinical practicum. These courses are taught by the URI Physics Department, the Rhode Island Hospital-Brown University Medical School Faculty, and the staff at the RI Nuclear Science Center at the Bay Campus.

Matriculation in this program requires that the student apply and be accepted; it is not automatic. It is possible that a student will enter the program having taken some of the courses but not all. It is mandatory that the student take all of the courses (or show credit in them) in order to graduate. The schedule outlined below demonstrates that it is possible to get both degrees in five years. Where we have written two courses separated by an “or” (e.g., PHY 322 or 420) the student is to take whichever course is offered that semester. The student must have credit in both courses, however, at the end of the curriculum.)

Freshman Year First semester:
BIO 121 + lab; MTH 141; PHY 203H, 273H; URI 101; one 3-credit Basic Liberal Studies course.

Second semester:
BIO 242, 244; CHM 101, 102; MTH 142; PHY 204H, 274H; one 3-credit Basic Liberal Studies course.

Sophomore Year First semester:
CSC 211; MTH 243; PHY 205H, 275H, 210; 6 credits of Basic Liberal Studies courses.

Second semester:
MTH 244; PHY 306, 410; 9 credits of Basic Liberal Studies courses.

Junior Year First semester:
MTH 215; PHY 381, 451, 322 or 420; 6 credits of Basic Liberal Studies courses.

(In the beginning of the sixth semester, the student can begin the application process to be admitted to graduate school. This is necessary only if the student is planning on getting both the master’s and bachelor’s degrees after five years. The application will be evaluated by a committee of faculty formed for that purpose, and it will be the sole determiner of who goes on in that year. At that time it will still be possible to get a simple B.S. in physics in the standard four years.)

Second semester:
PHY 331, 382, 455, 540 or 545; 6 credits of Basic Liberal Studies courses.

Senior Year First semester:
PHY 322 or 420, 550 or 552, 560 or 565, 510 or 610; ELE 564, 565.

Second semester:
PHY 402, 452 or 570, 540 or 545; ELE 562, 563; STA 307.

Fifth Year First semester:
PHY 483, 550 or 552, 560 or 565, 510 or 610.

Fifth Year Second semester:
PHY 484, 555, 691; SOC 224.

Near the end of the final semester, students also take a final exam which is similar to the ABR Part 1 exam they are expected to take to get into a CAMPEP accredited residency program.