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    Southern Oregon University
  Jul 26, 2017
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2012-13 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Physics Program


Science 166

Professor Associate Professor Assistant Professor Adjunct Faculty  
Panos J. Photinos George Quainoo Ellen Siem Sidney C. Abrahams  

Peter Wu


The physics program is part of the Department of Chemistry, Physics, Materials, and Engineering. The physics major prepares students for careers in physics, including astronomy; astrophysics; cosmology; electronics; elementary particles and high-energy physics; environmental and atmospheric physics; forensics; health; high school teaching; materials science and nanotechnology; medical and nuclear physics; and theoretical, computational, and mathematical physics. A BS or BA in physics is also excellent preparation for a career in law, medicine, or engineering (see the Applied Physics Option and the Physics-Engineering Dual Degree Option sections). Through hands-on training, students acquire valuable technical and research skills. Our graduates have strong placement records at industries in the state of Oregon and at graduate and professional schools nationwide.

Accelerated Baccalaureate Degree Program

Physics majors may participate in the Accelerated Baccalaureate Degree Program, which enables students to complete the physics degree requirements in three years. For more information, please see the Accelerated Baccalaureate Degree Program section or visit the website at

Teacher Licensing

Students who would like to teach physics at the middle school or high school level in Oregon public schools must complete a bachelor’s degree in physics before applying for admission to SOU’s Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) program. Interested students should consult the Physics Department chair.

Degree Programs

Five degree options are available for physics majors:

  1. The Standard Option. Emphasizes the coursework expected of students planning graduate studies in physics or a closely related field. SOU offers a complete upper division physics curriculum.
  2. The Applied Option. Prepares students for industrial employment or graduate work in applied physics, including nanotechnology, biophysics, medical physics, environmental physics, and geophysics.
  3. The Materials Science Option. Emphasizes the materials aspects of physical science, including composities, nanoparticles, and polymers. This option is offered in cooperation with the University of Oregon (UO) Materials Science Institute.
  4. The Engineering Physics Option. Prepares students for graduate school or careers at technical companies. Coursework is designed with flexibility that allows students to focus on their engineering emphasis of choice (e.g., biomedical, chemical, electrical/computer, environmental engineering).
  5. The Physics-Engineering Dual Degree Option. Allows a student to earn a BS in physics from Southern Oregon University and a BS in engineering from Oregon State University. At SOU, students can complete all of the engineering requirements for admission to the chosen department of the OSU professional engineering program and most of the requirements for the SOU upper division electives for the physics-engineering dual degree option. At OSU, students in this program complete SOU’s physics degree requirements, along with OSU’s professional engineering requirements. Students are eligible to receive a degree from SOU upon completion of the University’s requirements and a minimum of 24 credits of upper division engineering at OSU. This program provides many career options for students interested in physics and engineering.

Program Requirements