The Physics Department works in concert with the College to cultivate a love for learning and an appreciation of the inherent beauty in the study of the natural world. The department serves three populations of students:
- Physics/Physics Education majors:
The Physics Department prepares students majoring in Physics for graduate programs in Physics and related fields (Astrophysics, Materials Science, and Engineering, for example), professional and/or technical positions in industry, or to teach at the high school level.
A minor in physics is also offered for students who have an interest in physics but have life goals in other areas, such as engineering and mathematics.
For students majoring in physics or physics education or minoring in physics, the department provides the opportunity to
- develop a working theoretical knowledge of the fundamental fields of physics,
- practice experimental techniques and measurements,
- apply computational tools to physical problems,
- communicate scientific principles in both written and oral formats, and
- perform original, independent research.
- Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics, and Engineering
For students who major in Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics, or Engineering, courses taken in the Physics Department help to develop the ability to apply the experimental, theoretical and computational principles of Physics to their specific disciplines.
- Non-science majors:
The Physics Department also offeres courses to fulfill the requirements of the core curriculum for students who are non-science majors. These courses promote scientific literacy, develop a familiarity with the scientific method, and create an awareness of the impact of science on society.
For all students, the Department stresses the conceptual understanding of Physics through discussion, demonstration, and experimentation in order to develop the ability of the students to effectively communicate their understanding to others.
The physics education program at St. Vincent College was recently reviewed by the Pennsylvania Department of Education. The review of the program is available here. This review includes descriptions of the content required by the state, rationale behind these requirements, and the reviewers' critique of the fulfillment of these requirements by the physics education program at St. Vincent College.