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Bachelor of Science in Applied Physics


According to the Princeton Review, "With technology's constantly expanding influence in our society, a major in Applied Physics could place you at the forefront of the next technology revolution." Applied physics combines fundamental research in physics with knowledge of how to solve real-world problems, putting graduates of this major in high demand by employers. Through research in applied physics, lasers in DVD players, flash memories in iPods, diagnostic tools for medicine, and many other cutting edge technologies have been developed. With this degree, graduates will be prepared to head straight into a career in a multitude of different areas, or to enter into a graduate program in physics, engineering, and many other non-physics related fields. College Board sums up this degree in one word: flexibility.

The Bachelor of Science in Applied Physics degree at IIT provides an option for students who have a strong affinity for physics but who wish to pursue a career in application of basic scientific principles to the design of equipment, which includes electronic and electro-mechanical systems for use in measurements, communications, and data acquisition. The program is recommended for students interested in newly developing areas of physics, high technology, instrumentation, and communications. It provides students with a solid physics background while allowing a significant engineering or other technical concentration.

Course of Study 


The following are sample curricula for three different concentrations within Applied Physics. The list is not exhaustive, as other concentrations are available.

Sample Curricula for Concentrations in Applied Physics


Electrical Engineering | Mechanical Engineering | Aerospace Engineering

Sample Curriculum for Concentration in Electrical Engineering

SEMESTER 1 SEMESTER 2
Course Course Title Credit Hours Course Course Title Credit Hours
PHYS 100
Introduction to the Profession 2
PHYS 221
General Physics II 4
PHYS 123
General Physics I 4
MS 201
Materials Science 3
CHEM 124
Principles of Chemistry I 4
MATH 152
Calculus II 5
MATH 151
Calculus I 5
HUM 10x
Introductory Humanities 3
Semester 1 Total 15   Semester 2 Total 15
   
SEMESTER 3 SEMESTER 4
PHYS 223
General Physics III for Physics 4
PHYS 240
Computational Science 3
CS 105
Intro. to Computer Programming 2
PHYS 348
Modern Physics 3
MATH 251
Multivariate & Vector Calculus 4
MATH 252
Differential Equations 4
ECE 211
Circuit Analysis I 4
ECE 213
Circuit Analysis II 4
HUM/SS
Elective 3
HUM/SS
Elective 3
  Semester 3 Total 17   Semester 4 Total 17
   
SEMESTER 5 SEMESTER 6
PHYS 308
Classical Mechanics I 3
PHYS 309
Classical Mechanics II 3
PHYS 300
Instrumental Laboratory**** 4
PHYS 304
Statist. Physics & Thermo. 3
ECE 218
Digital Systems 3
ENG 308
Signals & Systems 3
ECE 311
Engineering Electronics 4
MATH 333
Technical Elective** 3
IPRO 397
Interprofessional Project 3
IPRO 497
Interprofessional Project 3
HUM/SS
Elective 3
HUM/SS
Elective 3
  Semester 5 Total 20   Semester 6 Total 18
   
SEMESTER 7 SEMESTER 8
PHYS 405
Quantum Theory I 3
PHYS 406
Quantum Theory II 3
PHYS 413
Electricity & Magnetism I 3
PHYS 414
Electricity & Magnetism II 3
PHYS 427
Advanced Physics Lab I 3
ECE 4xx
Electrical Engineering* 3
PHYS 485
Colloquium 1
ECE 4xx
Electrical Engineering* 3
ECE 4xx
Electrical Engineering* 4
4xx
Technical Elective*** 3
HUM/SS
Elective 3
HUM/SS
Elective 3
  Semester 7 Total 17   Semester 8 Total 18
Total Credit Hours for B.S. in Applied Physics 134

*The remaining courses may be chosen from the following:

  • ECE 401—Communication Electronics
  • ECE 421/423—Microwave Circuits & Systems / Laboratory
  • ECE 425—Analysis of Design of Integrated Circuits
  • ECE 429—Introduction to VLSI Design
  • ECE 436/437—Digital Signal Processing I / Laboratory
  • ECE 438—Control Systems
  • ECE 441—Microcomputers
  • ECE 446—Advanced Logic Design

**For the electrical engineering option, MATH 333 must be selected as a technical elective.
***The second technical elective may be chosen from any 400 level physics course or ECE courses listed above.
****For the electrical engineering option, the PHYS 300 requirement is satisfied by ECE 211, 213 and 218.

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Sample Curriculum for Concentration in Mechanical Engineering

SEMESTER 1 SEMESTER 2
Course Course Title Credit Hours Course Course Title Credit Hours
PHYS 100
Introduction to the Profession 2
PHYS 221
General Physics II 4
PHYS 123
General Physics I 4
MS 201
Materials Science 3
CHEM 124
Principles of Chemistry I 4
MATH 152
Calculus II 5
MATH 151
Calculus I 5
HUM 10x
Introductory Humanities 3
  Semester 1 Total 15   Semester 2 Total 15
   
SEMESTER 3 SEMESTER 4
PHYS 223
General Physics III for Physics 4
PHYS 240
Computational Science 3
CS 105
Intro. to Computer Programming 2
PHYS 348
Modern Physics 3
MATH 252
Differential Equations 4
MATH 251
Multivariate & Vector Calculus 4
MMAE 232
Design for Innovation 3
PHYS 304
Statist. Physics & Thermo. 3
HUM/SS
Elective 3
HUM/SS
Elective 3
  Semester 3 Total 16   Semester 4 Total 16
   
SEMESTER 5 SEMESTER 6
PHYS 308
Classical Mechanics I 3
PHYS 309
Classical Mechanics II 3
PHYS 300
Instrumental Laboratory 4
MMAE 202
Mechanics of Solids II 3
PHYS 405
Quantum Theory I 3
PHYS 406
Quantum Theory II 3
4xx
Technical Elective* 3
MMAE 313
Fluid Mechanics 3
IPRO 397
Interprofessional Project 3
IPRO 497
Interprofessional Project 3
HUM/SS
Elective 3
HUM/SS
Elective 3
  Semester 5 Total 19   Semester 6 Total 18
   
SEMESTER 7 SEMESTER 8
PHYS 413
Electricity & Magnetism I 3
PHYS 414
Electricity & Magnetism II 3
PHYS 427
Advanced Physics Lab I 3
PHYS 485
Physics Colloquium 1
4xx
Technical Elective* 3
MMAE 319
Mechanical Laboratory I 4
MMAE 302
Mechanics of Solids III 3
MMAE 321
Applied Thermodynamics 3
MMAE 323
Heat & Mass Transfer 3
MMAE 332
Design of Machine Elements 3
HUM/SS
Elective 3
HUM/SS
Elective 3
  Semester 7 Total 18   Semester 8 Total 17
Total Credit Hours for B.S. in Applied Physics 134

*Technical Electives can be chosen from among any 400-level physics courses and the following suggest courses:

  • MMAE 419—Mechanical Laboratory II
  • MMAE 443—Systems Analysis & Control
  • MMAE 485—Manufacturing Processes

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Sample Curriculum for Concentration in Aerospace Engineering

SEMESTER 1 SEMESTER 2
Course Course Title Credit Hours Course Course Title Credit Hours
PHYS 100
Introduction to the Profession 2
PHYS 221
General Physics II 4
PHYS 123
General Physics I 4
MS 201
Materials Science 3
CHEM 124
Principles of Chemistry I 4
MATH 152
Calculus II 5
MATH 151
Calculus I 5
HUM 10x
Introductory Humanities 3
  Semester 1 Total 15   Semester 2 Total 15
   
SEMESTER 3 SEMESTER 4
PHYS 223
General Physics III for Physics 4
PHYS 240
Computational Science 3
CS 105
Intro. to Computer Programming 2
PHYS 348
Modern Physics 3
MATH 252
Differential Equations 4
MATH 251
Multivariate & Vector Calculus 4
MMAE 232
Design for Innovation 3
PHYS 304
Statist. Physics & Thermo 3
HUM/SS
Elective 3
HUM/SS
Elective 3
  Semester 3 Total 16   Semester 4 Total 16
   
SEMESTER 5 SEMESTER 6
PHYS 308
Classical Mechanics I 3
PHYS 309
Classical Mechanics II 3
PHYS 300
Instrumental Laboratory 4
MMAE 202
Mechanics of Solids II 3
PHYS 405
Quantum Theory I 3
PHYS 406
Quantum Theory II 3
4xx
Technical Elective* 3
MMAE 313
Fluid Mechanics 3
IPRO 397
Interprofessional Project 3
IPRO 497
Interprofessional Project 3
HUM/SS
Elective 3
HUM/SS
Elective 3
  Semester 5 Total 19   Semester 6 Total 18
   
SEMESTER 7 SEMESTER 8
PHYS 413
Electricity & Magnetism I 3
PHYS 414
Electricity & Magnetism II 3
PHYS 427
Advanced Physics Lab I 3
PHYS 485
Physics Colloquium 1
MMAE 304
Mechanics of Aerostructures 3
4xx
Technical Elective* 3
MMAE 311
Compressible Flow 3
MMAE 315
Aerospace Laboratory I 4
MMAE 312
Aerodynamics of Aerospace Vhls. 3
MMAE 372
Aerospace Materials 3
HUM/SS
Elective 3
HUM/SS
Elective 3
  Semester 7 Total 18   Semester 8 Total 17
Total Credit Hours for B.S. in Applied Physics 134

*Technical Elective can be chosen from among any 400-level physics courses and the following suggested courses:

  • MMAE 410—Aircraft Flight Mechanics
  • MMAE 411—Spacecraft Dynamics
  • MMAE 414—Aircraft Design I
  • MMAE 433—Spacecraft Design I
  • MMAE 452—Aerospace Propulsion

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