Degrees / Courses

Physics Pre-Engineering


Chemical Physics Major >>More Information
Physics Minor
The physics minor is designed primarily for the individual seeking secondary certification in physics. Twenty-four hours are required to complete the minor. Required courses are PC201 or PC213, PC202 or PC214, PC215. Elective courses may be chosen from MS241, PC295, PC310, CY311, CY312, PC311, PC312, PC398, PC399, or PC400. Courses from other colleges may be substituted with the consent of the department chair. If Secondary certification is sought, PC400 must be taken.
Physics Courses
PC201 General Physics: Mechanics, Sound, Heat (4) NL
Four hours lecture, two hours lab.
PC202 General Physics: Electricity, Magnetism, Light, Nuclear Physics (4)
Prerequisite: PC201 or instructor approval.
PC213 General Physics with Calculus: Mechanics, Sound, Heat (4) NL
Four hours lecture, two hours lab. Prerequisite: MS121.
PC214 General Physics with Calculus: Electricity, Magnetism, Light, Nuclear Physics (4)
Four hours lecture, two hours lab. Prerequisite: PC213.
PC215 Modern Physics (4)
A semester-long course that will complete the two-semester, general physics survey sequence. The topics covered will include the study of relativity, the wave nature of particles, quantum mechanics, chemical spectra, particle and low-energy nuclear physics. Prerequisite: PC201/202, or PC213/214.
PC291 Physical Science I (3) NL
An introduction to physics and astronomy for non-science majors. Laboratory and lecture experiences are integrated within regular class meetings. Recommended for elementary education majors and any student who wishes to acquire a broad perspective on these two areas of physical science.
PC295 Observational Astronomy (3) NL
A semester-long survey of the historical milestones in the development of astronomical modeling, as well as a study of the solar system and its constituents. Stars, galaxies, and cosmological models of the universe are also considered in detail. Intended for students with no significant exposure to the study of astronomy.
PC310 Special Topics in Physics (3)
Topics related to recent advancements in the field of physics.
PC311/312 Physical Chemistry (4/4)
A two semester sequence. Topics include, but are not limited to, thermodynamics, kinetic theory of gasses, quantum mechanics, and statistical mechanics. Prerequisites: MS231, PC213, PC214
PC/MS316 Applied Mathematics for the Physical Sciences
An introduction to topics in applied mathematics not covered in a traditional mathematics curriculum. Topics include Complex Numbers, Fourier Series, Fourier Analysis, Partial Differentiation, and Laplace Transforms. Prerequisite: MS122.
PC398 Readings in Physics (Variable)
Individually-negotiated program of readings on selected topic established by contract between instructor and student. Contracts filed with Registrar. Prerequisite: Approval of the chairperson.
PC399 Independent Project (Variable)
Independent project of defined nature established by contract between instructor and student. Contracts filed with Registrar. Prerequisite: Approval of the chairperson.
PC400 Experimental Investigation and Design (4)
A semester-long laboratory based course that will feature an in-depth exploration of five selected concepts in physics. Each topic will involve the study of the concept; an experimental design to investigate the concept; data collection and analysis. A formal report of the study and the experiment will be submitted. One of the concepts to be investigated will be self selected by the student and reported on at a seminar session held at the end of the semester.
Prerequisite: PC201/202, or PC213/214.


Aquinas College currently offers the courses in mathematics, chemistry, and physics required by most engineering schools if a student is to transfer after sophomore year. Students interested in pre-engineering should contact the chair of the physics department. A probable sequence of courses minimally required for transfer is listed below.
Semester One* Semester Two*
MS121 Calculus with Analytical Geometry
MS122 Calculus with Analytical Geometry
CY111 General Chemistry
CY112 General Chemistry
CY111 General Chemistry Lab CY112 General Chemistry Lab
Semester Three* Semester Four*
MS231 Multivariate Calculus MS241 Differential Equations
PC213 General Physics with Calculus PC214 General Physics with Calculus
PC213 General Physics Lab PC214 General Physics Lab
*NOTE: Fulfillment of the General Education Core and Distribution courses also required.
Recommended Electives
MS232 Linear Algebra PS101 American Government and Politics
EH105 English Composition HY101 American History
EH/BS106 Business and Technical Writing CN101 Introduction to Communication
ES213 Basic Economic Concepts CN205 Public Speaking
Students should consult with the catalog of the school to which they intend to transfer on choice of liberal-arts courses. All students should coordinate their two-year schedules with the program chairperson to insure a smooth transfer to a four-year engineering school.