Northern Kentucky University

Undergraduate Catalog 2015-16


Thinking about the discipline: Physics is the study of matter, energy, and their fundamental interactions. Physics laws govern the dynamics and structure of physical systems (ranging from subatomic particles to the entire universe). Applications of physics have led to the development of new technologies at all levels. The NKU physics program is a vibrant community of faculty and staff whose main objective is to prepare students for a variety of careers in physics and related areas. NKU offers physics majors two degree tracks as well as a pre-engineering dual-degree option. NKU also offers the physics minor. People with bachelor’s degrees in physics are often hired for their problem-solving skills, and they find careers in industry, government, and education. Recent NKU physics graduates have worked for companies in telecommunication, manufacturing, engineering, and product research. About a third of NKU physics graduates continue their education after leaving NKU to become research physicists in specialized areas such as astrophysics; elementary particles and fields; nuclear physics; atomic, molecular, and optical physics; plasma physics; biophysics; chemical physics; condensed-matter physics; low-temperature physics; and others. Some physics graduates have chosen to further their education by pursing advanced degree programs in other related areas, including engineering, medicine, mathematics, and computer science. Physicists with the appropriate terminal degree can teach at the secondary or college level.

Special opportunities for our students: Undergraduate students (physics majors and other related majors) have the opportunity to participate in research with physics faculty in the department. In recent years, physics faculty have supervised student research in computational physics, optical sciences, material science, geophysics, gravitation and relativity, astrophysics, and particle physics. The physics program has 2,700 square feet of research lab space. This includes a machine shop and six research labs: computational research lab, X-ray diffraction lab, radioisotope lab, material science lab, optical sciences lab, and particle astrophysics lab. In support of research, the physics program is equipped with a computer cluster, a Mossbauer spectrometer, vacuum systems, a modulated differential calorimeter, wide bandwidth digital and analog oscilloscopes, CAMAC data-acquisition equipment, high-speed NIM electronics, air-supported optics tables, UVNIR spectroradiometers, laser Raman spectrometer spin processor for micro-fabrication, pulsed/CW NMR spectrometer, and an X-ray diffractometer. Students are encouraged to become active members of the Physics and Pre-engineering Club, which holds special events such as telescope nights, planetarium shows, and physics demonstration shows.

Catalog Contents

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Undergraduate Catalog 2015-16

The Catalog

Catalog Changes

University Accreditation

Employment and Earnings of Kentucky College Graduates

About NKU

Program Offerings

Admissions and Enrollment

International Admissions and Enrollment

Tuition, Fees, and Financial Aid

Academic Program Opportunities

University Policies and Procedures

Academic Support

Student Engagement

General Education

College of Arts and Sciences

Haile/U.S. Bank College of Business

College of Education and Human Services

College of Health Professions

College of Informatics

Pre-Professional and Interdisciplinary Programs

Course Descriptions

Course Description Notes

Accounting Courses (ACC)

Anthropology Courses (ANT)

Arabic Courses (ARI)

Art Courses (ART)

Astronomy Courses (AST)

Athletic Training Program Courses (ATP)

Biological Sciences Courses (BIO)

Business Informatics Courses (BIS)

Black Studies Courses (BLS)

Business Courses (BUS)

College of Arts and Sciences Courses (CAS)

Cooperative Education Courses (CEP)

Chemistry Courses (CHE)

Chinese Courses (CHI)

Cinema Studies Courses (CIN)

Computer Information Technology Courses (CIT)

Construction Management Courses (CMGT)

Communication Studies Courses (CMST)

Communication Courses (COM)

Counseling Courses (COU)

Computer Science Courses (CSC)

Career and Technical Education Courses (CTE)

Dance Courses (DAN)

Data Science Courses (DSC)

Economics Courses (ECO)

Education – Special Education Courses (EDS)

Education Courses (EDU)

Engineering Technology Courses (EGT)

Electronic Media and Broadcasting Courses (EMB)

English Courses (ENG)

English Developmental Courses (ENGD)

Entrepreneurship Courses (ENTP)

Environmental Science Courses (ENV)

Finance Courses (FIN)

Financial Literacy Courses (FLC)

French Courses (FRE)

Geography Courses (GEO)

German Courses (GER)

Geology Courses (GLY)

Health Education Courses (HEA)

Health Informatics Courses (HIN)

History Courses (HIS)

Honors Courses (HNR)

Human Resource Management Courses (HRM)

Health Science Courses (HSC)

Human Services/Mental Health Courses (HSR)

Informatics Courses (INF)

International Programs Courses (INTL)

Integrative Studies Courses (IST)

Italian Courses (ITA)

Journalism Courses (JOU)

Japanese Courses (JPN)

Criminal Justice Courses (JUS)

Kinesiology Courses (KIN)

Korean Courses (KOR)

Learning Assistance Program Courses (LAP)

Latin Courses (LAT)

Organizational Leadership Courses (LDR)

Library Informatics Courses (LIN)

Developmental Mathematics Courses (MAHD)

Mathematics Courses (MAT)

Medieval Studies Courses (MDS)

Management Courses (MGT)

Media Informatics Courses (MIN)

Marketing Courses (MKT)

Military Science Courses (MSC)

Music Courses (MUS)

Neuroscience Courses (NEU)

Nursing Registered Professional Courses (NRP)

Nursing Baccalaureate Courses (NRS)

Public Administration Courses (PAD)

Physical Education Courses (PHE)

Philosophy Courses (PHI)

Physics Courses (PHY)

Popular Culture Courses (POP)

Public Relations Courses (PRE)

Political Science Courses (PSC)

Psychology Courses (PSY)

Radiologic Science Courses (RAD)

Reading Workshop Courses (RDG)

Religious Studies Courses (REL)

Respiratory Care Courses (RSP)

Russian Courses (RUS)

Integrated Sciences Courses (SCI)

Sociology Courses (SOC)

Sports Business Courses (SPB)

Spanish Courses (SPI)

Statistics Courses (STA)

Social Work Courses (SWK)

Theatre Courses (TAR)

University Programs Courses (UNV)

Women's and Gender Studies Courses (WGS)

World Languages Courses (WLL)

University Administration


Emeritus Faculty


Kentucky Residency