Applied Physics

Home Department: Physics

Department Head:

Kathryn Svinarich, Ph.D.
Room 2-323A, 810-762-7471
physics@kettering.edu

Program Overview

Physics is the most fundamental science and underlies the understanding of nearly all areas of science, technology, and engineering.  Physics is concerned with the study of energy, space, time, matter, the interaction between material objects and the laws that govern these interactions at various scales from sub nano-scale to light-years scale.  Physicists study mechanics, sound, heat, light, electric and magnetic fields, gravitation, relativity, atomic and nuclear physics, solid state physics, wave-like properties of particles and particle-like properties of radiation.  Applied physics is not a specific branch of physics but the application of all branches of physics to the broad realm of practical problems in scientific and industrial applications, applied science, and advanced industry.  Applied Physics (AP) is the interface between physics, applied sciences and technology; linking the theory, laboratory, and practice.  It involves applications of optics, acoustics, and materials in fields such as nanotechnology, telecommunications, medical physics and devices, or advanced and electronic materials. The Applied Physics degree is a flexible degree designed to interface physics with applied sciences and engineering disciplines.

The degree in Applied Physics at Kettering University provides excellent preparation for work in industry or in government agencies.  The program also serves as a solid foundation for students desiring to go on to graduate school in physics or any number of fields in pure and applied science. The curriculum in Applied Physics provides a solid education in mathematics, applied sciences and physics with emphasis on the four areas of Applied Optics, Acoustics, Materials Science and nanotechnology and Medical Physics.

  • Applied Physics (AP) students at Kettering University take the same core physics courses as physics students at other universities. Furthermore, our Physics students are required to take a sequence of courses in optics, acoustics, and materials science.
  • Applied Physics (AP) students at Kettering University will graduate from the most distinctive physics program in the nation.  Due to the Co-op and Experiential Learning model which provides students with a rich co-op experience while they are undergraduates.  This is unique compared to any other Applied Physics program. 
  • The Applied Physics (AP) program includes a thorough background in mathematics, science, computer programming, social sciences, humanities, and communication.
  • Applied Physics (AP) students can complete a concentration in an area of applied science, mathematics or advanced technology or even business, pre-law, or pre-med.
  • Applied Physics students must write a senior thesis.
  • The Applied Physics program at Kettering University is the first and only ABET accredited applied physics program in the world.

For more information about the Applied Physics program, including pictures and descriptions of our laboratory faculty, facilities, concentrations and minors, please visit our Web site, or send an email to physics@kettering.edu.

Program Educational Objectives

Applied Physics graduates will:

  • Excel in technical careers and thrive in graduate studies using scientific principles and application of physical sciences.   
  • Work effectively in bringing multi-disciplinary ideas to diverse professional environments.
  • Improve their workplaces and communities, and the society through professional and personal activities.

Dual Options

One of the advantages of being an Applied Physics major is that because physics leads to or has overlaps with nearly every science and engineering discipline, it is makes it very easy to pursue a dual option.  Pursuing a dual option will create greater flexibility in terms of future career or graduate studies.  When thinking about a dual option as an Applied Physics major please be aware that Kettering University offers two distinct dual options as described below.

Double Major:  Students may earn a double major as part of a single bachelor’s degree by completing all course requirements for the two majors.  If capstone courses are required in both majors, both must be completed.  Only one thesis is required. To pursue a double major, obtain approval from departments for both majors. Both majors will be shown on one diploma and on the transcript.

Two Degrees:  Students may earn two undergraduate degrees simultaneously by completing all course requirements for any two majors that in combination require at least 28 credits beyond 161 credits. If capstone courses are required in both majors, both must be completed. Only one thesis is required. To pursue two degrees, obtain approval from departments for both degrees. Two diplomas will be awarded and both degrees will be shown on the transcript.

For further information please contact the Physics Department Head at physics@kettering.edu

Physics Program Concentrations

Applied and Engineering Physics students who wish to obtain a concentration in acoustics, applied optics, medical physics, or materials science, and have it so designated on their transcript should contact one of the following Professors: Ludwigsen (Acoustics), Tackett (Materials), Kumon (Medical) or Rablau (Optics).  The basic criteria is that to obtain a concentration students must successfully complete four courses (16 credits) the same as those listed under minor programs (16 credits). 

Track of Studies and International Programs

Applied Physics students may utilize the flexibility built in the physics curriculum to use their elective courses toward a collection of courses in a specific area of engineering or a cohesive collection of science and mathematics courses.  This in particular could be useful in designing a track of study that may facilitate student participation in an existing study abroad program.  This flexibility in the Physics curriculum may also be useful in better planning and preparing for future graduate studies and career.  For further information about this please contact the Physics Department Head at physics@kettering.edu.

Applied Physics Program Curriculum Requirements

First Year Experience
FYE-101First Year Foundations1
Credit Hours Subtotal: 1
General Education
COMM-101Written & Oral Communication I4
COMM-301Written & Oral Communication II4
ECON-201Economic Principles4
HUMN-201Introduction to Humanities4
LS-489Senior Seminar: Leadership, Ethics, and Contemporary Issues4
SSCI-201Introduction to the Social Sciences4
Advanced Humanities Elective4
Advanced Social Science Elective4
Credit Hours Subtotal: 32
Chemistry
Select one of the following:4
General Chemistry I
and Principles of Chemistry Lab
Principles of Chemistry
and Principles of Chemistry Lab
Select one of the following:4
Industrial Organic Chemistry
and Industrial Organic Chem Lab
General Chemistry II
and General Chemistry II Lab
Credit Hours Subtotal: 8
Computer Science
CS-101Computing & Algorithms I4
Credit Hours Subtotal: 4
Engineering
Select one of the following:4
Circuits I
and Circuits I Lab
Applied Electrical Circuits
and Signals for Mechanical Systems Lab
EE-240Electromagnetic Fields and Applications4
EP-235Computers in Physics4
EP-342Materials Science and Nanotechnology4
EP-485Acoustic Testing and Modeling4
Credit Hours Subtotal: 20
Mathematics
MATH-101Calculus I4
or MATH-101X Calculus I
Select one of the following:4
Calculus II
Calculus II
Calculus II - Honors
MATH-203Multivariate Calculus4
or MATH-203H Multivariate Calculus - Honors
MATH-204Differential Equations & Laplace Transforms4
or MATH-204H Differential Equations and Laplace Transforms - Honors
MATH-313Boundary Value Problems4
MATH-327Mathematical Statistics I4
MATH-307Matrix Algebra4
Credit Hours Subtotal: 28
Physics
PHYS-114
PHYS-115
Newtonian Mechanics
and Newtonian Mechanics Laboratory
4
PHYS-224
PHYS-225
Electricity and Magnetism
and Electricity and Magnetism Laboratory
4
PHYS-302Vibration, Sound and Light4
PHYS-362Modern Physics and Lab4
PHYS-412Theoretical Mechanics4
PHYS-452Thermodynamics and Statistical Physics4
PHYS-462Quantum Mechanics4
PHYS-477Optics and Lab4
Advanced Physics Elective (Choose Two) 18
Credit Hours Subtotal: 40
Electives
Free electives8
Technical Electives 216
Credit Hours Subtotal: 24
Culminating Undergraduate Experience
Culminating Undergraduate Experience Introductory Course (No Credit, Pass/Fail)
Select one of the following:4
Co-op Thesis
Intra/Entre/Social E-ship Thesis
Professional Practice Thesis
Research Thesis
Credit Hours Subtotal: 4
Total Credit Hours161

(Minimum) Total Credits Required for Program: 161

1

Any PHYS or EP course that is not a core physics requirement listed above

2

Any 300 or 400 level Science, Math, Engineering, or Business courses approved by the academic advisor to form a sequence of courses in a specific technical field of study.  Some Computer Science courses that are 100 or 200 level could be approved as a technical elective by the Physics Department Head

Representative Program

Plan of Study Grid
Freshman ICredit Hours
FYE-101 First Year Foundations 1
CHEM-137
General Chemistry I
or Principles of Chemistry
3
CHEM-136 Principles of Chemistry Lab 1
COMM-101 Written & Oral Communication I 4
CS-101 Computing & Algorithms I 4
MATH-101 Calculus I 4
 Credit Hours17
Freshman II
CHEM-237
General Chemistry II
or Industrial Organic Chemistry
3
CHEM-238
General Chemistry II Lab
or Industrial Organic Chem Lab
1
ECON-201 Economic Principles 4
MATH-102 Calculus II 4
PHYS-114 Newtonian Mechanics 3
PHYS-115 Newtonian Mechanics Laboratory 1
 Credit Hours16
Sophomore I
MATH-203 Multivariate Calculus 4
MATH-307 Matrix Algebra 4
PHYS-224 Electricity and Magnetism 3
PHYS-225 Electricity and Magnetism Laboratory 1
HUMN-201
Introduction to Humanities
or Introduction to the Social Sciences
4
 Credit Hours16
Sophomore II
EP-235 Computers in Physics 4
MATH-204 Differential Equations & Laplace Transforms 4
PHYS-362 Modern Physics and Lab 4
HUMN-201
Introduction to Humanities
or Introduction to the Social Sciences
4
 Credit Hours16
Junior I
Select one of the following: 4
Circuits I
and Circuits I Lab
 
Applied Electrical Circuits
and Signals for Mechanical Systems Lab
 
COMM-301 Written & Oral Communication II 4
MATH-313 Boundary Value Problems 4
PHYS-302 Vibration, Sound and Light 4
CUE-495 Culminating Undergraduate Experience Introductory Course (No Credit, Pass/Fail) 0
 Credit Hours16
Junior II
EE-240 Electromagnetic Fields and Applications 4
MATH-327 Mathematical Statistics I 4
EP-342 Materials Science and Nanotechnology 4
PHYS-412 Theoretical Mechanics 4
Technical Elective 1 4
 Credit Hours20
Senior I
PHYS-462 Quantum Mechanics 4
PHYS-477 Optics and Lab 4
Advanced Humanities or Advanced Social Science Elective 4
Free Elective 4
Technical Elective 1 4
 Credit Hours20
Senior II
EP-485 Acoustic Testing and Modeling 4
Advanced Physics Elective 2 4
Advanced Humanities or Advanced Social Science Elective 4
Free Elective 4
Technical Elective 1 4
 Credit Hours20
Senior III
LS-489 Senior Seminar: Leadership, Ethics, and Contemporary Issues 4
Advanced Physics Elective 2 4
PHYS-452 Thermodynamics and Statistical Physics 4
Technical Elective 1 4
 Credit Hours16
Any Term
CUE -495C/E/P/R Culminating Undergraduate Experience 4
 Credit Hours4
 Total Credit Hours161

(Minimum) Total Credits Required for Program: 161

1

Technical Electives are any 300 or 400 level Science, Math, Engineering, or Business courses approved by the academic advisor to form a sequence of courses in a specific technical field of study. Some Computer Science courses that are 100 or 200 level could be approved as a technical elective by the Physics Department Head.

2

Advanced Physics Electives includes any PHYS or EP course, which is not a core physics requirement as listed above.