Department of Physics
Distinguised Teaching Professor Emeritae/i
Bruce B. Marsh Ph.D.
University of Rochester
Raymond E. Benenson, Ph.D.
University of Wisconsin
Robert P. Lanni, M.A.
University at Albany
Keith F. Ratcliff, Ph.D.
University of Pittsburgh
Wilfried W. Scholz, Ph.D.
University of Freiburg (Germany)
Laura M. Roth, Ph.D.
Mohammad Sajjad Alam, Ph.D
Ariel Caticha, Ph.D.
California Institute of Technology
Tara P. Das, Ph.D.
University of Calcutta
Jagadish B. Garg, Ph.D.
University of Paris
Akira Inomata, Ph.D.
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
John C. Kimball, Ph.D. (Department Chair)
University of Chicago
Tung-Sheng Kuan, Ph.D.
William A. Lanford, Ph.D.
University of Rochester
Carolyn MacDonald, Ph.D.
Jesse A. Ernst, Ph.D.
University of Rochester
Kevin Knuth, Ph.D.
University of Minnesota
Keith Earle, Ph.D.
Visiting Asistant Professor
Eric Woods, Ph.D.
Shamshad Ahmad Ph.D.
Australia National University
University Adjuncts (estimated): 6
Teaching Assistants (estimated): 25
The Physics Department provides students a solid foundation in classical and modern physics. Physics majors obtain a theoretical background in classical mechanics, electromagnetic theory, quantum mechanics, and thermal physics. Laboratory classes develop skills in experimental techniques. Elective courses in physics allow students to broaden their knowledge in areas such as biophysics, computational, nuclear, particle and solid state physics, and relativity and materials. Independent study with faculty members is encouraged.
Courses in environmental science, archaemetry, space physics and astronomy bring broader physical concepts to the non-major.
Physics graduates work as scientists in research labs, development labs, and medical centers. They become teachers and technical writers. They continue their education in physics, other sciences or mathematics, and education or medicine. Opportunities abound, and the variety of typical career choices is surprisingly varied.
Special Programs or Opportunities
Students can simultaneously obtain a B.S. in Physics from the University at Albany and a B.S. in Engineering from another institution in five years. In this “3-2 Program”, students study physics at Albany for the first three years. In the following two years, they complete their requirements at the second engineering school. The schools participating in the 3-2 Program are Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Clarkson University, SUNY at New Paltz, and SUNY at Binghamton. More information is available on the physics department website.
Degree Requirements for the Major in Physics
General Program B.S.: The following 66 credits are required:
- Introductory physics sequence: A PHY 140 , 150, and 240 (or the honors sequence 141, 151, and 241).
- Lab sequence for introductory courses: A Phy 145 or 106, 155 or 109, and 245.
- Higher level physics courses: A Phy 235, 250, 320, 335Z, 340, 350, 440, 450, and 460.
- Chemistry: A Chm 120 and 121 (or the more advanced 130 and 131).
- Calculus sequence: A Mat 112 and 113 (or the honors courses 118 and 119, or A Mat 101 and 111 and 113) and A Mat 214.
- Mathematics elective: A Mat 220, 314, 367, or 412.
- An additional physics course numbered 300 or higher.
- An additional science elective. This is a course in Atmospheric Science, Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, or Environmental Science, which is required of a major in these disciplines
The honors program in physics is designed for outstanding students.
Students should apply for admission to the honors program before November 15 of the junior year.
The minimum requirements for admission are:
- Completion of A PHY 140 or 141, 150 or 151, 240 or 241, 250 or their equivalents;
- An overall grade point average of 3.30;
- A grade point average of 3.60 in physics courses required for the major;
- Written recommendations from at least three faculty members, one of whom, preferably, should be from outside the Department of Physics.
Students in the program must maintain both a minimum grade point average of 3.30 overall and of 3.60 in physics courses taken to satisfy major requirements during the junior and senior years.
Students in the honors program are required to complete a minimum of 72 credits as follows: the 66 credits specified for the general program in physics; 3 credits of Honors Seminar in Physics (A PHY 498); and 3 credits of Research and/or Independent Study in Physics (A PHY 497). The independent study must include an honors research project culminating in a written report by the end of the student’s last semester.
A Department Honors Committee will recommend an honors degree to the department faculty for its approval.
Combined B.S./M.S. Program
The combined B.S./M.S. program in physics provides an opportunity for students of recognized academic ability and educational maturity to fulfill integrated requirements of undergraduate and master’s degree programs at the beginning of the junior year. A carefully designed program can permit a student to earn the B.S. and M.S. degrees within nine semesters.
The combined program requires a minimum of 138 credits, of which at least 30 must be graduate credits. In qualifying for the B.S., students must meet all University and college requirements including the requirements of the undergraduate major described previously, the minimum 60-credit liberal arts and sciences requirement, general education requirements, and residency requirements. In qualifying for the M.S., students must meet all University and college requirements as outlined in the Graduate Bulletin, including completion of a minimum of 30 graduate credits and any other conditions such as a research seminar, thesis, comprehensive examination, professional experience, and residency requirements. Up to 12 graduate credits may be applied simultaneously to both the B.S. and M.S. programs.
Some substitution of graduate courses for undergraduate courses is possible upon approval by the advisor.
Students may apply to the Graduate Committee for admission to the combined degree program in physics at the beginning of their junior year or after the successful completion of 56 credits. A cumulative grade point average of 3.20 or higher and three supportive letters of recommendation from faculty are required.