Bachelor of Science Major in Physics

The Department of Physics at Bethlehem University offers a complete program of study leading to the Bachelor degree in Physics. This program is intended to prepare students not only for graduate studies in physics, but also for employment upon graduation in physics and other fields related to science and technology.

Basic courses give the student a concrete foundation in the different concepts of classical and modern physics, and assist the students in developing their analytical reasoning and problem-solving skills. Laboratory courses complement this experience with an opportunity to develop experimental skills and a working knowledge of advanced technology. Students are strongly encouraged to further develop all these skills by participating in advanced experimental, analytical, or computational research under the supervision of faculty members.

Program Learning Outcomes

Students graduating from major in Physics acquire the following learning outcomes:

Knowledge and Understanding:

  1. The fundamentals, which all students in physics need to cover, including electromagnetism, optics, quantum and classical mechanics, relativity, statistical physics and thermodynamics, wave phenomena and the properties of matter.
  2. The application of the fundamental principles to particular areas. These include nuclear and particle physics, condensed matter physics and atomic structure.
  3. A few subjects which students study in greater depth and appreciate current developments at the frontiers of the subject.
  4. Advanced mathematics and its application in physics.

Teaching/learning methods and strategies

Lectures are an integral part of courses, and are supported by a variety of other teaching and learning methods, including tutorials, seminars, problem classes, laboratory work and computer-based work. Throughout the four years, students engage in private study in which they work through set problem sheets and assimilate the content of lectures. They will be engaged in project work through the years of study . Assessment of knowledge and understanding is through a combination of written examinations, assessed problem solutions, laboratory project reports and presentations.

Intellectual Skills 

Students will learn how to:

  1. Formulate and tackle problems in physics, including the identification of appropriate physical principles and the use of special and limiting cases and order-of-magnitude estimates, to arrive at a solution which is presented with an explicit statement of assumptions and approximations.
  2. Use mathematics to describe the physical world, selecting appropriate equations, constructing models, interpreting mathematical results and critically comparing them with experiment and observation.
  3. Participate, under supervision, in an extended physics investigation.

Teaching/learning methods and strategies

All lecture courses are accompanied by problems, which students work through privately, and are supported by:

  1. Tutorial classes
  2. Seminars
  3. Access to additional lecturers in Office hours

Practical Skills

Students will learn how to:

  1. Plan, execute and report the results of a complex extended experiment or investigation, using appropriate methods to analyze data and to evaluate the level of its uncertainty.
  2. Use appropriate software such as programming languages and packages in a physics investigation.

Teaching/learning methods and strategies

Laboratory classes take place in all years of studying major in Physics with supporting lectures. Experiments vary in duration from a few hours to few days. Experiments are described by scripts.

Students are assessed by a mixture of written reports, experimental exam, and interaction with demonstrators. Students further develop practical skills through some projects during their studies.

Transferable Skills

Students will learn how to:

  1. Solve open-ended problems and problems with well-defined solutions by formulating problems in precise terms, identifying key issues and trying different approaches in order to make progress.
  2. Carry out an independent investigation using textbooks and other available literature, searching databases and interacting with colleagues and staff to extract important information.
  3. Communicate effectively by listening carefully and presenting complex information in a clear and concise manner orally and in writing.
  4. Use analytical skills, paying attention to detail and using technical language correctly, to manipulate precise and intricate ideas, and to construct logical arguments.
  5. Use IT skills for communication and analysis.
  6. Work independently, use their initiative, organize themselves to meet deadlines, plan and execute a project.
  7. Work in groups, interacting constructively with others.

Teaching/learning methods and strategies

Acquisition of 1 is partly through the methods and strategies outlined above, and specifically through tutorial and private study preparation for Comprehensive examination. Acquisition of 2, 3 & 4 comes through guided preparation of individual and group presentations and essays.

Acquisition of 5 through the use of IT in experimental classes and projects, and through guided preparation of presentations for discussions.

Acquisition of 6 is initially through private study guided by tutors, project work guided by supervisors, laboratory classes guided by demonstrators, and seminar sessions on study skills. In the final year these skills are extended and integrated in a project.

Acquisition of 7 is through group work in and directed through seminars, tutorial discussions, and working in pairs in laboratory.

Assessment is by essay, individual and group presentation, laboratory and computing reports, project reports, and by oral exam.

Career Opportunities

Having a major in Physics opens the door to a career in various fields for undergraduate students. These fields could be summarized in the following

Research and development

Applications Engineer.

Data Analyst.

Design Engineer.

High School Physics Teacher.

IT Consultant.

Lab Technician.

Laser Engineer.

Material engineering

It is vital to mention here that students in Physics at the Bsc level are formed to be able to continue in research for a master and PhD degrees.