Department of Physics
Fast Track Programs:
Graduate Certificate Programs:
MS Medical Physics
A BA in Physics, which opens doors to careers outside of physics research or to grad school after graduation. You will customize your course of study through your choice of approved electives, giving you a secondary lens through which to see your physics education. Approved focus areas range from remote sensing to scientific and technical communication to entrepreneurship. With the strong problem-solving skills you will gain through your physics studies, you can then continue on to law, medical, or business school following graduation from Tech with a solid scientific background.
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The BS degree in physics is the foundation degree for students interested in pursuing further study of physics or a closely related field in graduate school. The degree requires 42 hours from the University’s core curriculum, 66 hours in the major, plus electives to total the 120 credit hours needed to graduate.
BS Physics – Applied Physics Concentration:
The BS degree in physics with an applied physics concentration is designed especially for those who seek a technical career in science or engineering with a B.S. degree only, but at the same time, desire an education of sufficient rigor to leave open the possibility of studies toward an advanced (M.S. or Ph.D.) degree in physics, applied physics, or related interdisciplinary field. This might be the ideal option for students who like physics -- both the principals involved and their applications to the real world (as an engineer might do) -- but worry about what kind of a job they can get with a physics degree at the B.S. level.
BS Physics - Atmospheric Physics Concentration:
The BS in Physics with an Atmospheric Physics concentration encompasses many areas of study that explore our atmosphere's physical characteristics, motions and processes, and how these influence all aspects of the environment and human life. Atmospheric scientists interpret and predict weather patterns, analyze climate trends, monitor air quality, working in a wide variety of agencies, laboratories, businesses and educational institutions. Professionals in the atmospheric sciences have the chance to apply their knowledge to important societal issues such as resource planning, environmental analysis, protection of health and property, improvement in water management and agricultural productivity, and energy conservation. Employment prospects in this field are expanding rapidly due to the recognition by both public agencies and private companies that weather, climate and air pollution has a strong impact on economic development, insurance risk, human and animal health, ecosystem stability, public safety, recreation and quality of life.
BS Physics – Medical Physics Concentration:
A BS in Physics with a Medical Physics Concentration is an applied branch of physics concerned with the application of the concepts and methods of physics to the diagnosis and treatment of human disease. Medical Physicists are concerned with clinical service and consultation, research and development, and teaching.
There are several areas of specialization. Radiation Therapy Physicists perform acceptance testing and commissioning of new equipment, calibrate radiotherapy units and maintain their clinical information, contribute to the development of therapeutic techniques, design treatment plans, and assure the safe and effective delivery of radiation as prescribed in patient care. Diagnostic Radiology Physicists contribute to the advancement and effectiveness of radiological imaging exams and procedures by helping to develop improved imaging techniques and using them for the diagnosis of disease in patients. Nuclear Medicine Physicists ensure correct and safe application of radioactive molecular-agents used in the diagnosis and treatment of disease, assist in the introduction of new agents including their dosimetry, assess the performance of Nuclear Medicine equipment, and contribute to the development of quality assurance programs. Medical Health Physicists contribute to the protection of patients and the public from excessive radiation by establishing and monitoring radiation safety procedures and ensuring compliance with applicable federal and state regulations.
BS Physics – Pre-Med Concentration:
The BS in Physics with a Pre-Med concentration is an interdisciplinary program that combines physics with biology and chemistry. This makes for strong preparation for three possible fields: Medicine, Medical Physics and Biophysics. The pre-med track includes all the necessary pre-med requirements. We also strongly recommend additional specific courses in biology that will help students get ahead when in medical school. This track also includes a fantastic seminar on physics in medicine and research that is usually directed at medical applications of physics.
Additionally, the Physics preparation provides a strong skill set for the MCAT due to less reliance on memorization and greater reliance on problem solving. Understanding the technology that medicine depends on is critical to interpreting the results. That instrumentation is based on physics. Physics Majors score very well on the MCAT’s.
BS Physics – Secondary Education Minor – 7 – 12 Math/Physics Concentration:
This Secondary Education Concentrations is for physics majors wishing to achieve secondary education certification as they complete the BS degree. This option requires a minor in Secondary Education that follows certification requirements for Math/Physics 7-12. The major and minor requirements for these tracks are the same, but the additional science requirements are different for the Science versus Life Science certification. Adequate scores on state-administered examinations after completion of all coursework are also required for teacher certification.
Fast Track from BS Physics to MS in Physics:
This program allows students who are within 30 hours of graduating and have an overall GPA of at least 3.3 to complete 15 hours of graduate courses and have them count toward their undergraduate degree and toward their master’s degree if they plan to pursue a master’s degree.
Fast Track from BS Physics to MBA:
This program allows students who are within 30 hours of graduating and have an overall GPA of at least 3.3 to complete 15 hours of graduate courses and have them count toward their undergraduate degree and toward their MBA if they plan to pursue an MBA.
Graduate Certificate in Applied Physics:
This graduate certificate program in Physics will provide students with a thorough training in the basic Physics concepts. This program is appropriate for those who are graduates in other fields such as Engineering, mathematical, chemical sciences and also Physics majors who wants for further training in Physics but do not want to go through the rigors of a graduate degree program. The focus is on exposure to basic concepts, which will also be helpful for graduates planning to be secondary school teachers.
The Masters of Science in Physics offers students the opportunity to pursue graduate coursework in a variety of basic Physics fields such as mechanics: classical, quantum, statistical and fluid; electrodynamics; biophysics; plasma physics and magnetohydrodynamics; solid state physics; optics: nonlinear, biophotonics, and lasers; mathematical and computational physics. Students will have opportunities to choose Special Topics courses taught by the UTSA Physics faculty and core scientists from the Southwest Research Institute Space Science and Engineering Division, covering various topics in the fields of biophysics and biomedical physics; space physics and astrophysics to include heliospheric physics, magnetospheric physics, planetary science, computational fluid dynamics, cosmology, and space weather. Other special topics courses will include theoretical physics to include general relativity, cosmology, advanced condensed matter physics, quantum field theory and particle physics.
MS Medical Physics:
Medical Physics is an applied branch of physics devoted to the application of concepts and methods from physics to the diagnosis and treatment of human disease.
Medical physicists are concerned with three primary areas of activity: clinical service and consultation, research and development, and teaching. Clinically, medical physicists are called upon to contribute scientific advice and resources to solve physical problems arising in radiological medical physics. Medical physics research typically involves the development of new instrumentation and technology, the development of new medical diagnostic and therapeutic procedures, and tests using existing technologies. Historically, this type of activity has been primarily in radiological imaging and radiation oncology, but now has a growing breadth of involvement throughout medicine.