(NOTE: Students seeking a B.A. degree must complete one year college/university study or two years high school study of a single world language.)
The BA program is for students wanting a broad liberal arts education with an emphasis in physics. It may be a suitable foundation for students who are planning a career not usually regarded as physics, such as business education, law, medicine, writing, environmental concerns, public safety, or computer programming.
Teaching Endorsement Requirements:
This major satisfies the criteria for an endorsement in physics and qualifies students to teach physics at the high school, middle, or junior high levels. Students taking this major for endorsement are required to complete the Professional Education Program requirements offered through the Department of Educational Foundations and Curriculum. Students completing this program are required to demonstrate proficiency of student learning outcomes through a program portfolio prior to student teaching. In addition to the above requirements, students must pass the WEST-E exam for physics to receive a physics endorsement. Students seeking an endorsement in physics must take SCED 301, SCED 324, SCED 325, and SCED 487 to meet Science Teaching Program competencies. Students should seriously consider working toward endorsement in a second area, such as biology, chemistry, Earth science, middle-level science, middle-level mathematics, mathematics or science.
General Physics - Credits: 15
General Chemistry - Credits: 10
Department-approved electives - Credits: 9
- Must include a department-approved course sequence (such as PHYS 351/352, PHYS 381/382, PHYS 334/463, PHYS 292 and SCED 324/325, PHYS 474/475 - see your Physics major advisor for details.
Physics Department Information
College of the Sciences
Lind Hall, room 201
Mail Stop 7422
See website for how these programs may be used for educational and career purposes.
Faculty and Staff
Bruce Palmquist, PhD
Bruce Palmquist, PhD, science education
Michael Braunstein, PhD, nuclear physics, astronomy
Andrew A. Piacsek, PhD, acoustics, computational physics
Erin Craig, PhD, computational biophysics
Cassandra Fallscheer, PhD, atmospheric physics
Nathan Kuwada, PhD, experimental biophysics
Darci Snowden, PhD, atmospheric physics
Benjamin White, PhD, condensed matter physics
Rachel Foss, secretary
Deanna Marshall, recruiting and advising specialist
Addison Wenger, instructional and classroom technician III
Peter Zencak, instructional and classroom technician IIII
Physics is the study of the universe and its elements-from the interaction of subatomic particles and investigations in nanoscale science, to the motion of everyday objects, to the evolution of galaxies. Physics involves discovering the fundamental rules that describe matter and energy on every scale, hence it is the basic science that underlies all the natural sciences.
Most businesses want people who can analyze complex situations and solve problems. CWU physics majors learn these skills along with computational and electronics skills. The physics curriculum includes theoretical courses as well as laboratory classes and hands-on research that provide the practical training relevant to both graduate school or professional work in science and engineering. Recent acquisitions of state-of-the-art instrumentation in astronomy, acoustical physics, and lasers enrich students’ experience in the laboratory and research setting. Students also have the opportunity to participate in programs outside the formal courses offered by participating in the department’s award-winning Physics Club and Astronomy Club. The CWU physics program offers a BS degree, a BA degree (which doubles as our teaching degree), and engineering opportunities through our dual-degree physics/engineering program.
All students must meet with the physics chair to map out a four-year plan. The student can then select a faculty advisor. All faculty members are physics major advisors. Most upper-level physics courses are offered every other year. Thus, students who wait too long to meet with an advisor may have their graduation delayed. All physics majors must complete a physics major portfolio.
The honors designation in physics recognizes the academic excellence of its majors. Students in the department’s BA and BS programs are eligible for this designation and all physics majors are urged to consider applying. The honors designation in physics is offered in collaboration with Sigma Pi Sigma, the National Physics Honors Society. Please contact the physics department chair for more information.
Dual-degree Physics/Engineering Program
This dual-degree program enables a student to receive a baccalaureate degree in physics from CWU and a bachelor of science from an appropriate engineering institution in a respective engineering discipline. The total length of time for both degrees is expected to be about five years, with approximately three years at CWU (dating from enrollment in MATH 172) and approximately two years at the engineering institution. At CWU, students must complete a minimum of 135 credits, including all general education requirements. Additional courses may be required depending on the specific engineering discipline. Be sure to consult the appropriate dual-degree engineering advisor for details.
In order to receive the baccalaureate degree from CWU, dual-degree students must also complete the remaining credits (to total a minimum of 180 credits) in engineering at the Engineering Institution and transfer these credits to CWU. The remaining credits must include the appropriate number of 300-level or above from the Engineering Institution to satisfy CWU graduation requirements. This transfer of credits and awarding of the baccalaureate degree by CWU can take place as soon as the student earns the necessary credits.
Early consultation with the physics department chair is mandatory to ensure that specific additional requirements of particular engineering curricula are also satisfied. It is solely the student’s responsibility to apply and gain admission to the Engineering Institution. It is also the individual student’s responsibility to submit an official transcript of the work completed after leaving CWU and to request awarding of the baccalaureate degree in physics.
College of the Sciences Information
Administration and Organization
Tim Englund, PhD (Dean Hall, room 130)
Mike Harrod (Dean Hall, room 130)
Martha Kurtz, PhD (Dean Hall, room 130)
Brad Weekly, development officer
Velma Henry, administrative assistant
Cindy Klein, fiscal specialist
Janis Orthmann, administrative assistant
Colleen Falconer, program coordinator
Dannica Price, event coordinator
Mail Stop 7519
The College of the Sciences (COTS) is comprised of 13 departments and 12 interdisciplinary programs representing disciplines in the behavioral, natural, and social sciences, and mathematics. The departments and programs of the college offer undergraduate baccalaureate degrees, master’s degrees, minors that supplement other degree programs, and a comprehensive range of service coursework. As an essential part of its mission, the college offers an extensive general education curriculum. The departments play a major role in Central’s Teacher Certification Programs, offering bachelors and master’s degrees for students preparing to be secondary teachers and providing coursework in educational foundations and discipline-specific content and methods.
Departments within the college are committed to teaching excellence, active engagement by faculty in research, scholarship and professional service activities, student involvement in research, community service, and employing practical applications of academic specializations.
All departments offer baccalaureate degree programs and, in some cases, minors, educational specialist degrees and master’s degrees. In addition to consulting department/program headings in this catalog, students are encouraged to contact individual departments and program offices directly.
Anthropology and Museum Studies: Kathleen Barlow, PhD, Dean Hall, room 356, 509-963-3201
Biological Sciences: James Johnson, PhD, Science Building, room 338, 509-963-2731
Chemistry: Levente Fabry-Asztalos, PhD, Science Building, room 302, 509-963-2811
Computer Science: Aaron Montgomery, PhD, Hebeler Hall, room 219, 509-963-1495
Geography: John Bowen, PhD, Dean Hall, room 301, 509-963-1188
Geological Sciences: Carey Gazis, PhD, Lind Hall, room 108B, 509-963-2701
Law and Justice: James Huckabay, PhD, Farrell Hall, room 300, 509-963-3208
Mathematics: Stuart Boersma, PhD, Bouillon Hall, room 108, 509-963-2103
Physics: Bruce Palmquist, PhD, Lind Hall, room 201A, 509-963-2727
Political Science: Todd Schaefer, PhD, Psychology Building, room 415, 509-963-2408
Psychology: Stephanie Stein, PhD, Psychology Building, room 421, 509-963-2381
Science Education: Bruce Palmquist, PhD, Science Building, room 107, 509-963-2929
Sociology: Delores Cleary, PhD, Farrell Hall, room 409, 509-963-1305
These programs offer specialized coursework, interdisciplinary baccalaureate majors or minors, master’s degrees or research, and public service functions.
American Indian Studies: Toni Culjak, PhD, Language and Literature, room 408D, 509-963-1531
Center for Excellence in Science and Mathematics Education: Martha Kurtz, PhD, Dean Hall, room 130, 509-963-2135
Environmental Studies: Carey Gazis, PhD, Lind Hall, room 108B, 509-963-2701
or Pam McMullin-Messier, PhD, Farrell Hall, room 441, 509-963-2222
Ethnic Studies: Nelson Pichardo, PhD, Farrell Hall, room 440, 509-963-1348
Interdisciplinary Studies - Social Sciences: Steve Schepman, PhD, Psychology Building, room 429, 509-963-2389
Museum of Culture and Environment: Mark Auslander, PhD, Dean Hall, room 334, 509-963-3209
Primate Behavior and Ecology Program: Lori Sheeran, PhD, Dean Hall, room 335, 509-963-1434
Resource Management Program: Karl Lillquist, PhD, Dean Hall, room 319, 509-963-1184
or Steve Hackenberger, PhD, Dean Hall, room 349, 509-963-3224
Science Talent Expansion Program (STEP): Lucinda Carnell, PhD, Science, room 338G, 509-963-2821
Women’s and Gender Studies: Judith Hennessey, PhD, Farrell Hall, room 436, 509-963-1574
Affiliated Centers and Institutes
Center for Spatial Information and Research: Anthony Gabriel, PhD, Dean Hall, room 320, 509-963-1166
Center for the Environment: Anne Johnasen, PhD, Science, room 207D, 509-963-2164
Central Washington Archaeological Survey, Anthropology: Patrick McCutcheon, PhD, Dean Hall, room 340, 509-963-2075
or Steve Hackenberger, PhD, Dean Hall, room 349, 509-963-3224
Community Counseling and Psychological Assessment Center: Heath Marrs, PhD, Psychology Building, room 346, 509-963-2349
or Elizabeth Haviland, PhD, Psychology Building, room 118, 509-963-2371
Geodesy Laboratory and Pacific Northwest Geodetic Array (PANGA) Data Analysis Facility: Tim Melbourne, PhD, Hebeler Hall, room 110A, 509-963-2799
Health Career Resources: Keith Monosky, PhD, Dorothy Purser Hall, room 108, 509-963-1145