May 28, 2020  
2018-2019 Academic Catalog 
2018-2019 Academic Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Department of Physics, Physical Sciences, and Geology

This department has two independent academic programs.  The main contact person is listed below for each academic program.

Geology Horacio Ferriz, Ph.D., Department Chair
Physics and Physical Sciences Liangmin Zhang, Ph.D., Program Coordinator

Office: Naraghi Hall of Science - N163
Phone: (209) 667-3466


Professors: Ferriz H., Giaramita M., Sankey J.
Associate Professor: Rogers R.

Office: Naraghi Hall of Science - N163
Phone: (209) 667-3466

Bachelor of Science in Geology  with a concentration in Applied Geology
Minor in Geology 
Liberal Studies degree concentration in Earth Sciences  

Teaching Credentials

Students interested in a single subject teaching credential in the sciences must consult with their adviser about the subject matter competency requirements.

Physics and Physical Sciences

Liangmin Zhang, Ph.D., Program Coordinator

Professors: Johnson, M., Littlewood I., Mokhtari S., Zhang, R.
Associate Professor: Zhang, L.
Assistant Professor: To, W.

Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science in Physics 
Bachelor of Arts in Physical Sciences  with concentrations in Applied Physics , Earth and Space Sciences, or Environmental Sciences 
Minor in Microelectronics 
Minor in Physics 
Minor in Physical Sciences 
Liberal Studies degree concentration in Physics and Physical Sciences  

Program Learning Outcomes

Physics and Physical Sciences

Physics and Physical Sciences majors will be able to:

  1. Our graduates will master material in advanced courses, which presuppose understanding of physics at a more fundamental level.
  2. Our graduates will think critically when analyzing problems in physics, including appropriate use of advanced mathematical tools.
  3. Our graduates will demonstrate the ability to work effectively in a laboratory environment, including the use of advanced technologies.
  4. Our graduates will be satisfied with the overall quality of their physics education.
  5. Our graduates will have a strong command of the nature of oral and written communication and of intra-group interactions in the traditions of physics.
  6. Our graduates will have the skills necessary to pursue a career in physics or a related field, or to enter a graduate program.


Geology majors will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate literacy in Earth’s processes.
  2. Classify, identify and interpret geologic materials.
  3. Produce and interpret geologic maps and cross-sections.
  4. Collect and interpret quantitative scientific data related to Earth processes.
  5. Apply fundamentals of chemistry, physics, math and computer science to solving geologic problems.
  6. Effectively communicate scientific ideas and results verbally and in writing.
  7. Retrieve, assimilate and evaluate factual data.
  8. Use, formulate and test multiple working hypotheses based on the scientific method.
  9. Use keen observational skills in the laboratory.
  10. Use keen observational skills in the field.
  11. Visualize subsurface structures and processes in three dimensions.
  12. Demonstrate depth and breadth of knowledge in one or more advanced specialty fields (advanced electives).
  13. Recognize, appreciate and communicate scientific uncertainty.
  14. Conduct independent field work.
  15. Understand geologic time, evolution, and global processes (e.g., plate tectonics).
  16. Propose workable solutions to societal problems related to resource exploration and development; in the construction of civil works awareness of Earth processes such as subsidence, slope stability, and seismic loading; and environmental issues related to Earth processes.
  17. Use up-to-date concepts when teaching Earth Science in the classroom.