Learn to think like a physicist
Beginning in the fall of 1997, the OSU physics department restructured the junior and senior physics curriculum with the aid of a grant from the National Science Foundation. This curriculum represents a departure from the traditional one and is firmly rooted in courses of equal difficulty devoted to a particular subfield of physics. Our approach teaches physics as physicists think about it, namely in terms of concepts that broadly underlie the various subfields: energy, symmetry, wave motion, rotations and so forth. The major structural change during the junior year is that two separate traditional course sequences, running in parallel, have merged to form a single intensive sequence, to encourage mastery of the concepts as you go along. These "paradigms" courses, taken typically in the junior year, are followed by senior year "capstone" courses in each of the major sub-disciplines of physics.
Students with majors in related sciences, mathematics, and engineering are welcome to take one or more of the new courses. (Such students should consult one of the departmental advisors regarding possible alternatives to the posted prerequisites.)