View in portable document format.




Dean Mary Ann Rankin of the College of Natural Sciences has filed with the secretary of the Faculty Council proposed changes to the Bachelor of Science in Physics in the College of Natural Sciences chapter in The Undergraduate Catalog, 2006-2008. The faculty of the college approved the changes on October 7, 2004. The dean approved the proposed changes on February 4, 2005, and submitted them to the secretary on February 7, 2005. The secretary has classified this proposal as legislation of exclusive application and primary interest to a single college or school.

The edited proposal was received from the Office of Official Publications on March 8, 2005, and was sent to the Committee on Undergraduate Degree Program Review from the Office of the General Faculty on March 10, 2005. The committee forwarded the proposed changes to the Office of the General Faculty on April 1, 2005, recommending approval. The authority to grant final approval on behalf of the General Faculty resides with the Faculty Council.

If no objection is filed with the Office of the General Faculty by the date specified below, the legislation will be held to have been approved by the Faculty Council. If an objection is filed within the prescribed period, the legislation will be presented to the Faculty Council at its next meeting. The objection, with reasons, must be signed by a member of the Faculty Council.

To be counted, a protest must be received in the Office of the General Faculty by May 2, 2005.


Sue Alexander Greninger, Secretary
The Faculty Council

This legislation was posted on the Faculty Council Web site ( on April 25, 2005. Paper copies are available on request from the Office of the General Faculty, FAC 22, F9500.



On pages 452-454, under the heading DEGREES, in the BACHELOR OF SCIENCE IN PHYSICS section in the College of Natural Sciences chapter of The Undergraduate Catalog, 2004-2006, make the following changes:


All aspects of the physical universe are of interest to the physicist, who seeks to understand not only the smallest forms of matter and the rich phenomena present in our everyday lives but also the universe itself. Physics has played a critical role in human technological and intellectual development during the twentieth century. The tools of the physicist--observation, imagination, model building, prediction, and deduction--will enable physics to continue this influence into the new century. The Bachelor of Science in Physics degree program is designed to provide the skills, understanding, and outlook required for participation in the discovery of new knowledge about nature.

The Bachelor of Science in Physics program is balanced and broad. It is designed to give the student a strong foundation for graduate study or work in physics and, with additional training, for work in a variety of other areas, such as astronomy, astrophysics, biophysics, chemical physics, computer sciences, engineering, geophysics, mathematics, medicine, physics teaching, and space sciences. Students who end their formal training with the bachelor’s degree may seek employment in industry, in national laboratories, or in teaching. These students should consider the options in computation, radiation physics, space sciences, and teaching, which augment the broad instruction provided by the basic Bachelor of Science in Physics. For those who plan to teach physics in secondary school, the teaching option provides the courses needed for certification.

Admission to option VI, physics honors, requires completion of the application process described on page 418.


1. Rhetoric and Composition 306 and English 316K. In addition, in taking courses to fulfill other degree requirements, the student must complete two courses certified as having a substantial writing component; one of these courses must be upper-division. If the writing requirement is not fulfilled by courses specified for the degree, the student must fulfill it either with electives or with coursework taken in addition to the number of hours required for the degree. Courses with a substantial writing component are identified in the Course Schedule.
2. Options I–IV: One of the following foreign language/culture [options:] choices. Students in options V and VI are exempt from this requirement.12
a. Second-semester-level proficiency in a foreign language.
b. First-semester-level proficiency in a foreign language and a three-semester-hour course in the culture of the same language area.
c. Two three-hour foreign culture courses chosen from a list available in the dean’s office and the college advising centers.

[Students in the teaching option are exempt from this requirement.]
3. Six semester hours of American government, including Texas government.
4. Six semester hours of American history.
5. Three semester hours in anthropology, economics, geography, linguistics, psychology, or sociology.
6. Options I–IV: Chemistry 302, and 204 or 317.
Option V: Students in [the teaching option] option V are exempt from this requirement.
Option VI: An honors section of Chemistry 302.
7. Options I­IV: Three semester hours of biology and at least two additional hours in biology, geological sciences, or astronomy. A course may not be used to fulfill this requirement if it cannot be counted toward major requirements in the department that offers it.


  Option V: Students in [the teaching option] option V are exempt from this requirement.
Option VI: An honors section of Biology 302C.
8. Three semester hours in architecture, art (including art history, design, studio art, visual art studies), classics (including classical civilization, Greek, Latin), fine arts, music (including music, instruments, ensemble), philosophy (excluding courses in logic), or theatre and dance.
9. Thirty-six semester hours of upper-division coursework.
10. At least eighteen semester hours of upper-division coursework, including at least twelve semester hours of upper-division coursework in physics, must be completed in residence at the University.


No changes to options I through V.


11. An honors-designated mathematics course that is restricted to those who have earned credit on the College Board Advanced Placement (AP) Examination in Calculus.
12. Honors sections of Mathematics 427K and 427L; and Mathematics 340L and 361.
13. Honors sections of Physics 315 and 316; and Physics 115L, 116L, 336K, 352K, 453, 362K, 362L, 369, 373, and 474.
14. Natural Sciences 301C (Research Methods).
15. An honors section of Rhetoric and Composition 309S.
16. Physics 379H and a three-semester-hours upper-division research course approved by the departmental honors adviser.
17. Twenty additional semester hours of coursework approved by the departmental honors adviser.
18. Six semester hours of coursework in the College of Liberal Arts or the College of Fine Arts.
19. A total of at least 120 semester hours.


The student must fulfill the University-wide graduation requirements given on pages 18-19 and the college requirements given on page 421. He or she must also earn a grade point average of at least 2.00 in physics courses taken at the University and used to fulfill requirement 12 (options I–V) or requirements 13 and 16 (option VI) of the prescribed work above.

To graduate and be recommended for certification, students who follow the teaching option must have a University grade point average of at least 2.50. They must earn a grade of at least C in each of the professional development courses listed in requirement 15 and must pass the final teaching portfolio review; those seeking middle grades certification must also earn a grade of at least C in each of the courses listed in requirement 16. For information about the portfolio review and additional teacher certification requirements, consult the UTeach-Natural Sciences academic adviser.

To graduate under option VI, students must earn grades of A in the departmental research and thesis courses described in requirement 16 above and must present their research in an approved public forum, such as the annual College of Natural Sciences Poster Session. Students must also have a grade point average at graduation of at least 3.50 in coursework taken in residence at the University. Students who fail to maintain an in-residence grade point average of at least 3.25 will usually be academically dismissed from option VI; under special circumstances and at the discretion of the departmental honors adviser, a student may be allowed to continue under academic review.

12. Students in all options who enter the University with fewer than two high school units in a single foreign language must take the first two semesters in a language without degree credit to remove their foreign language deficiency.return to text


Since its inception, Dean’s Scholars has striven to challenge the very best and brightest of the young science and mathematics students who attend the University of Texas at Austin. By adopting a formal curriculum, the honors program will be able to continue in its efforts to meet the needs of the most intellectually ambitious of our students by deepening their grasp of the basics, broadening their general education, and intensifying their entire learning experience so that they are prepared for a lifetime of learning.

After intensive efforts by a curriculum development committee, this formal curriculum has been finalized and approved by the relevant departments. We are seeking inclusion in the catalog at the mid-point in order to be able to move forward with implementation as quickly as possible.

Locating the Dean’s Scholars degree plan in the departments as an option allows for greater departmental input into the education of the top-ranked students. Since the departmental faculty will also supervise lab work and ultimately the required thesis for the students, they should logically have jurisdiction over this aspect of the degree plan within their own departmental policies. And finally, a decentralized system places less stress on the infrastructure of each department as the necessary record keeping will be contained within the department.