Description of the Bachelor of Arts Program

The Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree in Physics is recommended for students interested in seeking employment in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) areas that require a strong scientific and quantitative background. The BA degree offers greater flexibility than either the Physics BS or the Physics/Engineering Double Degree program because it requires fewer credit hours of physics in contrast to the BS.

Physics advising questions should be directed to Professor Fred Leibsle (leibslef@umkc.edu).

University Requirements

General Education

The UMKC General Education Core is the university-wide curriculum that all undergraduate students will complete.  The 30-credit hour core curriculum includes three course types designated as Anchor, Discourse and Focus and is detailed in the General Education section of the catalog.

Constitution Course 

Every undergraduate student must take a course covering the United States Constitution and the Missouri State Constitution before graduation. Course options are included in the program requirements section below.

RooWriter Assessment

Candidates for all baccalaureate degrees must complete the online UMKC RooWriter Writing Assessment after they have passed Discourse 200 (or its equivalent) but before they have attained 90 credit hours. Incoming transfer students with more than 90 credit hours must complete the RooWriter by the end of their first semester of enrollment or within one semester after passing Discourse 200 (or its equivalent). Students who have not completed the RooWriter Writing Assessment within two semesters after passing Discourse 200 (or its equivalent) will be blocked from enrollment until they successfully complete the RooWriter. Additional information is available in the Undergraduate Academic Regulations and Information section of the catalog.

Exit Examinations

Information on exit examinations and/or major field exams is available in the Undergraduate Academic Regulations and Information section of the catalog.

Student Learning Outcomes

Students graduating from this program will:

  • Have a functional knowledge of the basic areas of physics.
  • Be able to integrate their knowledge with critical thinking skills in order to become quantitative problem solvers.
  • Be able to clearly articulate scientific information, both orally and in writing.
  • Be able to effectively use the scientific literature.

Students graduating with a BA degree in Physics will be prepared for entry into the high-tech job market.

Program Requirements

Program Specific Recommendations for UMKC General Education Core Coursework

Anchor I 13
Anchor II 13
Anchor III 13
DISC 100Discourse I: Reasoning and Values (Speech and Writing)3
DISC 200Discourse II: Culture and Diversity (Writing and Speech)3
DISC 300Discourse III: Civic and Community Engagement (Speech and Writing)3
Focus A 13
Focus B (Satisfied in program requirements below)
Focus C (May be satisfied by the Constitution course requirement below)
Focus Elective (Satisfied in program requirements below)
'Total credits' in this section indicates the number of General Education Core credit hours that are not met by the degree specific requirements outlined below.
Total Credits21
1

 See the UMKC General Education Core section of the catalog for available Anchor and Focus course options.

Constitution Course Requirement

Section 170.011.1 of the Missouri Revised Statutes, 2015, states that all candidates for a degree issued by a college or university in the state of Missouri must have “satisfactorily passed an examination on the provisions and principles of the Constitution of the United States and of the state of Missouri, and in American history and American institutions.” 

Courses at UMKC that satisfy this state requirement are:

Choose one of the following:3
The Supreme Court And The Criminal Process
U.S. History to 1877 (Focus C) 1
U.S. History Since 1877 (Focus C) 1
Constitutional History of the United States
Honors American Government (Focus C) 1
American Government (Focus C) 1
Total Credits3
1

 Course may satisfy both the UMKC General Education Core (Focus C) and Constitution requirements.

There are a few other ways this requirement can be satisfied for students transferring to UMKC:

  • Take an equivalent course from the list above at a regionally accredited institution.
  • Earn credit for one of the above courses through AP, IB, or CLEP.
  • Take a course that directly satisfies the Missouri Constitution Requirement at another Missouri institution.
  • Have a previous bachelors degree (or higher) from a regionally accredited institution.
  • Have an Associate of Arts degree from a regionally accredited institution.
  • Complete the 42 Hour Core at a Missouri institution and have it listed on the official transcript.

College of Arts & Sciences Degree Requirements

Students pursuing the bachelor of arts and bachelor of science degrees must complete a major. Students pursuing the bachelor of liberal arts degree must complete a minor. Additional details are available in the Student Services section of the catalog.

ALEKS Math Placement
Arts and Humanities Division of CAS 16
Science and Math Division of CAS (Satisfied in program requirements below)
Social and Behavioral Sciences Division of CAS 6
Writing Intensive Course (300-level or above)3
Foreign Language (3rd Semester Level)9
College Algebra (or any 200-level or above Math/Stat course; Satisfied in program requirements below)
Mathematics For Liberal Arts
Precalculus
Laboratory Science Experience (Satisfied in program requirements below)
Total Credits24
1

ENGLISH 110, ENGLISH 225, COMM-ST 110, and foreign language courses at 211 or below do not fulfill this requirement.

2

This requirement may be fulfilled by courses from either the UMKC General Education Core or the College of Arts and Sciences Degree Requirements.

 Major Requirements

Students must successfully complete the major requirements below with at least 12 hours of the noted upper division (300+) course requirements completed at UMKC.

MATH 120Precalculus5
MATH 210Calculus I (Focus B)4
MATH 220Calculus II4
CHEM 211
211L
General Chemistry I
and Experimental General Chemistry I (Focus B)
5
Choose One Introductory Series8
General Physics I
and General Physics II (Focus B)
Physics For Scientists and Engineers I
and Physics For Scientists and Engineers II (Focus B)
Required Upper Division Theory Courses9
Mechanics I
Methods Of Theoretical Physics I
Introduction To Quantum Mechanics
Required Upper Division Lab Course (Choose one)3
Physics of Electronics
Computer Interfacing Laboratory
Advanced Laboratory
Additional Physics Electives to equal 31 credit hours of Physics coursework.11
Restrictions: no more than 10 (of 31) credit hours below the 300 level; no more than 3 credit hours of PHYSICS 490 / PHYSICS 499.
Total Credits49

General Electives

Students must take elective credit hours to meet the minimum credit hour requirement for their degree, including at least 36 credit hours of coursework at the 300-level or above. The minimum required by the university is 120 credit hours, of which at least 30 credit hours must be taken at UMKC, but some degree programs require more.

General Electives23

Minimum GPA: 2.0

Total Credit Hours: 120

Formulating a Plan of Study

In order to ensure that the appropriate courses are taken, students are encouraged to consult with the undergraduate advisor for physics (Professor Fred Leibsle, leibslef@umkc.edu) before beginning the major.

Tools for Planning and Fulfilling Academic Requirements

UMKC's Major Maps are detailed, semester by semester plans that lead a student to complete all degree requirements within four years.  Plans include benchmarks and critical courses by term that assist a student’s evaluation of progress and major “fit”.  In order to ensure that the appropriate courses are taken, students are encouraged to consult with the undergraduate advisor for this major.

UMKC’s Degree Audit System provides an individual evaluation of all degree requirements (General Education Core, Degree Specific, Major Specific, etc.) for student’s officially recorded (Office of Registration and Records) and “what if” plans of study.  This evaluation is used to certify all graduation requirements.