2021-2022 Undergraduate Academic Catalog 
    Nov 27, 2022  
2021-2022 Undergraduate Academic Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Department of Physics and Engineering

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Mission Statement

The Physics and Engineering Department at PLNU provides strong programs of study in the fields of Physics and Engineering.  Our students are well prepared for graduate studies and careers in scientific and engineering fields.  We emphasize a collaborative learning environment which allows students to thrive academically, build personal confidence, and develop interpersonal skills.  We provide a Christian environment for students to learn values and judgment and pursue integration of modern scientific knowledge and Christian faith.


  • To prepare students for graduate studies in physics or engineering;
  • To prepare students for a career in research or teaching;
  • To prepare students for employment in various fields of applied physics and engineering;
  • To satisfy pre-professional requirements for students choosing to attend engineering or architectural schools.

Tradition of Excellence

The Department of Physics and Engineering offers an excellent education in a vibrant Christian setting.  Caring and knowledgeable faculty engage students with one-on-one instruction and in smaller-sized classes.  A number of our students gain practical work experience at Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR) and engineering firms in the area.  During the summer, our students participate in research on campus as well as at other undergraduate research programs around the country.

Career Opportunities

Most Physics majors continue their education in graduate school and eventually become research scientists or teachers. The Engineering Physics majors focus on either electrical or mechanical systems. Computer Science Engineering students focus on computer hardware and software. Graduates with this major have the option to attend graduate school or enter the job market in industry or government immediately after graduation. Point Loma offers both a Bachelor of Science and a Bachelor of Arts in Physics as well as a Bachelor of Science in Engineering Physics.


Michelle Chen, Ph.D.
University of Pennsylvania

Anthony Cortez, Ph.D.
University of California, Riverside

Paul Schmelzenbach, Ph.D.
Oregon State University

Maria Zack, Ph.D., Chair
University of California, San Diego



    Point Loma Nazarene University offers four baccalaureate degrees: the Bachelor of Arts (B.A.), the Bachelor of Music (B.Mus.), the Bachelor of Science (B.S.), and the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (B.S.N.). Many of the 50+ major programs also offer in-depth concentrations.

    If a second major area of study is desired, all requirements for both majors must be met with a minimum of 24 units distinguishing the two areas of study. While working on a single baccalaureate degree, the maximum number of pursuits is two majors and two minors.

    Students should review the majors and minors list in the catalog.


     Optional minors are offered in several schools and departments. The requirements governing minors are as follows:

    • Only minors that appear in the student’s catalog of record may be earned at the point of graduation;
    • A minor is at least 16 units and is under the direct auspices of the respective school/department;
    • Students must earn a 2.000 cumulative GPA in the minor for it to be granted;
    • The minor must show a minimum of nine (9) units in residence;
    • Of the 16+ units in the minor, nine (9) must be distinct from and not counted in the major;
    • Of the 16+ units in the minor, 12 must be at the upper-division level;
    • The pass/no credit option is not available for courses within the minor; and
    • A second minor, when feasible, requires a minimum of nine (9) units distinct from and not counted either in the major or in the first minor.


      EngineeringPhysical SciencePhysics

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