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Courses Online Calculus-Based Physics Course?

  1. Nov 5, 2007 #1
    First, I did a general search on this topic here on Physics Forums, and found little useful information. Second, I know many of you are quite adamant in your dislike of online courses, but I'm in the military, so I take what I can get. On-campus courses are just not possible at this time.

    And now the question:

    Do any of you know of any online calculus-based physics courses being offered? I took a rather well designed Algebra-based course recently through Chemeketa Community College in Oregon (http://www.chemeketa.edu), but I really want to get some calc-based physics. If any of you have any suggestions, I'd be VERY eager to hear them!

    Thanks in advance,

    - Jack Linke
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 5, 2007 #2
    I currently go to an online school and I do not dislike it.

    My school also has a non-online section in which you can take courses off of disks and communicate with instructors over email. It is very organized, and works great.

    Its called EPGY.
  4. Nov 5, 2007 #3


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    Online calculus-based Physics will give you limited benefit mostly because you cannot perform genuine laboratory exercises ONLINE; you need to mechanically handle hardware items, arrange them, prepare what you will arrange, test measure and observe. This is why you may have difficulty finding any realistic ONLINE calculus-based Physics course.

    Think about an idea such as this: Would you want a dentist to repair one of your chipped, broken, or cracked teeth if he only learned about how to do this online, but had no other direct practical experience in doing such a repair?
  5. Nov 5, 2007 #4
    I'm not trying to debate the merits and problems of online classes here. As I already mentioned, I know many people here dislike online classes for one reason or another. I fully agree that an in-class, hands-on lab course would be great.

    Also, as I mentioned, I am not able at this time to participate in such a class. I'm in the military, in the middle of the Mojave Desert. And so I can sit here and let my mind rot, or I can be proactive and work toward my goals with whatever opportunities I can find. And that's what I will do. I don't mean to sound rude, but I hear people make excuses on a daily basis for why they're not working to further their education, and I'm not going to be one of them. Online courses may not be the 'best' way to learn a subject, but I'm going with what I can get for now.

    I hope that others out there might have knowledge of a calc-based course that at least makes a good attempt at useful labs. The algebra-based course I took was actually quite good in that respect. Well documented labs were an important and fundamental part of the course, and I learned a lot from them. I'm hoping to find a calc-based course that will offer a similar experience.

    (Math Jeans: Thanks for the tip. I'm looking into that program.)
  6. Nov 5, 2007 #5

    Just an additional note, the algebra-based course I took came with two lab kits. They weren't cheap, but they were good. Each lab required exactly what you mentioned, mechanically handling hardware items, arranging them, preparing what you will arrange, test measure and observe, with the additional step of writing detailed lab reports about with all measurements, the purpose of the lab and our conclusions. It was a lot of fun. Yes, I'd rather be in a 'real' lab environment, working with others, but for an online class it was amazingly well thought out. I gained a lot from that class.
  7. Nov 5, 2007 #6
    This doesn't help with your issue specifically, and you've probably come across this already, but just in case, MIT's OCW has outstanding lectures in physics:
    http://ocw.mit.edu/OcwWeb/Physics/8-01Physics-IFall1999/CourseHome/ [Broken]
    http://ocw.mit.edu/OcwWeb/Physics/8-02Electricity-and-MagnetismSpring2002/CourseHome/ [Broken]
    http://ocw.mit.edu/OcwWeb/Physics/8-03Fall-2004/CourseHome/ [Broken]

    Berkeley also has first-semester physics, audio only:
    Last edited by a moderator: May 3, 2017
  8. Nov 5, 2007 #7
    ebaywannabe: Thanks for the info. It's not too useful for my specific inquiry, but it's interesting info none the less. I was previously aware of the MIT work, but I didn't realize Berkeley had done anything like that. Thanks for sharing!

    Once I actually find a good online calc-based physics class, I'm sure these resources will come in handy.
  9. May 2, 2008 #8
    This may be somewhat late, but I just happened across this thread in my search for Calculus Based Physics online as well.

    Ellis College, NYIT offers PHY 170 and PHY 180, Calculus Based Physics online, a 9 week course each, 4 S.H. each.

  10. Jun 5, 2008 #9
    I'm currently enrolled at Ellis College and I have to see, it's pretty good so far. I haven't taken the physics courses yet but I will eventually.
  11. Jan 13, 2010 #10
    Re: Online Calculus-Based Physics Course? (And Chemistry)

    This is an old thread, but I'm pretty sure that there are others out these looking for this as well. In fact, a friend of a coworker was looking for online physics and chemistry classes recently, and here's part of my reply. Hope someone out there finds this helpful!

    If you just need to take Algebra-based Physics I and II, you can't go wrong with Chemeketa Community College. Just a little comm college, but the courses they offer are pretty good, and the Physics course uses a lab kit that's great!

    If you're looking for Calculus-based Physics, the ONLY school I know of that offers this online is North Carolina State University. Here's a short description of the classes:
    To register, go here:

    As far as Chemistry, there are a few options, actually. The best source I've found is:

    Of the general chem classes listed there, I'd recommend the ones from Washington Online, or Weber State. I've heard good things about both, and am currently taking chem with Weber State.


    As far as online engineering degrees, University of North Dakota is the school I list as the school I'm getting my BS from. They offer a true online Bachelor of EE, ME and other engineering fields (though you still have to take the lab courses on their campus, or find another source for those). I think they're the only school offers a full compliment of online Engineering related Bachelor of Science degrees. SUNY may be offering an online BS in EE now, but in the past their program was still awaiting full accreditation. Also, Rochester Institute of Technology offers a Bachelor of Science in Engineering TECHNOLOGY, but you may (or may not, I don't really know) find that this doesn't hold as much weight as a BS in Engineering in the job market. I've found that the best method for an Engineering program in the military is to find a school (like UND), and use their program requirements as a baseline for what classes to take. You don't necessarily have to take every course with the degree-granting school, but you want to be pretty sure they'll transfer.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 24, 2017
  12. Jan 14, 2010 #11
    Ugh this thread is old.
  13. Jan 15, 2010 #12
    First, in reply to your original comments:

    "My question is, how is an online course any better than just buying the textbook?"

    If you're just looking for knowledge, there's little benefit other than access to a professor who should be able to answer any questions that come up. If you're trying to get an Engineering degree, though, these are required classes, so for those students who are unable to take on-campus classes, due to military or other reasons, this information is good to have.

    Regarding your next comments:

    "Ugh this thread is old."

    That may be, but it doesn't mean the information is old. I've just updated it with current, useful information for others who may be in the same situation I'm in. There is no other thread like this on PhysicsForums, and I for one can't stand it when others create new threads for topics that already exist, so I'm unwilling to do the same myself.
  14. Jan 15, 2010 #13


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    Here's a question that one should consider, which may or may not be relevant to the OP. Are the credits given to online physics courses like this transferable or accredited? Assuming that one doesn't intend to take the complete physics degree course at the online institution and plan to transfer to another degree-granting institution, is the credit obtained from such online course accepted at most other institutions?

  15. Jan 15, 2010 #14
    Good point. This is really a question that needs to be asked by any student taking classes that they plan to transfer to another school. The courses I've listed are all regionally accredited, so yes, they "should" transfer, but you need to check with the school you plan to transfer to in order to be sure the specific class will meet the requirements of their program.

    For me, the school I was originally looking at (RIT) was willing to accept these classes, and UND isn't having any issue either. They meet the requirements, and again, are regionally accredited.

    I've provided the info on classes in a previous post as a starting point for others in my situation. Anyone that just blindly signs up for classes without checking if they'll meet the requirements and be accepted for transfer credit is simply wasting their time and money.
  16. Jan 16, 2010 #15
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 24, 2017
  17. Jan 16, 2010 #16
    Thanks so much for sharing Wellesley. Useful information!
  18. May 19, 2010 #17


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    I know this thread is a few months old, but figured I'd add some value to it...

    http://www.ccconline.org/courses/programs/Science/ [Broken]

    Most of the courses are guaranteed transferable within the state of Colorado, but are likely transferable to most regionally accreditated universities.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  19. Aug 15, 2010 #18
    Re: Online Calculus-Based Physics Course? (And Chemistry)


    I appreciate you digging into this and posting the information. I've been looking for online calculus-based physics courses for many, many years.
  20. Aug 15, 2010 #19
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 25, 2017
  21. Aug 15, 2010 #20
    PHY301 is. It just doesn't have a lab component.
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