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Thursday, October 3, 2013

Maine college considers dropping physics major - and it's not alone

The University of Southern Maine, in Portland, is having discussions about whether to drop its physics major due to low enrollment. An article in Institute of Higher Education says that other schools are having the same discussion (the article is here).

So-called “low-performing” programs have also been threatened – or eliminated – in at least nine other states in recent years, according to the American Physical Society, most notably Texas. In 2011, that state’s Higher Education Coordinating Board announced that it would begin phasing out up to 7 of its 24 public undergraduate physics programs for failing to graduate 25 majors every five years.

It never occurred to me that a college or university would even think of not offering a physics major - that wouldn't be a real college, any more than if it lacked an English major or mathematics major.