Students should discuss their course plans with the physics faculty. Here, you can find some general recommendations for students interested in the study of physics and astronomy.
- Students contemplating studying physics are encouraged to have a broad scientific background.
- During their first two years, students interested in a traditional physics curriculum should attend General Physics I and II, Electricity and Magnetism, Modern Physics, and a laboratory course.
- During the following years, they should also expect to take at least some of the following classes and tutorials: Experiments in Physics, Astrophysics, Classical Mechanics, Quantum Physics, Electrodynamics, Statistical Mechanics.
- Interdisciplinary and unconventional curricula are welcome. The foundation needed for these curricula is discussed on a case by case basis.
- A solid mathematical background is required, since this language, together with English, is used to express physical concepts. Students interested in a physics curriculum should attend the series of calculus courses. Students are advised to enroll in the Linear Algebra and Differential Equations courses as well.
- Students interested in computer simulations and data analysis might be required to develop skills in programming.
- Some branches of chemistry and physics are tightly linked; basic knowledge of chemistry is also strongly encouraged.
- For the most part, Astronomy is a branch of Physics; students interested in Astronomy should follow the previous recommendations.
- Astronomy students are encouraged to incorporate observations at the MacArthur Observatory in their education.
- Annually, the physics faculty supervise three student worker positions: two Observatory Assistants and one Physics and Astronomy Tutor.