ISP/Physics Double Major

Since 1976, the Integrated Science Program (ISP) has put a select group of the brightest science students in the country into a tailor-made curriculum that integrates mathematics with all the sciences — physics, chemistry, biology, geology, and astronomy. (See the Integrated Science Program's web site for more details.)

ISP prepares you to do science, to think, and to make connections. It trains you to attack problems directly and creatively by understanding and applying basic principles. The courses in ISP are challenging, the professors outstanding, and the opportunities for research extraordinary. In fact, there isn't another program like it. If you are seriously considering a career in science, you should consider ISP.

Most undergraduate science programs steer a narrow course within traditional boundaries. Unfortunately, boundaries can be barriers at the undergraduate level. You may be certain which science you want to pursue yet need interdisciplinary training to make the most of your abilities and interests. Alternatively, you may be drawn to a science that combines more than one traditional discipline, such as biophysics. No program prepares you for a career in the increasingly interdisciplinary world of science better than the ISP. Finally, you may not yet be sure which science really interests you. ISP introduces you to options you may never have considered and lets you fully explore them before you specialize.

The ISP does more than keep your options open. The curriculum has been carefully designed to lay a firm foundation for a career in whatever scientific field you ultimately choose. It progresses in a coordinated, logical sequence, each course building on the last and preparing you for the next. ISP courses aren't "intro" or "survey" courses; they are full-scale investigations, covering more material in more depth than do regular courses.

One reason these courses do so much so well is that they integrate mathematics and science. The mathematical principles you need to grasp fully a scientific concept are presented at the same time as the concept, a method that reinforces and consolidates learning. When you do decide to focus on one particular science, the ISP curriculum will have given you an advantage no single-science curriculum could.

The Integrated Science Program is a highly selective BA program in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences that includes PHYSICS 125-1,2,3 & PHYSICS 339-1,2 & ASTRON 331 as part of its curriculum. Application to this program is made directly to the ISP. More information about the ISP can be obtained by e-mail at: infoisp@northwestern.edu.

You can complete a double major in physics and ISP by taking six upper-level courses beyond those required by the ISP:

PHYSICS 359-1 (Electronics Laboratory) or PHYSICS 359-3 (Physics Laboratory)

PHYSICS 330-1,2 or PHYSICS 333-1,2, and three courses chosen from 300-level physics or astronomy courses other than PHYSICS 335, 398, 399 and ASTRON 399. (Students pursuing an ISP/physics double major may not substitute ISP 398 for any physics or math course in the ISP curriculum.)

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September 20, 2013