The Honors Degree

The honors program in physics or astronomy provides outstanding physics or astronomy majors with the opportunity to participate in research under the supervision of a faculty adviser selected by the student. The program culminates in a written report that, in conjunction with the student's academic record, forms the basis for faculty decisions on the award of departmental honors. (Note: Students may participate in research without being in the honors program. Students are welcome to initiate research projects by enrolling in 399 at any point in their undergraduate studies.)

The honors program is administered by the department's Undergraduate Curriculum Committee. This committee consists of the Director of Undergraduate Studies and three other faculty members appointed by the Chair of the department. The Director of Undergraduate Studies serves as the departmental honors coordinator.

Physics and astronomy majors are eligible to participate in the honors program when they maintain a grade point average of 3.30 or higher, both overall and in all physics, astronomy, and mathematics courses. (These criteria also apply to classes taken after the student has formally entered the honors program.)  Students who do not satisfy these requirements at graduation cannot be granted departmental honors.

Students who meet the above criteria and wish to participate in the honors program must notify the Director of Undergraduate Studies. If students have not yet selected an honors research adviser, the director can assist them in finding an appropriate faculty mentor.

Further details on completing the honors program and writing the honors thesis may be obtained from the Director of Undergraduate Studies.

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August 26, 2013