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    May 29, 2024  
American University Catalog 2022-2023 
American University Catalog 2022-2023 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Honors in Physics

Available through the Department of Physics , College of Arts and Sciences , the Honors in Physics program is a mark of distinction for undergraduates interested in pursuing graduate training and/or a research career in physics, astronomy, engineering, or related fields. The goal of the program is to prepare undergraduates for independent specialized research and to provide additional mentorship on professional practices and ethics that will allow the student to become creative, productive, collaborative colleagues in the future. 

Admission to the Program

Students should apply to the Honors in Physics program in the spring of their sophomore year. Students may apply in their junior year, but it is their responsibility to ensure that all requirements will be met by the end of the senior year. 

At the time of the application, students should have a cumulative GPA of 3.50 or higher and should have completed or be enrolled in six of the following courses: PHYS-110 Principles of Physics I FA5 (4) , PHYS-210 Principles of Physics II FA5 (4) , PHYS-331 Modern Physics (3) , PHYS-351 Waves and Optics (3) , MATH-221 Calculus I (4) , MATH-222 Calculus II (4) , and MATH-313 Calculus III (4) . Students must also submit a written application that includes an application form, an essay describing the student’s academic and professional goals, and a CV/résumé.

Program Requirements

  • 9-12 credit hours of Honors in Physics coursework
  • Two-semester Capstone Experience
    • Project must be presented and defended in front of the faculty honors committee
    • Second semester of the project may be taken for credit as an independent study or internship, but may be completed as noncredit
  • Minimum 3.67 major GPA in Physics (BA)  or Physics (BS)  

Course Requirements

Required (6 credit hours)

  • 6 credit hours at or above 300-level, beyond the major requirements, and approved by the faculty honors committee

Capstone (3-6 credit hours)

Second Semester

Complete 1-3 credit hours from the following, or noncredit option, approved by the faculty honors committee: