Honors Requirements

The Physics Honors Baccalaureate program provides the opportunity to graduate with honors in physics while meeting either of the following two conditions:

  • Maintaining a 3.50 GPA or better in upper-division physics courses (46 or more hours, at least 40 of which are taken for grades).
  • Undertaking research within the department or in a related discipline, writing a thesis on a research topic, and defending it (while maintaining a 3.30 GPA or better under similar conditions as above).

Undergraduate Research Project

It is advisable to undertake an undergraduate research project while enrolled as a physics major regardless. In general, students should seek admission to an National Science Foundation Research Experience for Undergraduates summer research program to follow their second year within the major. These involve travel elsewhere, and applications are usually due in December through February.

Upon return to UO, a student would seek research in a UO lab with the help of the physics undergraduate advisor. This research might start by reading seminal papers on a particular subject and discussing them with a potential undergraduate research advisor. In many instances this is followed by lab work involving construction of experiment apparatus, and/or programming computer control of experiments and interfacing to retrieve and analyze data, though other types of work are also possible.

Finally, the student would write up an undergraduate thesis during their last year in the program, under the supervision of their advisor. Students then defend their thesis in front of two research faculty, to include their advisor.

Physics While Enrolled in the Robert D. Clark Honors College

Students enrolled in the Robert D. Clark Honors College are encouraged to consider majoring in physics. The course of study for this option involves advance planning. The physics thesis can count for completion of requirements for graduation from the honors college provided they meet the requirements of the college as well.

Sample Course of Study