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Summer view of campus, as seen from across the Hocking River
Ohio University Majors

Physics Major


Program Overview

The Honors Tutorial Bachelor of Science program in physics (offered by the Physics and Astronomy Department) provides unique opportunities for exceptional students. The physics major begins with a solid foundation in classical and modern physics leading to deeper study in more specialized areas including quantum mechanics, thermodynamcs, nuclear and elementary particle physics, and condensed matter physics. At the heart of the program is the tutorial, in which the student studies selected material under the guidance of a faculty member acting as tutor. At individual weekly meetings the student and tutor discuss the weekly reading, solutions to problems, and other assignments. Tutorials continue through all four years of the program, with the senior year devoted to research for a thesis. Students typically spend one-semester to one-third of their total time (and academic credit) in tutorials, the rest being in laboratories or in other required or elective classes. Because the Honors Tutorial College has no specific general education (or "distribution") requirements, students are free to create unique courses of study in subjects outside their major fields according to personal taste.

Research

Physics students are strongly encouraged to gain experience as research assistants, either in the Physics and Astronomy Department's laboratories or through temporary internships at other universities, research centers, or national labs. Research work usually begins in the third or fourth year, though opportunities can sometimes arise earlier, and often becomes the basis of the student's senior thesis. Research opportunities are available in the Department in the following areas:

  • Condensed Matter and Surface Science: creating, studying, and simulating the properties of existing or new substances, such as thin magnetic films, semiconductors and glasses.
  • Nuclear and Particle Physics: investigating how the basic building blocks of matter interact with each other, and how they combine to form the elements we know.
  • Biophysics: using experimental techniques and computer modeling to understand processes in living systems, including cell adhesion and interacting neurons.

In addition, advance students interested in teaching can sometimes be given paid appointments as teaching assistants.

Admissions Information

Freshman/First-Year Admission

Students are selected by the Honors Tutorial College and the Physics and Astronomy Tutorial Board on the basis of superior academic ability and the potential for self-motivated study and research. Applicants typically are required to submit additional essays, and an interview with the director of studies is required for admission. More information, including materials and deadlines, is available at www.ohio.edu/honors/tutorial-programs/apply.

Change of Program Policy

First-year students at Ohio University may apply to transfer into the tutorial programs offered by Physics and Astronomy Department and the Honor Tutorial College. These students must meet the same entrance requirements as entering HTC freshman. 

Students in the HTC astrophysics or HTC engineering physics programs who wish to change to HTC physics should contact the director of studies for the HTC physics program.

External Transfer Admission

First-year students at another institution may also apply to transfer into the tutorial programs offered by the Physics and Astronomy Department and the Honors Tutorial College. These students must meet the same entrance requirements as entering HTC freshmen. 

Opportunities Upon Graduation

Recipients of the B.S. degree in physics possess high-level problem-solving skills that can lead to opportunities for employment in research institutions, government, industry, or teaching. This degree also prepares students for graduate study in astrophysics and related fields.

Academic Catalog

The academic catalog provides additional information about curriculum and courses for this major.
Academic catalog

Program Details

Degree: Bachelor of Science
Code: BS1905

Contact

Honors Tutorial College 
35 Park Place
Athens, OH 45701
Phone: 740.593.2723
Fax: 740.593.9521
honors.college@ohio.edu
www.ohio.edu/honors

Administrative Contact

David Drabold, director of studies/contact person
drabold@ohio.edu

Request Info

Please request application information regarding admission as a student using the form below.

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