Honors Program in Physics

The two honors programs available to physics majors are the Physics Honors Program and the Campuswide Honors Program. The Campuswide Honors Program is an honors program with courses at all levels of undergraduate study in all majors on campus. Students in the Campuswide Honors Program take honors general education classes and then focus in honors work in their major, researching and writing a senior thesis, and presenting the research at the campuswide research symposium. The Physics Honors Program is specifically for high performing physics majors in the late part of the junior year and the entire senior year. The Physics Honors Program involves the researching and writing of a senior thesis, culminating in the presentation of the results at an oral seminar in the department. Further information about the Campuswide Honors Program may be obtained on their web site, which includes the list of academic requirements for the program. For information about the Physics Honors Program contact Professor Manoj Kaplinghat at mkapling@uci.edu.

The Honors Program in Physics provides an opportunity for selected students majoring in Physics to pursue advanced work in one of the research areas of the Department. Admission to the program is based on an application normally submitted by the sixth week of the spring quarter of the junior year. Applicants must have an overall grade point average of at least 3.4 and a grade point average in physics courses of 3.5 or better. (Exceptions to these procedures and standards may be granted in unusual circumstances.) In selecting students for the program, the Department considers evidence of ability and interest in research.

Students admitted to the program participate in a year-long course, Physics H196A-B-C, which includes two quarters of research and a final quarter in which a written thesis is submitted. If this work and the student's final GPA are deemed of honors quality by the program advisor, the student then graduates with Departmental Honors in Physics.

Course for Non-Majors for the Campuswide Honors Program:

The Idiom and Practice of Science interdisciplinary sequence (Chemistry H90, Earth System Science H90, Physics H90, or Biological Sciences H90) explores the role science plays in addressing socially significant problems. Students develop the ability to understand scientific models and to judge the content, merit, and limitations of many issues of science in the modern world. The development of analytical and writing skills is emphasized. Topics have included global warming, earthquakes, biodiversity and conservation, genetic plant engineering, evolution, aging, diseases, the history of science, and the physics of music.