FAQ's

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Where can I find the results of student course evaluations?
How can I register for a class that is full?
Where do I get the permission code for a class that is full?
Where can I find academic tutoring?
Do I have to go to the discussion section I am registered for?
How do I conduct an internship search?
What courses should I take in high school to be prepared to major in Physics or Astronomy?
What types of programs are offered?
What are the requirements for a degree in Physics?
What are the requirements for the honors degree in Physics?
What minors do you offer?
What scholarships do you offer?
How do I declare that I want to be a physics major?
When should I declare as a physics major?
Do I have to have a minor? If so, what minor should I take?
I have a hold/How do I get advised before registration?
Do I have to take the lab course at the same time as I take the lecture?
I have AP/CLEP/transfer credits. What major requirements would they fulfill?
Which courses are offered year round, and which ones are only offered at specific times?
When should I take my math courses?
What student organizations are there for undergraduate physics students?
How can I get involved in undergraduate research?
Are there any opportunities for foreign study as a physics major?
What can I do with a physics major once I graduate?
How do I become an astronomer/astrophysicist?
How do I become an astronaut?
Who can I ask if I can't find my question answered here?

 

Q. Where can I find the results of student course evaluations?

A. If you are a student, faculty or staff member at the University of Utah, point your web browser to the Campus Information System (http://gate.acs.utah.edu), and log in with your uNID/password. On your student tab, look in the box marked “Registration” for a link called “Student Course Evaluations Results”. On the Employee Tab, this link is called “Student Accessible Results” and is located in the box marked “Student Course Evaluations”.

Q. How can I register for a class that is full?

A. If the course is full, you will need to obtain a permission code from the instructor before you are allowed into the class.

Q. Where do I get the permission code for a class that is full?

A. For most classes, you will need to either email the professor teaching that course, or go the first day of class and ask the professor for a permission code at the end.  If you are trying to get into 2010, 2020, 2210, or 2220, just register for any open discussion section; we will transfer you to the discussion section you want internally. 

Q. Where can I find academic tutoring?

A. There are department tutors listed on our site, the Tutoring Center has tutors available, and depending on your course, there may be Supplemental Instruction or Help Labs attached. Check your course syllabus for this information.

Q. Do I have to go to the discussion section I am registered for?

A. In the larger courses (PHYS 2010, 2020, 2210, 2220), space fills up fast, and many students find themselves forced to sign up for a section that conflicts with their schedule. You are allowed to sign up for one discussion section, but attend another for the same lecture. Just inform your TA in the new section of the change.

Q. How do I conduct an internship search?

A. There are internships, undergraduate research opportunities, and additional resources for both available on our website (link).

Q. What courses should I take in high school to be prepared to major in Physics or Astronomy?

A. The best high school preparation is to take all mathematics, physics, chemistry, computer, biology and English classes available.

Q. What types of programs are offered?

A. Physics: The flagship program of the department.  This program will give you the best preparation to be successful in graduate school in physics or other similar fields. The specific requirements are listed here. Physics Major Requirements (PDF).  This does not include General Education and University Requirements.

Applied Physics: Some of the more theoretical coursework from the physics track has been replaced with more applied classes.  This gives you a strong technical background that you can use for careers in law, business, engineering, technical writing, military and national security. The specific requirements are listed here. Applied Physics Major Requirements (PDF).  This does not include General Education and University Requirements.

Physics Honors Program: Intensive program for highly motivated students.  Any of the tracks can be an Honors Degree, but the Physics track has the most courses with an honors designation required for the degree.

Physics Bio-Medical Program: Intensive program designed to prepare students for medical school. The specific requirements are listed here. Bio-Medical Physics Major Requirements (PDF).  This does not include General Education and University Requirements.

Physics Teaching Program: For those students looking for a career in secondary school science teaching (secondary teacher certification included). The sign-off sheet for the Urban Institute for Teacher Education can be found here. Physics Teaching Major (PDF).  This does not include General Education, University Requirements nor secondary licensure requirements.

Q. What are the requirements for a degree in Physics?

A. Requirements for all our programs are listed in our Undergraduate Handbook (PDF) along with a lot of other useful advice. For more specific answers, see this question. Also, once you have downloaded the appropriate form for your track, you might also want to download the planning guide (PDF).

Q. What are the requirements for the honors degree in Physics?

A. Please visit our Honors Program page.

Q. What minors do you offer?

A. We offer 3 different minors for students; the physics teaching minor, the physics minor, and the astronomy minor. Students in a technical field should find that after completing the physics requirements for their major, they are able to add a physics or astronomy minor with the addition of a few more courses. The requirements for all 3 programs are listed in our Undergraduate Handbook (PDF)

Q. What scholarships do you offer?

A. Visit our list of departmental, college, university and external scholarships.

Q. How do I declare that I want to be a physics major?

A. To declare your major or minor, you will need to make an appointment with an undergraduate advisor.  You can make an appointment with the academic adviser by sending email to online, by dropping in during her drop-in hours or by e-mail, , if none of these times work for you.

Q. When should I declare as a physics major?

A. You can declare a physics major anytime before graduation. We do suggest that you declare sooner so you can make sure you are on the right path.

Q. Do I have to have a minor? If so, what minor should I take?

A. You are not required to declare a minor. Minors are a supplement to your major, or are an area of interest to the student, but doesn’t have time to complete the major.

Q. I have a hold/How do I get advised before registration?

A.  You will need to make an appointment with an undergraduate advisor.  You can make an appointment with the academic advisor by sending email to online, by dropping in during her drop-in hours or by e-mail, , if none of these times work for you.

Q. Do I have to take the lab course at the same time as I take the lecture?

A. It is not required, but it is recommended.

Q. I have AP/CLEP/transfer credits. What major requirements would they fulfill?

A. A score of 3, 4 or 5 on the AP Physics B exam will provide up to eight semester hours of credit, and will waive Physics 2010 and 2020. A score of 3, 4 or 5 on the AP Physics C Mechanics Test will give 4 semester hours of credit, and a score of 4 or 5 should waive Physics 2210 with department approval. A score of 3, 4 or 5 on the Physics AP C Electricity & Magnetism Exam will give 4 semester hours of credit, and a 4 or 5 will give exemption from Physics 2220 with department approval. Students with a score of 3, 4 or 5 should consider taking Physics 3210 and 3220.  If you have questions about your score, you should make an appointment with an undergraduate advisor.  You can make an appointment with the academic advisor by sending email to online, by dropping in during her drop-in hours or by e-mail, , if none of these times work for you.

Q. Which courses are offered year round, and which ones are only offered at specific times?

A.  Very few classes are offered year-round, and most of these are introductory classes.  Most of the lower and middle division classes are offered both spring and fall.  Most of the upper division course work is only offered once a year.  Information on specific classes is found in the Undergraduate Handbook (PDF).

Q. When should I take my math courses?

A. The sooner the better. Nearly every physics course has a mathematical prerequisite. Failure to adhere to the prerequisites will lead to difficulties in the course.

Q. What student organizations are there for undergraduate physics students?

A. Society of Physics Students

Undergraduate Student Advisory Council

Q. How can I get involved in undergraduate research?

A. Many of the professors in the department are passionate about undergraduate research: They will hire undergraduates in their labs.  They will include funding for undergraduate research in their grant proposals.  They might not have funding, but they will happily work with undergraduates passionate about the research.  All of these professors will work with students interested in applying for funding and prestige from the UROP program.  To find out about research opportunities, go talk to a professor!  In addition, we have funding from the REU program that undergraduates can apply for. 

Q. Are there any opportunities for foreign study as a physics major?

A. Absolutely! Physics & Astronomy are two fields where research is going on all over the world. Click here for details

Q. What can I do with a physics major once I graduate?

A. Nearly anything. Students who graduate in physics go on to careers in business, industry, technology, and for the government

Q. How do I become an astronomer/astrophysicist?

A. The best path for students interested in astronomy/astrophysics is to get a physics degree with an astronomy minor.  This will make you well qualified to attend graduate school in astronomy.

Q. How do I become an astronaut?

A. You’re on the right path.

Q. Who can I ask if I can't find my question answered here?

A. Give us a call at 801-581-6901, or send an email to an undergraduate advisor at

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