Off-Campus Studies can help Physics students…

  • Prepare for an increasingly diverse and international workplace
  • Take advantage of a broader array of courses within the major

How does a semester or year of OCS help students in Physics prepare for graduate school or various career opportunities? 

  • OCS students make gains in terms of global awareness, maturity and self-confidence that are natural outcomes of studying abroad.

As a general rule of thumb, the Physics Department recommends the following for students who wish to study off campus.

  • First-year students should enroll in PHYS 155 General Physics and PHYS 156 General Physics II
  • Second-year physics majors should enroll in the following:
    • PHYS 245 Twentieth Century Physics I
    • PHYS 246 Waves, Electronics, and Quantum Mechanics
    • PHYS 255L Twentieth Century Physics Lab
    • PHYS 256L Electronics and Waves Lab
  • Because more required courses for the physics major (such as PHYS 325 Electricity and Magnetism and PHYS 339 Advanced Laboratory) are taught during the fall semester, it is usually preferable for physics majors to study off campus in the spring semester.

Which requirements can Physics majors fulfill while off campus?

  • Specific courses in major such as the following with the approval of the major adviser:
    • PHYS 246  Waves, Electronics, and Quantum Mechanics
    • PHYS 325  Electricity & Magnetism
    • PHYS 357  Thermal Physics
    • PHYS 347  Classical Mechanics
    • PHYS 385  Quantum Mechanics
  • Elective major credit
  • General Studies distribution credit
  • General degree credit

Major Credit Limitations

  • The maximum number of credits that can be applied to the Physics major from off campus studies (including AP credit, IB credit and credits from other U.S. institutions) is 10 credits with the approval of your major adviser.

Minor Credit Limitations

  • A minimum of three-fifths of the specific course and credit requirements for the minor must be completed in the on-campus program of the college.

What are the types of OCS programs recommended by the Physics department?

  • Students who want to take physics abroad should participate in a program that offers direct enrollment in a foreign university with local students
  • Students who are “on track” may be able to take a semester off from physics and enroll in a program which meets other academic goals.  (Students should speak with their major adviser about this possibility.)

Which Partner Programs are recommended by the Physics department?

  • University of St Andrews (St Andrews, Scotland)
  • University of Otago (Dunedin, New Zealand)

Students interested in Off-Campus Studies should attend an OCS First Step meeting in the fall of their second year, discuss their interests with their major adviser, and schedule an appointment with an OCS adviser.