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 the appropriate level of calculus in the fall and then Phys 155 General Physics I in the spring, along with the next appropriate calculus or math course.
  • Second year students should continue with the mathematics sequence in the fall and also register for Phys 156 General Physics II. In the spring they should continue with the mathematics sequence and register for Phys 245 Twentieth Century Physics I.

Historically it has proven easier for students to complete the required physics courses at Whitman if they are able to study abroad during 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.