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Undergraduate Program


The Department of Physics and Astronomy provides a range of opportunities for undergraduates, from introductory courses for the non-scientist, to a minor in physics or physics and astronomy, and complete degree programs leading to the BA and BS in physics or in physics and astronomy (astrophysics).

Majoring in Physics or Physics and Astronomy

Students have until the end of their sophomore year to declare their major. However, students wishing to major in physics or in physics and astronomy should meet with the department’s undergraduate office before the end of their sophomore year to be assigned a departmental advisor.

All lectures are typically given by our full-time faculty. Graduate students and upper-class majors assist with workshops, recitation sections, and labs.

Our program is flexible enough that our students can pursue a dual major, pre-med, pre-law, or teacher certification programs.


Each year a sizeable fraction of our upper-class majors are involved in faculty-sponsored research projects through the department's NSF funded Research Experiences for Undergraduates program.

Student Life

Student activities are organized through the University's chapter of the Society of Physics Students (SPS), a national organization affiliated with the American Institute of Physics and the American Physical Society.

The SPS sponsors lectures by the faculty on topics of current interest, co-sponsors the annual SPS/department colloquium by a distinguished visiting scientist, and offers tutoring services for the introductory physics and astronomy courses. The SPS also hosts the annual department picnic in the spring, and the annual Faculty vs. Undergraduate Quiz Bowl, in which any question unrelated to physics or astronomy is fair game!

Rochester Symposium for Physics Students

The Department of Physics and Astronomy sponsors the Rochester Symposium for Physics Students (RSPS). This Northeast regional undergraduate research conference is held each year, typically in the latter half of the spring semester. 


Questions may be addressed to our undergraduate program coordinator, Linda Cassidy at