Undergraduate Degree & Course Catalog

Physics - About The Program

About Our Degrees

Acceptance Criteria - Physics, BS: Minimum GPA of 2.0 in MTH 141-MTH 142 and PHY 107- PHY 108 (or PHY 117-PHY 118, preferred), PHY 158.

Acceptance Criteria - Mathematical Physics, BS: Minimum GPA of 2.5 in MTH 141-MTH 142 and PHY 107- PHY 108 (or PHY 117-PHY 118, preferred), PHY 158.

Acceptance Criteria - Physics, BA: Minimum GPA of 2.0 in MTH 141-MTH 142 and PHY 107- PHY 108 (or PHY 117-PHY 118, preferred), PHY 158.

Acceptance Criteria - Physics BA with Teaching of Science Concentrations: Minimum GPA of 2.0 in MTH 141-MTH 142 and PHY 107-PHY 108 (or PHY 117-PHY 118, preferred), PHY 158. Department of Learning and Instruction (LAI) also requires a minimum GPA of 2.5 overall for admission.

Acceptance Criteria - Physics, Minor: Minimum GPA of 2.0 in MTH 141-MTH 142 and PHY 107- PHY 108 (or PHY 117-PHY 118, preferred), PHY 158.

Acceptance Criteria - Other Physics Programs: The Department of Physics participates in joint majors in Computational Physics and Engineering Physics. There is also a 5-year BS in Computational Physics/MS in Physics program. For the acceptance criteria, see the Computational Physics and Engineering Physics entries.

Acceptance Information
In order to be accepted into any of the undergraduate degree programs students should contact the Undergraduate Director, Professor John Cerne, 128 Fronczak Hall, 716-645-2542, email jcerne@buffalo.edu. There are no application deadlines. Each year about 15-20 students are accepted into one of the undergraduate degree programs. At present there are about 55 majors in the BS and BA programs in physics and another 30-35 in the interdisciplinary programs (Computational Physics, Engineering Physics, Mathematical Physics).

Degree Requirements
Please see Degrees and Policies.

About Our Courses

The department offers lecture courses, lecture/lab courses, and lab courses, as well as courses offering Independent Study and Undergraduate Research. The courses taken by just physics majors typically have 15 to 25 students in them. TA's are only used as recitation or lab instructors in the introductory courses. Students interested in pursuing a degree in physics should begin by taking MTH 141- MTH 142 and PHY 107-PHY 108 (or PHY 117- PHY 118, preferred) and PHY 158 or equivalent honors courses. This is particularly important for PHY 107 and PHY 108, which have PHY 117 and PHY 118 as their equivalent honors courses, and are designed to benefit physics majors and strong engineering students.

For course descriptions, please see Courses.

About Our Faculty

The faculty is comprised of approximately equal number of theorists and experimentalists. Faculty are involved in all areas of physics including condensed matter physics, biophysics, high energy physics, and astrophysics/cosmology.

Six faculty members have received the SUNY Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching, nine are Fellows of the American Physical Society, eight have won National Science Foundation Career Awards, and five are SUNY Distinguished Professors.

The Director of Undergraduate Studies is Professor John Cerne who can be contacted at jcerne@buffalo.edu, 716-645-2542 or 128 Fronczak Hall.

Please visit our department website for additional information about our faculty.

Practical Experience and Special Academic Opportunities

Undergraduate Research and Practical Experience

Undergraduate physics majors regularly become involved in the research activities of the department. This can involve independent study, part-time employment, and/or full-time employment during the summer.

Interested students should visit http://www.physics.buffalo.edu/undergraduate/UndergraduateResearchMentors.. This web page describes the undergraduate research mentors programs of the physics department. Students earn credit for their undergraduate research in PHY 498 Undergraduate Research.

Honors, Awards, and Scholarships

To graduate with departmental honors, a student must excel in coursework and complete a senior thesis. The designations given below are awarded to students who have the corresponding GPAs in courses required for the Department of Physics degree programs and who have completed a senior thesis:

Honors 3.25
High honors 3.50
Highest honors 3.75

Outstanding Senior Award
Each year the Department of Physics chooses an outstanding senior. This student receives a certificate and a monetary award from the department, and also receives a College of Arts and Sciences Dean's Outstanding Senior Award.

Sekula Scholarship
Each year the department awards up to seven scholarships to undergraduate physics majors. This award is based on merit, as well as financial need.

National Scholarships
The Department of Physics encourages and supports student applications for prestigious national scholarships and fellowships, such as offered by the Goldwater, Fulbright and National Science Foundation programs. Please check http://www.fellowships.buffalo.edu/ for more information on national scholarships.

Extracurricular Activities

Undergraduate Physics Club

This organization is an active group open to all students. It sponsors special speakers and workshops, and organizes open houses and social activities. For more information, call 716-645-2017. Students in the club also belong to the Society of Physics Students (SPS) which is affiliated with the American Physical Society. Within SPS, students with a GPA above 3.5 are eligible for election to the UB Chapter of Sigma Pi Sigma National Physics Honor Society.

See the UB Student Association.

Links to Further Information About this Program

Last updated: February 22 2022 21:08:39