Introduction



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Introduction

The University of Connecticut is one of about 100 major research universities in the United States. Its missions include not only undergraduate instruction, but also scientific and scholarly research. It offers baccalaureate (B.A and B.S.) degrees, as well as M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Physics. The faculty who teach the undergraduates also carry out and supervise the scientific studies that extend our knowledge of the physical universe. Many educators believe that for purposeful and well-motivated undergraduate students, research universities offer distinct, almost unique advantages and exceptional educational opportunities. Most of the institutions of higher education, to which prospective students traditionally aspire to gain admission, are research universities, and have faculties with major responsibilities for research and scholarship as well as for teaching. The opportunity to have close and frequent contact with faculty members who are deeply engaged in and committed to their research work, often is a profound and formative experience for young people who also aspire to scientific careers, but who may not yet understand what commitments such a career entails or what rewards it has to offer. The intellectual rigor of the physics curriculum also helps students to develop skills that are invaluable in a diverse range of careers whose focus is not necessarily scientific. The disciplined work habits and analytical skills essential for physics majors are important assets to students preparing for careers in medicine and law, as well as for careers in which mathematical modeling plays a significant role.

The Physics Major curriculum at the University of Connecticut begins with a two-year Introductory Physics sequence especially designed for students intending to select physics as a major. It also includes courses in Mechanics, Electromagnetism, Quantum Mechanics, Thermodynamics, and Optics. Laboratory instruction parallels courses that develop the formal theory; courses in Mathematics also are essential components of the undergraduate Physics Major curriculum. A detailed description of course offerings and degree requirements appears in the University's General Catalog. Physics classes for Physics Majors are small, and opportunities for unstructured, informal discussions with faculty are readily available. Exceptional students can participate in the University's Honor Program, and are encouraged to engage in independent study, often as participants in ongoing research projects. Undergraduates whose academic records warrant enrollment in introductory graduate courses in their senior year, are able to choose that option.J

There are many potential rewards for students with diverse interests and career objectives, or with still indefinite career objectives, in studying Physics. The Physics Faculty of the University of Connecticut invites prospective students, interested in majoring in Physics, to schedule a visit to our Department to investigate whether we can serve his or her educational needs.



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Next: Programs and Facilities Up: The Undergraduate Physics Major