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  Department of Physics and Astronomy


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Contact Info

231 CAP Building
525 Rivers Street
Boone, NC
(828) 262-3090
FAX: (828) 262-2049

Department Chair (Interim)
Dr. Leon H. Ginsberg

Physics Program Coordinator
Dr. Patricia E. Allen

Astronomy Program Coordinator
Dr. Joseph T. Pollock

Graduate Program Coordinator
Dr. J. Sidney Clements


The Honors Program in Physics and Astronomy

The Department of Physics and Astronomy offers an honors program open to majors in Physics and Astronomy who have outstanding undergraduate records and are interested in performing an independent research project. For each student who elects to pursue departmental honors in Physics and Astronomy, the program culminates in the writing of a senior honors thesis with which to report the results of his or her research to the scientific community. This research is typically initiated in the junior or sophomore year by joining a research group in the Department of Physics and Astronomy and enrolling in PHY 3560 or AST 3560 under the tutelage of a faculty advisor.

Physics and Astronomy Majors who fulfill the following requirements will be eligible to graduate with Honors in Physics and Astronomy:
1. The student must complete a minimum of 9 hours of honors credit. In addition to the courses listed at the bottom of this page, these credit hours may include Physics and Astronomy courses taken under an honors contract, and/or honors credit in other departments.
2. The student must graduate with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.45 (cum laude) and a minimum GPA of 3.45 in Physics and Astronomy. (Minimum GPA requirements for highest honors are 3.65 overall and in physics and astronomy.)
3. The student must complete an independent research project.
4. The student must submit a written senior research thesis to the department and receive a grade of B or better for this work (a grade of A is required for highest honors).
5. The student must present results in a scholarly publication or at a professional meeting.
6. The student is expected to attend all departmental seminars.


Required Honors Courses: Credit Hours:
PHY 3560 or AST 3560 (Undergraduate Research) up to 4
PHY 4002 (Applied Physics Literature) 1
Other Honors Courses: Credit Hours:
PHY 1150-410 (Analytical Physics II) with PHY 1150-210 (Honors Lab) 5
PHY 1151-410 (Analytical Physics II) with PHY 1151-210 (Honors Lab) 5


Students may arrange to take specific additional Physics and Astronomy courses on an honors basis by negotiating an honors contract with the course instructor before class begins. The honors contract, which must be approved by the Department of Physics and Astronomy Honors Committee, allows the student to receive honors credit for a regular course in Physics and Astronomy by specifying the additional assignments that the student should perform in order to receive honors credit.





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