Intro Course Placement

The general recommendation of the Physics Department is for freshmen interested in physics or biophysics to take at least one of the two introductory courses for potential physics or biophysics majors — PHYSICS 161L and 162L — even if they have 5's on their AP Physics exams. The experience of most such students is that 161 and 162 are well worth the time since the AP Physics C or IB Physics HL courses do not teach with the depth, insight, and rigor of PHYSICS 161 and 162.

Most students who try to take the sophomore course Modern Physics (PHYSICS 264L) directly from high school, just knowing an AP Physics C curriculum and a year of calculus, find 264L too hard.

Any freshman who has scores of 5 on the mechanics AP level-C exam and on the electricity and magnetism AP level-C exam should meet with the Director of Undergraduate Studies. This student may be advised to take an upper level physics course such as PHYSICS 264L rather than one of the introductory physics courses.