Graduation With Distinction and With Latin Honors
The Physics Department offers an honors program that can
lead to graduation with distinction or with high distinction
based on academic excellence and on excellence in research
as judged by a committee of physics faculty. The honors
program requires writing a
by defending the thesis.
Examples of physics theses can be
A physics major can also graduate with Latin honors, which
is based on the student's grade point average and does not
require any research. Details about Latin honors can found
on the Registrar's
Academic Recognition and Honors.
To enter the Physics honors program, a student must
- fill out an Intent to
Graduate with Department Distinction form and then meet
of Undergraduate Studies to get signed approval of the
form. This approval should be obtained before the end of the
junior spring semester.
- identify a faculty mentor who will guide the student in
research. This is best done before the beginning of the
senior fall semester.
- have an overall grade point average of at
least 3.0 at the beginning of the senior year.
- have a grade point average based on physics courses of
at least 3.0 at the beginning of the senior year.
To graduate with distinction, the student must
- complete all requirements for the B. A. or
B. S. degree in physics.
- finish the senior year with an overall grade point
average of at least 3.0.
- finish the senior year with a grade point average based
on physics courses of at least 3.0.
- complete a substantial research project under
the guidance of a faculty member.
- document the research in the form of a carefully
written thesis that is consistent in style and quality with
a published journal article as
described here. Successfully
defended theses will be posted on
the Department's thesis
- orally present and defend the thesis during a two-hour
exam that is administered by a thesis committee that
consists of three faculty members. This defense must take
place before the final day of classes for the spring
semester. Further information about the honors defense can
be found here.
- present a poster summarizing the thesis research at the
annual student poster session of the Physics
Department. the poster session usually takes place the week
during which spring classes end.
To graduate with high distinction
the thesis committee must further unanimously agree by vote
that the work done by the student, as demonstrated during
the oral defense and by the written thesis, represents
exceptional quality and originality.