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Honors Physics

Pursuing an Honors track in Physics or Interdisciplinary Physics (IP) puts you in a distinguished category of individuals who are focused on becoming next generation leaders, in physics as well as in related scientific, technical and policy areas. The Physics or IP Honors major provides students with more in-depth introductory classes and offers all students the chance to develop their talents.

Students who are performing at a high level (a 3.4 GPA or better) in Physics in their first or second year are encouraged to meet with a faculty advisor and elect an Honors major.  In order to complete an Honors Physics or Interdisciplinary Physics degree, a student must maintain a cumulative GPA of at least 3.4, take an additional six PHYSICS credits at the 400-level or above and complete a senior thesis. 

 

Honors in Physics

  • Regular departmental requirements for a physics major
  • Must elect six credits of physics from courses numbered 401 and above which are not otherwise required.
  • Must also complete a senior honors thesis based on research done under the supervision of a faculty member. You may register for PHYSICS 496/497: Senior Thesis as part of the senior thesis work. 

Honors in Interdisciplinary Physics

  • Must elect three credits of physics from courses numbered 401 and above which are not otherwise required.
  • Must elect an additional three credit cognate course as part of the cognate program.
  • Must also complete a senior honors thesis based on research done under the supervision of a faculty member. You may register for Physics 496/497: Senior Thesis as part of the senior thesis work. 

In addition to extra course work, Honors students complete a senior research thesis under the mentorship of a UM Physics faculty member. The research typically begins during the student's third year and takes place over several terms, sometimes including spring/summer. The skills gained, papers published, presentations given, and friends and colleagues made are among the many lasting rewards of such a deeply immersive experience.  The research frequently helps guide students toward their next stage in life, be it graduate school or a career in teaching, industry, government or elsewhere.   

Each student who completes an Honors Thesis is encouraged to apply to the William L. Williams award by submitting their thesis electronically as a .pdf to physics.sso@umich.edu with the subject line "William L. Williams".

Thesis Deadlines:

Fall Graduates: 5:00 pm on the last day of class.

Winter Graduates: If you would like to be considered for the William L. Williams Thesis Award, the deadline is 5:00 pm on the last Monday in March. If you would not like to be considered, the deadline is 5:00 pm on the last day of class.

Spring/Summer Graduates: 5:00 pm on the second Monday in August.

Submit thesis as a .pdf file to physics.sso@umich.edu