Undergraduate Program in Physics

Physics Major or Minor

If you are considering a major or minor in physics, please start with the Physics Majors Handbook. The Physics Majors Handbook is your definitive source of information about the requirements and options for pursuing a bachelor's degree in physics. It includes information about honors degrees and the physics minor.  There you will also find checklists of requirements for the various degree tracks. You can also find the checklists here for the  Professional track (rev 11/2019) (new format with additional info!), the Applied track, and the General track.

You can declare a physics major or minor (or just talk to someone about the possibility) by first meeting with the Undergraduate Program Director, available by email at upd@physics.umass.edu.

Integrated Concentration in Science (iCons program)

The iCons curriculum integrates scientific expertise across departments and gives students the opportunity to work on real-world problems from the start of their undergraduate careers. This program - embedded with the physics or other major - will give you collaborative learning experiences, discovery-based projects, leadership development, and multi-disciplinary analytical skills. See the iCons page or ask your advisor for more information.

Advisors

Departmental advisors are charged with helping majors (and potential majors) with program requirements, curriculum scheduling, and career planning. One member of the faculty is assigned as an advisor for each student, whether you are a primary or secondary major in physics. In most cases, you advisor will stay with you until your graduate. You are encouraged to schedule a discussion with your advisor at any time, especially before the enrollment period. For students who primary major is physics, you must see your advisor to have your registration hold lifted, and this meeting must occur before you can sign up for courses. Your SPIRE page should list your advisor's name and email address. (You might need to click "More advisor info" to see this information.)  If you don't have an advisor assigned, please contact the UPD (upd@physics.umass.edu).

Other Opportunities: Research, Teaching, and Student Organizations

Undergraduate Physics majors are strongly encouraged to participate in many aspects of the Department beyond taking courses. We are a major research center, and our faculty engage in research in a wide variety of cutting-edge topics. We encourage and welcome undergraduates to participate in this endeavor. It's an excellent experience for students, whether headed for research-related careers or not. A partial list of open research positions, as well as a list of previous research projects, can be found under Undergraduate Student Research.Here is a Guide to finding on-campus research positions.  (It's quite different from signing up for classes.) Physics majors also get paid internships with companies, national labs, or other universities over the summer: see this Guide to finding off-campus research positions & internships. Additionally, teaching assistantships are sometimes available to undergraduates. A list of teaching opportunities can be found at the Jobs link for the department, especially just before or after the start of each semester. Finally, a number of physics related science clubs and programs may be of interest to majors; these are listed under Related Programs and Organizations in the right sidebar.