Current Students Share Their Experience

Current students respond to common questions from prospective students.
What’s the transition like from a high school physics class to being a Physics major?

Not everyone has the same level of preparation before coming into college, and the first year of the Physics major takes that into account. Every student is able to succeed in this major regardless of their level of preparation before coming in. To some students, that might mean attending professors' office hours and creating study groups. All of your professors will gladly sit with you to discuss any material you may be struggling with, or talk about how what you're learning relates to the rest of the world. All you need to do is ask!

-Ted Mburu, IC‘23

What if I change my mind about which major to pursue? How hard is it to switch?

Especially early on in one’s collegiate career, switching majors is quite easy. I came in as a Cinema and Photography major but switched to Physics half-way through my first semester. I then added my second major in Physics right before my sophomore year started, but since I wanted to do two B.S. degrees, this took some careful planning, but my advisors were very supportive and helped me figure it out. As a Peer Success Coach, I’ve mentored students for whom this transition was a little trickier but major advisors and the Academic Advising Center are always there to help students figure their schedules out!

- Antara Sen, IC’23

How is the department supporting diversity and inclusion efforts?

We have the Anti-Racism and Inclusion Committee, which works to support inclusion across the department. We are working to inform others about how different levels of preparedness in high school affect students in college. We are working to keep our department one of the most diverse physics departments in the country.

- Cyerra Adams, IC '22

How difficult was it to start research? What will I be expected to know?

The faculty are very encouraging of student research and will gladly take on any student who shows interest in a project— be it a project that a faculty member is already working on or a new idea that a student wants to explore. The easiest way to get started is to either send relevant faculty members an email stating your interest or you could just pop by their office! Working with faculty is a great way for us to learn about physics because professors will teach and mentor students new topics, and then give them tasks that apply these concepts, so you can get started on research without any prior experience. You just have to take the initiative to ask! 

- Antara Sen, IC’23