In the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Hofstra University, students begin by exploring the foundation of physics before moving on to courses in modern physics, mechanics, optics, electricity and magnetism, quantum mechanics and thermodynamics. Beginning in sophomore or junior years, about half of our majors elect to participate in research programs or advanced projects within our department continuously until graduation. The department presently has eight full-time faculty members and 25-30 physics majors.
What you should know about the Department of Physics…
- There are three degree options, including a BS in Physics, for careers requiring graduate study, a BS in Applied Physics, which includes an added concentration in biochemistry, computer science or engineering and a BA in Physics, for those seeking a career in physics education or other fields.
Physics has become a hub for several other disciplines - Double Majors with Mathematics, Chemistry and Engineering are very popular. Recent graduates have continued their training in Physics, Astronomy and Engineering graduate programs, as well as directly pursued careers in engineering, law, secondary education, software development and other fields.
- Other than the required coursework, there is no one “typical” academic path we recommend. We greatly encourage students to explore and develop independent physics projects as early as possible in their undergraduate career. Sometimes these projects are entirely student-conceived or develop spontaneously from conversations with faculty members. Frequently, students become part of an established research initiative within the department; others simply prefer to concentrate on advanced physics through independent study or tutorials. Amongst faculty and students throughout the department, there is a positive atmosphere of camaraderie.
- The department is equipped with student computer research labs and an extensive machine shop for use by qualified students. The Hofstra Observatory, supported by a grant from the National Science Foundation, features Celestron telescopes and computerized CCD cameras.
- The department hosts a chapter of the Society of Physics Students (SPS), an honor society (Sigma Pi Sigma) and an Astronomy Club. Advanced Physics Majors commonly participate in the University Tutoring Program and hold department positions as undergraduate peer instructors or lab assistants.