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Division of Natural Sciences & MathematicsDepartment of Physics & Astronomy

Physics & Astronomy

A universe of learning opportunities

Information for first-year students

Welcome, new students of 2017! We're glad you're considering a physics major! Here's what you need to know about your fall courses (click image to download PDF).


Please also watch this video welcoming you to the department and providing other important information.

If you have any questions regarding your first-year courses or the physics major, check out our list of Frequently Asked Questions. You can also contact Dr. Jennifer Hoffman, She will be happy to help!

News & Highlights

The department underwent a strong expansion with eight tenure-track and two teaching professor positions filled in the last ten years. Our diverse and dynamic faculty of 12 includes four women and come from seven different countries. The program is recognized by the APS among US PhD-granting departments for our high percentage (50%) of female graduates: placing second nationally at the undergraduate level and third at the graduate level (APS data for the period 2011-2013). Small class sizes and a low student to faculty ratio allow us to provide personal attention and individualized advising to each student. Undergraduate physics majors gain hands-on experience by participating in faculty research as well as pursuing internships at national laboratories and industrial firms. We also have a very active chapter of the Society of Physics Students that participates in many community outreach efforts and encourages informal interactions between students and faculty.

DU physics and astronomy students have recently received the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship, the National Young Astronomer Award, and the Rhodes Scholarship. Recent BS graduates have gone on to graduate study in prestigious physics programs at Cornell, Dartmouth, Berkeley, and Harvard and obtained employment at national laboratories such as NIST and Space Telescope Science Institute. Recent PhD graduates have gone on to postdoctoral positions at NASA and the Max-Planck Institut für Radioastronomie, and joined the staff of Intel.

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