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physics resourcessenior projects

Research & Senior Projects

( This page was last updated on April 5, 2010.)

There are a variety of mechanisms for physics majors to get involved in research.

1. Students may work in a research lab, generally as a paid assistant. Our department's Undergraduate Newsletter contains some advice for landing one of these positions.

2. PHYS 390, Undergraduate Research in Physics, provides a mechanism for students to obtain course credit for participating in physics research. This course is described in more detail on its dedicated web page PHYS390.htm.

3. Senior Projects in physics

Senior physics majors are required to complete a year-long research project. Each student chooses a research advisor and works closely with that person over the course of two semesters. The advisor is usually, but not necessarily, a member of the physics department. ( B.S. Engineering Physics students are encouraged to choose an advisor in their area of engineering specialization. All physics majors may request an advisor from a department other than physics or an institution other than CWRU. ) While the research advisor is primarily responsible for guiding the student's research, the course instructors for PHYS 351 and PHYS 353 and a departmental Senior Project Committee oversee the entire program. Students must submit to this committee periodic written and oral progress reports. At the end of the academic year, students write a formal Senior Thesis and present their work in public in a Senior Project Symposium.

Senior Projects are formally handled via registration for either PHYS 351, Senior Physics Project, or for Engineering Physics majors, PHYS 353, Senior Engineering Physics Project. Senior Project students must also register for PHYS 352, Senior Physics Project Seminar. PHYS 352 is an approved SAGES Departmental Seminar, providing 2 of the required 3 credits (PHYS 303 provides the remaining credit). There are regular weekly meetings for PHYS 352. PHYS 351/353 satisfy the SAGES Capstone requirement.


More detailed instructions concerning the Senior projects are given here. The people in the department most responsible for senior projects are the faculty members responsible for of PHYS 352 who are cochairs of the Senior Project committee and the Senior Project Committee. Questions should first be addressed to the these cochairs / the faculty members responsible for PHYS 352.

Current and Previous Senior Projects

Current Senior Projects: Current (or recently completed) senior projects.

Previous Senior Projects: Physics Senior Projects since 2000

Previous Senior Projects by advisor

Senior Project Ideas - ideas for new senior projects