Physics Undergraduate Studies
The undergraduate physics program provides students with extensive training in the fundamentals of modern physics, ensuring that they have the foundation to pursue graduate study and careers in basic research. All Caltech undergraduates are required to complete five terms of introductory physics. Those who choose to pursue the physics option go on to study the discipline in much greater depth. Sophomore-level courses explore waves, quantum mechanics, and statistical mechanics. Elective courses taken during the junior and senior year allow students to explore their particular interests through broad survey courses as well as through more focused laboratory studies and research.
Active evolvement in research, both during the summer and school year, is strongly encouraged for all PMA undergraduates. Students often receive academic credit for the physics work that they do outside of the classroom. In addition, many of the physics undergraduates complete at least one Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF).