Honors work in physics involves directed research on a specific topic in experimental physics, theoretical physics, computational physics, or the history of physics. To allow adequate time for this research students enroll in the one unit, year-long sequence PHYS 497-498—Senior Honors. Honors research is performed in close collaboration with a faculty advisor and the research topic is usually closely related to the faculty advisor's professional interests.


  • A public talk given within the first five weeks of Fall Semester at a departmental colloquium describing the proposed research.
  • A written thesis describing the results of the research due near the end of the second semester.
  • A public talk at a departmental colloquium near the end of the second semester presenting the results of the research.
  • Pass a written and oral examination by an outside examiner who is a specialist in the area of research covered by the project.

Honors students must also pass the senior capstone in physics. However, the public talk in the Fall will be counted as the oral component of the senior capstone. A student taking Honors must still take (and pass!) the written exam component of the senior capstone. Note that the early date for the first public talk means that students should begin preparing for honors work in the Spring of their junior year by finding an advisor and choosing a topic. In preparing for their talks, students may find the advice on the senior capstone page helpful.

Titles of recent honors theses include:

"Primordial black hole evaporation: model dependency and a possible source of short gamma-ray bursts"

"Approximate cloning of quantum entanglement"