Undergraduate Students

The Department of Physics offers both an undergraduate major and minor in physics. The major in physics includes a strong emphasis on experiment and covers the broad fundamentals necessary for graduate study in physics and related fields. The minor in physics offers a slate of courses that provides a firm grounding in the basics with sufficient flexibility to accommodate the needs and interests of those likely to pursue this line of study. For more details concerning our undergraduate major, including sample programs, please consult the College Catalog or contact either Stuart Gazes, the Undergraduate Program Chair, Zosia Krusberg, Director of Graduate Studies, or Young-Kee Kim, the Department Chair.

Links to detailed information and resources for undergraduate students are found under the tabs below.

  • General Information: List of units engaged in Physics-related research and the information about Physics Reading Seminar.
  • Undergraduate Research Profiles
  • Summer Internships - UChicago-Specific
  • Research Opportunities Outside of UChicago
    • This spreadsheet lists and describes non-UChicago academic research summer internships and conferences/grants. Internship deadlines, subject areas, eligibility information (including whether they are open to international students), and locations are given. The contact information of previous participants in the specified programs is also provided.
    • Private Sector Opportunities: This spreadsheet lists and describes summer internships in the private sector (industry positions), and networking opportunities/grants. Application deadlines, position names, locations, and eligibility information are given.
    • UChicago Wisr is also a good place to ask UChicago alumni about industry/academia and look for internship opportunities.
    • The two spreadsheets above were compiled by the UChicago Society of Women in Physics (SWiP). Note that these are only partial listings of available opportunities, and any contributions would be much appreciated! Please contact Lisa Lin (lllin@uchicago.edu) with any questions.
  • Resources for Beginners
    • Partial Faculty List: Professors who are interested in talking to undergraduates about joining their labs. This list is created according to a survey conducted by SWiP, to be updated biannually. For tips on how to contact these professors, see this document.
    • Student Research Directory: Students who are actively involved in research at UChicago, and are: 1) looking to pass down projects; 2) have openings in their lab; and/or 3) happy to talk to you about what they're working on if you're interested in the topic!
  • Grad School Forum: Every spring the department hosts a "Grad School Forum." This event, lead by a member of the department's academic staff, offers advice on things such as the following:
    • Should you go to graduate school?
    • How to choose the right graduate school.
    • How to prepare your application for graduate school.
    • How to prepare for the GRE.
  • GRE Preparation: PHYS 990
    • Every autumn quarter, the department offers an unofficial GRE preparation seminar called PHYS 990. This "mini-course" is designed to be the final stage of preparation for the mid-October offering of the GRE subject test in physics. Typically, PHYS 990 consists of a partial review of some of the basic areas of physics usually covered on the exam, especially those subjects in which students tend to be weak or rusty. In addition to this review, students are also advised of certain tips and tricks that will help improve performance. Also, one or two practice exams are taken under test conditions. Details for the next offering of PHYS 990 is sent out to all rising senior physics majors before the start of the autumn quarter.