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Undergraduate Physics at The Ohio State University

Undergrad Home | Handbook | Courses | Advising | Scholarships & Awards | Graduation Info | Student Organizations | Research | Transfer Credit

Undergraduate Physics: Frequently Asked Questions... and Answers!

The Basics of the Physics and Engineering Physics Majors

Q: How do I change my major to Physics or Engineering Physics?
A: If you are interested in switching your major to Physics or Engineering Physics or if you are interested in additional information about these majors, you will need to speak with Lindsey Thaler. You can set up an appointment by emailing thaler.21@osu.edu or calling 614-247-1635. If a student is switching into the physics major from a different college (ie: coming from a program that is NOT in Arts & Sciences), that student will also need to meet with an Arts & Sciences College advisor to make sure GEC course requirements are understood.

Q: How do I change my major from Physics or Engineering Physics to a different major?
A: If you are currently a physics or engineering physics major and you want to switch your major to a different area of study, you will need to meet with an academic advisor in the major you want to switch in to. The advisors in physics do not have the authority to add students to a different major program. If you do not know who the academic advisor is for your new major, you will need to type in the program or department name in the search box on the OSU website and find the information from the department's website.

Q: How do I get involved in undergraduate research?
A: Contact Dr. Richard Hughes (hughes.319@osu.edu) or Lindsey Thaler (thaler.21@osu.edu)

Advising

Q: Who is my advisor?
A: Lindsey Thaler (thaler.21@osu.edu) is the academic advisor and Dr. Richard Hughes (hughes.319@osu.edu) is the faculty advisor for all Physics & Engineering Physics majors and Physics minors. Arts & Sciences Physics majors will also be assigned to a college advisor (this person will be listed under the "advisors" box in your Student Center). College advisors will help with General Education Curriculum (GEC) requirements. Engineering Physics majors can contact Lindsey Thaler with GEC questions.

Q: How do I set up an appointment with an advisor?
A: Please email Lindsey Thaler at thaler.21@osu.edu to set up an appointment. Walk-ins are accepted, but it is not guaranteed Lindsey will be available at all times. Setting up an appointment ensures that you will have a full hour with an advisor and the advisor will be available and prepared to answer any questions you have.
Non-honors Arts & Sciences Physics majors can set up an appointment with their college advisor by calling 614-292-6961 or stopping by the advising office in room 100 Denney Hall. Honors Arts & Sciences majors can set up an appointment by calling 614-292-5104 or going to room 207 Enarson Hall.

Physics & Engineering Physics Requirements

Q: What is a technical elective in Engineering Physics?
A: The specific engineering courses necessary to complete the concentration area for an engineering physics major. Every Engineering Physics major must choose one of the following areas in Engineering to focus their studies: Aerospace and Aeronautical Engineering, Chemical Biomedical Engineering, Computer Science Engineering, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Industrial Systems Engineering, Materials Science Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, or Nuclear Engineering. The area of study a student chooses is called their "concentration". A specific list of courses must be completed in order to complete the requirements of the concentration. Details are available in the Required courses for Engineering Physics section of the Handbook for Undergraduate Physics.

Q: What is a technical elective in Arts & Sciences Physics?
A: Math, physics or other science courses that are required in order to complete the requirements for a specific Arts and Science Physics Option. There are 6 different ways in which an Arts and Science student can complete the physics program (Options A-F). Each option has different technical electives. Details are available in the Required courses section of the Handbook for undergraduate Physics.

Q: What are free electives?
A: Free electives may come up for Arts & Sciences Physics majors. It is college policy that a student takes least 181 credit hours to graduate with a bachelor's degree. Under some of the Arts & Sciences Physics Options, free electives may be required in order to reach this minimum. Normally students come in with transfer or EM credit or they take extra classes so most students never have to take free electives. If you are sure you will not be below the 181 credit hour limit when you graduate, you will not need to worry about taking free electives.

Q: What are the physics controlled access courses and how do I schedule them?
A: The following courses are controlled access, which means you will NOT be able to schedule these courses yourself:

Physics 416: Data Analysis Lab (offered Au, Wi, Sp)
Physics 517: Electronics Lab (offered Su, Au, Sp)
Physics 616: Senior Lab (offered Au, Wi, Sp)
Physics 596: Senior Writing Course (offered Au, Wi, Sp)

In order to take one of these classes, you will need to email Robin Wyatt (wyatt.60@osu.edu) 3-4 quarters prior to when you want to take each class. She will put your name on a list and once scheduling windows open for that specific quarter, she will schedule it for you. Keep in mind that putting your name on a list for a certain course does not guarantee you will get in. Robin gives priority to seniors, then to juniors, then sophomores, etc. From there, she schedules based on who requested the course first. If she cannot get you in for the quarter you requested, then you will be enrolled in the class the following quarter.

Graduation

Q: What paperwork do I need to fill out for graduation and when is it due?
A: Details can be found at the Graduation Information and Materials website. A Major Program Form, Graduation Application, and Graduation Survey need to be completed. These forms should be completed the quarter before you wish to graduate (ex: if you're graduating spring quarter, you should complete your paperwork winter quarter).

Q: Where can I find graduation paperwork?
A: A Major Program Form will need to be completed for Physics and Engineering Physics majors. They can be found on the Graduation Information and Materials website. In addition to this, Engineering Physics Majors will need to complete a Graduation Application Form (which can also be found at the above link). Arts & Sciences Physics majors will meet with their college advisor to fill out a Graduation Application.

Q: Who do I meet with for graduation?
A: You will meet with Lindsey Thaler when you have completed your major program form and the graduation survey. Please make an appointment by email: thaler.21@osu.edu. Arts & Sciences Physics majors will also need to meet with their college advisor after the major program form has been signed by Lindsey Thaler.

Transfer Credit

Q: How do I get my physics transfer credit evaluated?
A: If you transfered a physics class to OSU from another institution and it came in as "general" or "special" credit, you will need to get this credit evaluated by Dr. Mike Ziegler. You can contact Dr. Ziegler at 614-292-6086 or email him at ziegler.2@osu.edu. You can also visit the transfer credit information page for more information.

Q: How I get credit from other areas of study evaluated?
A: You will need to visit a separate department for each area of study you need evaluated. For example, if you have general transfer credit in economics that needs evaluated, you will need to visit the economics department. For a comlete list of transfer credit evaluators for each area of study, visit the Departmental Transfer Credit Coordinators List page.

Physics Minor Requirements

Q: What is involved in getting a minor?
A: 21 credit hours of physics along with the pre-requisite math. Specifically you will need: Introductory Physics (Physics 131-132-133), Dynamics of Particles and Waves I (Physics 261), Introductory Seminar (Physics 295), Methods of Experimental Physics (Physics 416), and 12 hours of Physics electives. If you are interested in pursuing a minor you will need to meet with Lindsey Thaler. You can set up an appointment by emailing thaler.21@osu.edu or calling 614-247-1635. Details are available in the Physics Minor section of the Handbook for Undergraduate Physics.

General OSU Questions

Q:If I drop a class, is it okay if it puts me below full time status?
A: It depends on your situation. Some scholarships and grants require students to be full time (12 credit hours or more). Others require that a student is full time on average. Your health insurance may also require you to be a full time student. To see if dropping below full time will affect you, please visit the Student Consolidated Services Center:

Student Colsolidated Services Center
Room 100
Student Academic Services Building
281 West Lane Avenue
614-292-0300
scsc@osu.edu
walk-in hours M-Th: 9am - 5pm; F: 9am-4pm

Q: Where can I find out about OSU housing?
A: Check out the Ohio State University Housing Website

Q: Where can I find out about financial aid?
A: Check out the Ohio State University Student Financial Aid Website

Q: Where can I find out about parking?
A: Check out the Ohio State University Transportation and Parking Website

Q: Where can I sign up for or change a meal plan?
A: Visit the Ohio State Dining Services website

Q: How do I order an official transcript?
A: Official transcripts can only be ordered through the Registrar's Office. Information on how to do so can be found on the transcript page of the Registrar's website.

Q: Where can I find information about OSU health insurance?
A: Check out the Ohio State University Student Health Services Website



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