Undergraduate FAQ for Academic Year 2020-2021

Last updated July 16, 2020

We are working to provide some information to the most common questions we have received so far about the upcoming academic year (2020-21).  For any additional questions, please contact the DUS Nikhil Padmanabhan or the undergraduate registrar Daphne Klemme.

Resources

Courses

All core courses, including laboratory and research courses, are being offered in the Fall.  Courses are being restructured to make optimal use of the online format, with the goal of enhancing courses even more.  There will also be a few new and updated course offerings.

Class times are still being finalized.  All class sessions will run synchronously, although there may be asynchronous components. Select courses will be pre-recorded. We recommend contacting instructors for exact details.

Physics 165L and 205L will be offered in a fully-online version this Fall, with the possibility of simple DIY experiments at home or in your dorm, as well as analysis of pre-recorded data.  Physics 206L is being re-envisioned as a hands-on computational physics course this semester, and will count in place of the previous lab course.

The exact details for Spring are still being determined.  Let us (DUS or Daphne Klemme) know if you have particular concerns.

Please see the Physics course of study pages of the Yale College Programs of Study catalog or the Yale University Course search.

• All core courses (including labs) are going to be offered as planned, plus a few new course offerings (PHYS 320, updated PHYS 206, perhaps new relativity class, and new electronics lab). The goal is to “make sure that the experience is the same no matter where you are taking classes from”
• The new class PHYS 320, on science policy, will count as an elective towards the major.
• Most classes will likely be synchronous (i.e. not pre-recorded) via Zoom, though the recordings will be made available, similar to last semester.
• PHYS 205L will be fully online in fall 2020. It may include small DIY experiments you can do at home, or more likely analysis of pre-recorded data. Details TBA.
• PHYS 206L is being completely reimagined as a new “computational methods and computational physics” class, i.e. fully online. This year, it can be taken out of order from 205.

 

If you haven’t completed the intro physics sequence (180-181, 200-201, 260-261) already, and are considering a leave of absence in the fall, you should contact your DUS to let them know!

The department will be offering PHYS 180 in the Spring and 181 in the Fall of 2021, details to follow.

Research

In-person, on-campus employment or research is restricted to students who are enrolled in residence.  Remote employment or research is available to all students. More details on student employment are available on Yale College’s FAQ.  

The full, updated policy announcment (as of July 17, 2019) is available here.

No, only remotely. In-person, on-campus employment or research is restricted to students who are enrolled in residence.  Remote employment or research is available to all students. More details on student employment are available on Yale College’s FAQ.  

The full, updated policy announcment (as of July 17, 2019) is available here.

In-person, on-campus employment or research is restricted to students who are enrolled in residence. Because of public health constraints, only students who are enrolled in residence are eligible for in-person, on-campus employment or research, part-time or full-time, paid or unpaid, including laboratory research. Students who are enrolled remotely, on leave, or withdrawn are all ineligible. So are students from other schools, colleges, or universities.

Students enrolled in residence are those who are enrolled and living on campus or, if they are juniors or seniors, in the neighborhoods adjacent to campus or within commuting distance. Keep in mind that in the fall only a very small number of sophomores will receive special permission to enroll in residence; in the spring, only a very small number of first-year students will.

Physics 471/472 for junior and senior physics majors will continue.  For theoretical/computational/data analysis projects, the structure of the research requirement will be largely unchanged.  Undergraduates pursuing experimental projects will have opportunities to work in the lab, with appropriate precautions and protocols.  These will vary from lab to lab. Please discuss the details with your faculty advisor.

The department will offer an online research fair at the beginning of the semester, but don’t wait! This is an excellent time to start reaching out to faculty in areas that you are interested in, and/or to the DUS for ideas about where to start.

The department is working on providing a list of research opportunities for students and will have an online research fair to pair up students with projects at the beginning of the semester, but don’t wait! This is an excellent time to start reaching out to faculty in areas that you are interested in, and/or to the DUS for ideas about where to start.

• PHYS 471/472 will continue as before. Experimental labs are currently ramping up (in phase 2 reopening now), so it should be possible to go into labs in the fall, following health guidelines, etc. If you are officially enrolled, then you will have access regardless of whether you choose to live on-campus or off.
• Current policy is that students taking a leave of absence cannot be hired to work in a lab [in person]. However, remote projects or theory/computational work can still be done irrespective of enrollment status (just depends on your PI).
 

Major Requirements

Please see the Physics course of study pages of the Yale College Programs of Study catalog.