The UAlbany Physics Department gives high priority to undergraduate education, which results in the fact that the department graduates a large number of physics seniors per year (24 UAlbany Physics Bachelors Degrees in 2009 as compared to the National average of 8.4 Physics Bachelors Degrees per university). The fact that we have a large number of seniors enables us to offer a wide variety of unique undergraduate courses such as General Relativity, Information Physics, Foundations of Physics, and Bayesian Data Analysis. Our faculty is active in research, and a variety of research opportunities exist for motivated undergraduate students. In addition to the honors program, several of our talented and motivated undergraduates have been awarded summer research fellowships at NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) and NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology).
The objective of the department is to provide students a solid foundation in both classical and modern physics. Students are prepared either to undertake graduate study in physics, to apply physics principles and techniques successfully for advanced work in other disciplines, to enter industry usefully, or to teach in the secondary schools. Along with courses in classical mechanics, electromagnetic theory, atomic and nuclear physics, and thermal physics, students learn modern experimental techniques, principles of quantum mechanics, and applications. Elective courses in other sciences and independent study and research with faculty members in the active research fields of the department are encouraged. Courses in environmental problems, astronomy and space physics, applications of nuclear physics, physics in the arts, and physical science for humanists bring physics concepts to the nonmajor.