The Department of Physics offers an Honors Program for students who demonstrate excellence in the major. Eligibility for the Honors Program includes completion of all required lower-division physics courses, nine upper-division physics courses, and a GPA of at least 3.50 in the physics major.

The Honors Program consists of a minimum of eight units of Honors Thesis Research (Physics 199H), an Honors Thesis, and the presentation of the research to faculty and peers at UC San Diego's Undergraduate Research Conference or an Undergraduate Seminar.

Students who successfully complete the Honors Program and who have maintained a GPA of at least a 3.50 in the major will have the one of the following designations on their diploma, based on an average of their major GPA and the grade for their research project:

3.50 – 3.67 "with Distinction"
3.68 – 3.85 "with High Distinction"
3.86 – 4.00 "with Highest Distinction"

Applications to the Physics Department Honors Program must be submitted via EASy and are due NLT Friday of week 1 in the term you want to start the program. Late applications will not be accepted.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need a cumulative gpa of 3.5 to be eligible to apply to the Physics Honors Program?
No, it's your major gpa that must be a 3.5 or above in order to be eligible to apply.
Can I apply to the Physics Honors Program before my senior year?
Provided you have met the eligibility requirements, you may apply before your senior year.
In what term am I allowed to apply to the Physics Honors Program?
At the very least, you must apply two terms in advance of your graduation. Program participants must enroll for 2-3 terms of PHYS 199H and earn 8-12 199H units; one term must be a 4-unit PHYS 199H.
Can my PHYS 199 count towards the Physics Honors Program?
No, only PHYS 199H applies to the Physics Honors Program and only students who are admitted to the Physics Honors Program are able to enroll in PHYS 199H.
Who can serve as my faculty supervisor for the Physics Honors Program?
Only professors in the Physics Department can serve as your supervisor for the Physics Honors Program.
I am a double major in another field and I am participating in the Honors Program in my other department. Can my research also count towards the Physics Honors Program?
No, your research must be unique to the Physics Honors Program.
How many PHYS 199Hs can I apply to my physics major requirements?
Program participants are required to have a single 4-UNIT PHYS 199H applied as an upper division restricted elective for their physics major. Program participants cannot also have a PHYS 199 apply to the physics major.
How, where, and when must I present my Honors Thesis Research?
Program participants must work with their faculty honors project advisor to schedule a day, time, and location to present their research. Some faculty simply book a room in a dept. space and invite people to hear their participant present. Other faculty help their student get signed up to present at the UCSD Undergraduate Research Conference (URC).