Undergraduate Student Opportunities & Resources

left to right: a male physics student and physics student Jason Starita looking at a presentation

The department offers research opportunities, funding and other resources to make the undergraduate experience as productive, supportive and enjoyable as possible.


Departmental Honors 

Physics student Jack Hirschman receive distinguished scholar award

Outstanding students majoring in physics may be awarded special departmental honors. Majors must complete a two-semester research project and accompanying honors thesis, present their thesis to faculty, maintain a cumulative grade-point average of at least 3.5 in physics courses and 3.5 overall and meet GW's special honors requirements.


All honors candidates must be approved by the undergraduate advisor. In addition, all honors theses will require advance approval and supervision by a faculty research advisor, who must be a member of the Department of Physics, even in cases when the project is done in another department or another institution. Other research advisors may also be engaged by mutual agreement with the student, the faculty research advisor and the undergraduate advisor.

Honors Thesis and Presentation

The honors thesis should be a significant scholarly work that expands upon the work completed for the research course. The student’s knowledge of the subject should exceed the minimum requirements of the research course and demonstrate a solid understanding of the project. The student should provide periodic reports of thesis progress to the faculty research advisor.

Every honors candidate will be required to make an open-invite presentation of the thesis. After the presentation, faculty will vote on whether to award special honors to the student.


Department Opportunities

undergraduate Soyeon Park teaches fourth graders at Maury Elementary in D.C

Society of Physics Students

The Society of Physics Students (SPS) offers students the opportunity to attend conferences, organize panel events and tutor other students. SPS members frequently win external awards, including the Future Faces of Physics Award and the SPS Outstanding Chapter Award, which recognizes the top 10 percent of SPS chapters across the nation each year. SPS is open to all faculty and students, though some opportunities are exclusive to undergraduate members. Send an email to [email protected] to inquire about membership and follow SPS on Facebook.


3 GW Physics students sitting in a class

Peer Physics Tutoring

The Society of Physics Students offers free tutoring hours to students taking topical or introductory courses during the semester. All physics majors are encouraged to participate in this program, as tutors or tutees, as it helps both the students and the majors gain a better understanding of physics. Send an email to [email protected] for more information.


GW Student Resources

Student Financial Assistance
Look for scholarships, Federal Work-Study positions, military benefits and other funding assistance.

Academic Commons
Book peer tutoring or review sessions, research and writing help, step-by-step study strategies, language support and more.

Center for Career Services
Take advantage of career and job search coaching, self-assessment services, résumé development, networking and more. (Services offered to students and alumni.)

Undergraduate Advising
Get assistance from your Columbian College academic advisor to navigate declaring a major or minor and other academic support.

Undergraduate Research Award
Apply for this $5,000 research award, open to first-years, sophomores and juniors.

GW Noyce STEM Teaching Program
Apply to earn a stipend and credit to support a unique service project focused on high-need populations.