Normally a student begins with a sequence of one-semester courses that introduce the various subfields of physics. These courses include lecture and laboratory work which form the basis for more advanced study. However, students who enter with advanced preparation in mathematics and physics may instead take an accelerated sequence that is taught at a more advanced level. Information about these course sequences can be found in the table below.
In addition, the Physics Department offers first-year seminars on current research topics. Typically, these courses assume little formal physics background and convey the intense excitement of research at the forefront of science.
Following the introductory sequence, the department offers a wide variety of intermediate and advanced courses in classical mechanics, quantum mechanics, electromagnetism, nuclear and particle physics, astrophysics, statistical mechanics, and condensed matter physics, as well as laboratory experience in modern physics and electronics. During senior year, physics majors also take an advanced seminar course in which they study an area of current physics research. The undergraduate programs at Columbia lead smoothly into the program of graduate study and research. Qualified undergraduates can undertake individual tutorials in advanced topics under a faculty member's supervision.
More information can be found on the Columbia College bulletin, School of Engineering and Applied Sciences bulletin, and the School of General Studies bulletin.