Information for New Students

Welcome to the OSU Department of Physics!  Whether you're new to OSU or new to the physics program, we hope this page provides you with information to help you get started in your college career.

Prospective Students Interested in OSU Physics

If you're a high school student or a prospective transfer student interested in the physics or engineering physics major programs at OSU, please read our online brochure for additional information.  If you're interested in visiting the Department of Physics, please fill out an online visit request.

Please note that the Astrophysics program is managed by the Department of Astronomy, not the Department of Physics.  Prospective students with questions about the Astrophysics program should contact Dr. Donald Terndrup.

New OSU Physics and Engineering Physics Students

We've put together some information that we hope is helpful to both new OSU students and to returning OSU students who are new to the Department of Physics.  As always, if you have academic questions, please contact an advisor.

Getting Started in Physics

If you're a current OSU student wanting to change your major to physics or engineering physics, the first step is to contact a physics advisor to both discuss the program requirements and to enroll in the program.  Once you're enrolled in the program, it's time to stay up-to-date with information pertaining to your major and career plans.

Physics TEAs

The Department of Physics Undergraduate Studies Office hosts a social event called Physics TEA (Talking, Eating, and Action) every Thursday from 3-4pm in the atrium of the Physics Research Building.  This event is open to undergraduate physics and engineering physics majors and physics minors.  We serve cookies, fruit, and beverages (including tea).  No RSVP is needed; simply show up and stay as long as you'd like!

Getting Involved in Undergraduate Research and Internships

On average, about 80% of our students participate in at least one undergraduate research or internship experience prior to graduation.  Undergraduate research positions are available in the Department of Physics and elsewhere on campus (astronomy, math, medicine, engineering, etc.).  Internship positions are available at companies that often hire our students for full-time positions.  Students will hear about their options in undergraduate research internships in Physics 2095, which is a required course typically taken by sophomores. Additional information can be found on our undergraduate research page and career information page.

Physics Carmen Page

In 2014, the physics undergraduate studies office created a site on Carmen that houses information for Physics and Engineering Physics majors.  The Carmen page includes:

  • Calendar of upcoming events (including scheduling deadlines, physics talks, and workshops and career fairs)
  • Group discussions
  • A list of open research and internship opportunities
  • Information about graduate programs
  • Information about specific emloyment opportunitites
  • Information about specific scholarships

To find the physics Carmen page, log on to, and click on the "Information for Physics and Eng. Physics Majors" link on the left-hand menu.  If you do not see this link, contact Lindsey Thaler to get access to the page (note: only current OSU students can gain access).

Getting Involved in Student Organizations

Once you enroll as a student at Ohio State, it's time to consider getting involved in a student organization or two.  Four undergraduate student organizations reside in the Department of Physics and each are active in helping students meet professors and get involved in the physics community.  Additional information about physics student groups can be found on the physics student organization webpage

If you're interested in getting involved in an organization outside of physics, the full list of active OSU student groups can be found on the Ohio Union website.

Physics Colloquia

The Department of Physics invites speakers from other universities and from industry to visit the OSU campus to speak about their research and cutting edge work in their field.  This event is open to everyone in the Department of Physics and is a wonderful opportunity for undergraduate students to learn about advanced topics in physics and meet others in the field.  Time and location information and a list of speakers can be found on the Physics Colloquia schedule.