Department of Physics & Astronomy

Honors in Physics and Astronomy

The Physics and Astronomy Honors Program provides opportunities for more advanced and challenging work to academically distinguished and motivated students. Most Physics and Astronomy courses have honors sections with enriched learning experiences. Honors students are expected to conduct independent research under the supervision of our faculty. All honors courses will be denoted as honors on students’ official transcripts. Furthermore, students completing the honors program will have the departmental honors distinction, as well as any earned university or college distinction, noted on the official transcript.

Admission to the Honors Program in Physics and Astronomy

Incoming Freshman:

  • Top 10% of high school graduating class
  • SAT score:
    1310 or above, with a minimum of 570 on Verbal and 730 on Math (SAT tests taken May 2016 or later)
    1250 or above, with a minimum of 500 on Verbal and 700 on Math (SAT tests taken April 2016 or earlier) OR
  • ACT score of 28 or above, with a minimum of 27 on Verbal and 29 on Math

Current or Transfer Students:

Current or transfer students with a cumulative TAMU GPR of 3.5 may request admittance to the program by contacting the Physics and Astronomy Department’s honors coordinator. When applying, students should keep in mind that they will need to fulfill all honors requirements.

Honors Requirements:

Students wishing to graduate with honors distinctions in Physics and Astronomy must earn 21 credits in Honors courses which must be completed as follows:

  • Up to 8 hours of PHYS 218 and 208
  • 6 credits at 300 level or above
  • 3 credits at 400 level or above
  • At least 3 but no more than 6 credits ASTR or PHYS 491H, to include an Honors Thesis

Additional Information:

  • Department Honors courses may be PHYS or ASTR courses
  • Up to 6 hours of PHYS or ASTR graduate courses, registered for undergraduate credit, may be used
  • Honors courses may be contracted
  • For students without Honors PHYS 218 and/or 208, 6 – 9 more credits of 300 level courses or above are required
  • All 491H must be completed in the Department of Physics and Astronomy
  • Up to 3 hours of 300/400 level Honors coursework may be outside the Physics and Astronomy Department

Grade Requirements at Time of Graduation

  • Cumulative Texas A&M University GPR of 3.5 or higher
  • Cumulative honors GPR of 3.25 or higher
  • No grade lower than a B in courses counting toward honors. If a student earns less than a B in an honors course, they will still receive University credit. However, they will need to take a different course to fulfill the honors requirement.
  • No F*, given in cases of academic dishonesty, on the transcript

Honors Recognition

All honors courses will be denoted as honors on students’ official transcripts. Furthermore, students completing the honors program will have the departmental honors distinction, as well as any earned university or college distinction, noted on the official transcript.

Remaining in the Program

To remain in the Physics and Astronomy Honors program, students must maintain a cumulative GPR at Texas A&M of 3.5 and honors GPR of 3.25. Students falling below these standards will be placed on probation for the next semester. Students unable to meet these standards for a second semester may be dismissed from the Physics and Astronomy Honors Program.

Honors Thesis

Students will have the option to participate in the Undergraduate Research Scholars Program (pending approval from LAUNCH) or to work independently with a faculty member to complete their Honors Thesis requirement.

For more information, please contact the Honors in Physics and Astronomy coordinator, Sherree Kessler, at skessler@tamu.edu or 979.458.5948