Physics
Physics establishes the fundamental laws of our observable universe via a rigorous process of experimentation and abstract thinking. With their specific methods, physicists not only understand how matter behaves in various conditions, but they also know how to control it and force it to behave as needed in various applications. The technology we see around us builds heavily and crucially on the knowledge advanced by physicists. The goal of the Physics Department at Stern College for Women is to engage the students in this rigorous process and prepare them for industry and academic jobs, or for admission in competitive Master and PhD programs around the globe.
The department offers three majors:
1. PreEngineering major (50 credits): Starting with Fall 2023, PreEngineering Major becomes the flagship program at Stern Physics, requiring 50 credits and 3 years of on campus. With a recently revised curriculum, the program offers studentexperiences in foundations, instrumentation and analysis, design and interfacing, as well as preprofessional knowledge. It has been designed to deliver knowledge and skills needed for a competitive job market, as well as to prepare the students for the cooperative engineering program with Columbia University.
2. Physics Major (55 credits): The Physics Major weights more towards the fundamental issues, historical development and the mathematical framework of physics. The main goal is to train the students how to apply the extremely broad and general laws of physics to every situation of interest, as well as for them to recognize these laws at work when observing or studying natural phenomena. Our physics students also participate vigorously in fundamental and applied research funded by the U.S. National Science Foundation and Army Research Office, where they develop additional specialized skills and knowledge.
2. Physical Science Major (5057 credits): The Physical Science Major is designed for students who plan to pursue specific engineering programs under the cooperative plan with Columbia University or who target a specific job market after graduation. Under this program, the students can complete courses that are prerequisites for those programs and are not already delivered by the Physics Department. A student majoring in Physical Sciences will have to choose a concentration in chemistry/electrical engineering/mechanical engineering/biology/computer science, and work with the Physics Department as well as the appropriate external department to establish and approve a pathtomajor.
Mission Statement
The mission of the undergraduate Physics Department is to provide the highest possible educational experience for:
Program Student Learning Goals
For more information, please contact Professor Emil Prodan, prodan@yu.edu.
Program Information
PreEngineering Major (50+ credits):
 The major student activities and experiences are organized in four major categories:

The major requires 50 credits and is to be completed in 6 semesters at Beren campus.

Students need to adhere to the following schedule in order to graduate on time:
*Download a pdf copy of the above graphic here

Students majoring in PreEngineering (and also other majors) have the opportunity to pursue a cooperative engineering program with Columbia University, where, after 2 additional years, a student can earn a degree in Engineering from Columbia U. Under this cooperative program, Columbia requires a YU student to complete all requirements of a regular STEM major at Yeshiva University. Please understand that Columbia U has cooperative programs with more than 100 liberal arts college from US and YU has no privileged status in this larger picture see Combined Plan Applicants  Columbia Undergraduate Admissions. The recruitment into the Columbia program is competitionbased and the preengineering major at YU was design to meet and exceed the standards of average admissions, but be aware that, by no means, this guaranties acceptance into the Columbia program. Students who want to pursue this path should contact Dr. Emil Prodan (prodan@yu.edu) and Dr. Edward Berliner (berliner@yu.edu) for planning the application process and for making sure the prerequisites are covered by the YU major.
Requirements for Physics Major (48+ credits):
From Physics Department (29+ credits):
1051R (3 cr.)
1051Y (1 cr.)
1052R (3 cr.)
1052Y (1 cr.)
2051 Phys III (3 cr.) or Wave Phenomena (3cr.)
2052 Phys IV (3 cr.) or Logic & Quantum Circuits (3 cr.)
1221 Classical Mechanics I (3 cr.)
1321 Electromagnetic Theory I (3 cr.)
1510 Thermodynamics and Statistical Mechanics (3 cr.)
1621 Introduction to Quantum Mechanics (3 cr.)
1810 Advance Physics Lab (3 cr.)
Research in Physics (1+x cr.)
From Mathematics Department (15 credits):
MATH 1412 Calc I (3cr)
MATH 1413, Calc II (3cr)
MATH 2105 Linear Algebra (3cr)
MATH 1510 Mutivariable (3cr)
MATH MAT 5402 (Scientific Computing)
From Computer Science Department (3 credits):
COMP 1300 (3 credits)
Requirements for Physical Sciences Major (48+ credits):
From Physics Department (15+ credits):
1051R (3 cr.)
1051Y (1 cr.)
1052R (3 cr.)
1052Y (1 cr.)
2051 Phys III (3 cr.) or Wave Phenomena (3cr.)
2052 Phys IV (3 cr.) or Equivalent (3 cr.)
From Mathematics Department (15 credits):
MATH 1412 Calc I (3cr)
MATH 1413, Calc II (3cr)
MATH 1510 Mutivariable (3cr)
MATH 2105 Linear Algebra (3cr)
MATH MAT 5402 (Scientific Computing)
From Computer Science Department (3 credits):
COMP 1300 (3 credits)
From Chemistry Department (3 credits):
CHEM 1045 (3 credits)
Plus 4 additional courses in particular engineering fields (9credits)
Please see the Schedule of Classes for the current semester’s offerings.
Physics (PHYS)
 1031C, 1032C Introductory Physics 4 credits
Twosemester, algebrabased course, taken by students who intend to major in biology, chemistry, and the health professions. Topics covered: kinematics and dynamics of the particle and rigid bodies, conservation laws, momentum, energy and angular momentum, oscillations, waves, fluids, thermodynamics, optics, electromagnetism, modern physics. Laboratory experiments are designed to help students master the principles covered in lecture. (lecture: 3 hours; recitation: 1 hour; lab: 2 hours). Laboratory fee.  1051C, 1052C General Physics 5 credits
Twosemester, calculusbased course for Physics, Physical Sciences and PreEngineering majors. Topics covered: kinematics and dynamics of the particle and rigid bodies, conservation laws, momentum, energy and angular momentum, oscillations, waves, fluids, electromagnetism and optics. Laboratory experiments are designed to help students master the principles covered in lecture. Lecture: 4 hours; recitation: 1 hour; lab: 2 hours 45 minutes. Laboratory fee.
Prerequisite for PHYS 1051C: MATH 1412 or more advanced or instructors permission.
Prerequisite or corequisite for PHYS 1052C: MATH 1413  1140 Mathematical Physics 3 credits
Onesemester course covering the mathematical foundations of modern physics. Topics: functions of complex variables, multiple integrals, Fourier series, special functions, integral transforms (Laplace and Fourier), Green functions, distributions. Examples, problems and applications from different fields of physics.
Prerequisite: PHYS 1042C.  1221 Classical Mechanics I 3 credits
Newtonian mechanics; oscillations: simple, damped and driven; resonance; elements of nonlinearity; noninertial frames of reference; motion relative to the Earth; conservative forces and potential energy; central forces; planetary motion.
Prerequisite: PHYS 1041C.  1222 Classical Mechanics II 3 credits
Lagrangian mechanics. Constraints. Variational calculus and Hamilton's equations. Rotations of rigid bodies in two and three dimensions. Eulers equations. Tensor analysis. Small coupled oscillations and normal coordinates. Classical waves: the wave equation, dispersion, interference, polarization. Fresnel and Fraunhofer diffraction.
Prerequisite PHYS1221.  1321 Electromagnetic Theory I 3 credits
Vector calculus, Maxwell’s equations in integral and differential form; electrostatics, Poisson’s equation; magnetostatics; timevarying fields.
Prerequisites: PHYS 1042C, MATH 1510.  1322 Electromagnetic Theory II 3 credits
Polarizability tensor, electrodynamics in matter. Electromagnetic radiation by accelerating charges; LienardWiechert potentials, multipole radiation, bremsstrahlung, synchrotron radiation, applications to materials science. Antennas. Electromagnetic wave propagation in matter. Electromagnetic basis of physical optics. Fresnel equations, Kirchoff diffraction theory. Waveguides and cavity resonators.
Prerequisite: PHYS1321  1340 Computational Methods in Scientific Research 3 credits
Use of computers to solve real problems in biology, physical sciences and economics. Numerical methods and data analysis, and how to visualize results with plots and movies.
Prerequisites: MATH 1413. Recommended PHYS 1031C, 1032C or 1041C, 1042C  1401 Introduction to Solid State Physics 3 credits
A survey of the properties of condensed matter. Classification of crystalline lattices. Elements of crystallography. Cohesive forces in solids. Vibrations of crystals. Quantization. Debye and Einstein theories of phonons and thermal conductivity. Free electron theory of metals. Bloch functions and band theory. The Fermi surface. Semiconductors. Survey of advanced topics: excitations in lattices (plasmons and polarons), superconductivity, magnetic materials and models, theory of crystalline defects and alloys.
Prerequisites: PHYS 1621.  1510 Thermodynamics and Statistical Mechanics 3 credits
The laws of thermodynamics. Entropy. Equations of state. Phase transitions. Thermodynamic potentials. The Third Law. Distribution functions. Theory of ensembles. Statistical formulation of temperature. Quantum and classical ideal gasses. Electronic conductance. Bose¬Einstein statistics. Planck’s Law.
Prerequisite or corequisite: MATH 1510.  1621 Introduction to Quantum Mechanics 3 credits
Waveparticle duality. Uncertainty principle. Formalism: Hilbert Space, Observables, Hermitian Operators. Solutions to Schrodinger's Equation in One Dimension: Transmission and Reflection at a Barrier; Tunneling; Potential Wells; Harmonic Oscillator; Free Particle. Schrodinger's Equation in Three Dimensions: Hydrogen Atom. Angular Momentum and Spin. Perturbation Theory. Introduction to Quantum Information.
Prerequisites: PHYS 1221, MATH 2105 or permission of instructor.  1810 Intermediate Experimental Physics 3 credits
Nonlinear oscillations, diffraction of waves, interferometry, measurement of electron charge/mass ratio, RC filters, propagation of electromagnetic waves. (lecture: 1 hour; lab: 3 hours)
Prerequisite: PHYS 1042C.  2051 Intermediate Physics I 3 credits
This course examines wave phenomena with an emphasis on light and offers an introduction to thermal physics. Topics covered include mechanical waves, sound, light as an electromagnetic wave, geometrical optics, interference, diffraction, temperature, heat and the laws of thermodynamics.
Prerequisites: PHYS 1042, MATH 1413. Corequisite: MATH 1510.  2052 Intermediate Physics II 3 credits
This course introduces the main ideas of modern physics as they were historically developed during the great revolution that took place in Physics between 1880 and 1930, which shaped our current ideas in relativity, quantum mechanics and statistical physics. It presents in a historical context how those ideas were generated, which were the great experiments that led to their development, and the theoretical underpinnings on which they rest.
Prerequisite: PHYS 2051  4901, 4902 Independent Study
See Academic Information and Policies section.  49314935 Topics in Physics (13 credits)
The following list includes faculty who teach at the Beren (B) and/or Wilf (W)
 Neer Asherie
Professor of Physics and Biology (W)  Marc Bastuscheck
Adjunct Instructor in Physics (W)  Mahdokht Behravan
Instructor in Physics (W)  Sergey Buldyrev
Professor of Physics (W)  Gabriel Cwilich
Professor of Physics (W)
Division Coordinator of Natural & Mathematical Sciences
Director of the Jay and Jeanie Schottenstein Honors Program  Mark Edelman
Clinical Associate Professor of Physics (B)  Emil Prodan
Professor of Physics (B)  CoChair, Department of Physics
 Fredy Zypman
Professor of Physics (W)
CoChair, Department of Physics
Graduate Schools
Planning for Graduate Studies in Physics and Related Fields
List of Graduate Programs
Visit a guide to graduate programs in physics and related fields
GRE Tests
Fellowships (Partial List)
National Physical Science Consortium
The Timeline
The best strategy is to decide on the list of graduate schools during your junior year and check the schools' deadlines. Then use the GRE bulletin to work backward and figure out the appropriate dates for the GRE tests. The timeline below is thus just a general advice, applicable to those schools that have application deadline of January 1 or later.
 August preceding the graduating year: study and register for the subject GRE test
 Fall of the graduating year: take general GRE test
 September of the graduating year: meet with career services and physics department faculty to determine which programs to apply and to try to determine which area of physics is of interest to you
 September of the graduating year: start researching fellowships. Their deadlines may be as early as October.
 November of your graduating year (tentatively): take subject GRE test
 November, December of your graduating year: send applications to graduate schools
Other Useful Links
Physics Forum: http://www.physicsforums.com/
Physics Colloquia at YU
The current schedule of YU physics colloquia schedule is available here.
Physics Colloquia in New York City
 Columbia University Physics Department
 City College Physics Department
 Queens College Physics Department