Physics

Physics is a broad discipline, ranging from fundamental scientific questions to sophisticated technological applications. At its most basic, it is the study of matter and energy and their manifold interactions. Physicists study topics as wide-ranging as the underlying nature of space and time; the origins, large-scale structure, and future evolution of the universe; the behavior of stars and galaxies; the fundamental constituents of matter; the many different patterns in which matter is organized, including superconductivity, liquid crystals, or the various forms of magnetism in solids; the workings of biological matter, whether in molecules such as DNA, or cellular structures, or the transport of matter and energy in and across cells; and many others. Basic physics research has led to myriad technological advances, which have transformed society in the 20th century through the present day; a small list includes: radio and television; computers; lasers; X-rays; magnetic resonance imaging and CAT scans; and the World Wide Web.

Requirements for the Major

Students can choose to follow the academic bulletin from the year that they were admitted or a more recent academic bulletin. For example, if you were admitted to NYU Shanghai in Fall 2019, you can choose to follow the academic bulletin 2019-2020, 2020-2021, and 2021-2022.

Planning the Major

To declare the Physics major, students must have a final grade of C, or currently enrolled in PHYS-SHU 93 Foundation of Physics II Honors.

Faculty Mentors

Faculty mentors are the leading faculty and experts in the major disciplines. Students can reach out to faculty mentors for specific questions about the major, and references for connecting with relevant discipline resources. If you have specific questions about specific fields of study within the major, you can search for faculty through the faculty directory.

 

Danyang Yu

Area Head of Natural Sciences, Professor of Practice of Biology

 
Physics FAQs
What advice would you give to science major students who wish to get started with involvement in research?

Reach out to the professors and take Foundations of Science courses to gain the chance to work in the professor’s lab.

Independent Study

Students are permitted to work on an individual basis under the supervision of a full-time faculty member in the relevant discipline if they have maintained an overall GPA of 3.0 and have a study proposal that is approved by the professor, Area Head and Academic Affairs.

Course Prerequisites
* = offered in Spring 2022 in Shanghai
The requirements below are from the 2020-2021 bulletin. Please refer to the previous years of academic bulletin if you are following a different major version. Not every course listed is taught every semester, and in any given semester other courses may be offered that fulfill this requirement. Requirements may be met through equivalent courses in the Global Network with prior approval.
PREREQUISITE COURSES
BIOL-SHU 21 Foundations of Biology I* Pre-req or co-req: MATH-SHU 131 Calculus or MATH-SHU 201 Honors Calculus
BIOL-SHU 123 FoS Biology Laboratory Pre-reqs: MATH-SHU 131 Calculus or MATH-SHU 201 Honors Calculus AND BIOL-SHU 21 Foundations of Biology I
CHEM-SHU 125 Foundations of Chemistry I Pre-req or co-req: MATH-SHU 131 Calculus or MATH-SHU 201 Honors Calculus
CHEM-SHU 126 Foundations of Chemistry II* Pre-req: CHEM-SHU 125 Foundations of Chemistry I AND pre-req or co-req: MATH-SHU 131 Calculus or MATH-SHU 201 Honors Calculus
CHEM-SHU 128 FoS Chemistry II Laboratory* Pre-req or co-req: MATH-SHU 131 Calculus or MATH-SHU 201 Honors Calculus AND CHEM-SHU 126 Foundations of Chemistry II
PHYS-SHU 71 FoS Physics I Lab Pre-req or co-req: PHYS-SHU 91 Foundations of Physics I Honors or PHYS-SHU 11 General Physics I

PHYS-SHU 91 OR

PHYS-SHU 11

Foundations of Physics I Honors OR

General Physics I (with a B+ or better grade)

Pre-req or co-req: MATH-SHU 131 Calculus or MATH-SHU 201 Honors Calculus
PHYS-SHU 93 Foundations of Physics II Honors* Pre-req: PHYS-SHU 91 Foundations of Physics I Honors or PHYS-SHU 11 General Physics I with B+ or higher grade
PHYS-SHU 94 Physics II Laboratory* Pre-req: PHYS-SHU 71 FoS Physics Laboratory
PHYS-SHU 95 Foundations of Physics III Honors Pre-req: PHYS-SHU 93 Foundations of Physics II Honors
PHYS-SHU 96 Foundations of Physics IV Honors* Pre-req: PHYS-SHU 95 Foundations of Physics III Honors
Note that Physics majors are not required to take Foundations of Biology II.
ADDITIONAL REQUIRED COURSES
MATH-SHU 151 Multivariable Calculus* Pre-req: MATH-SHU 131 Calculus with C or higher grade
MATH-SHU 235 Probability and Statistics* Pre-reqs: MATH-SHU 131 Calculus AND MATH-SHU 140 Linear Algebra or MATH-SHU 123 Multivariable Calculus. Not open to students who took MATH-SHU 233 Theory of Probability
MATH-SHU 265 Linear Algebra and Differential Equations Pre-req: MATH-SHU 201 Honors Calculus or MATH-SHU 131 Calculus
PHYS-SHU 106 Mathematical Physics* Pre-req or co-req: MATH-SHU 265 Linear Algebra and Differential Equations AND MATH-SHU 123 Multivariable Calculus
PHYS-SHU 251 Electricity and Magnetism Pre-req: MATH-SHU 95 Foundations of Physics III Honors and MATH-SHU 106 Mathematical Physics
PHYS-SHU 301 Quantum Mechanics Pre-reqs: PHYS-SHU 95 Foundations of Physics III Honors and PHYS-SHU 106 Mathematical Physics
PHYS-SHU 302 Statistical Mechanics and Thermodynamics* Pre-req: PHYS-SHU 95 Foundations of Physics III Honors
PHYS-SHU 303 Advanced Physics Laboratory* Pre-req: PHYS-SHU 95 Foundations of Physics III Honors
PHYS-SHU 998 Integrated Science Capstone (This couse must be taken in the last semester before graduation)*  
PHYSICS ELECTIVES: Choose Two
PHYS-SHU 200 Optical Imaging: Applications in Biology and Engineering*  
PHYS-SHU 201 Introduction to Quantum Inform  
PHYS-SHU 255 Biophysics  
PHYS-SHU 210 Computational Physics  
PHYS-SHU 315 Nuclear and Particle Physics Pre-req: PHYS-SHU 301 Quantum Mechanics or PHYS-UA 123 Quantum Mechanics I
PHYS-SHU 252 Solid State Physics  
PHYS-SHU 997 Physics Independent Study* Please note that Independent Study must have a combined total of 4 credits. This can be done in 1 semester with a 4-credit load. Students can also fulfill this requirement over 2 semesters and take 2-credit loads each semester. Students should fill out the permission form after consulting with the DUS and Faculty Research Advisor for approval.
PHYS-SHU 999 Physics Undergraduate Honors Thesis Students must receive invitation of Physics Area Coordinator
Study Away

Physics major students usually choose to study away in New York or Abu Dhabi to take major required courses and electives.