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Honors Majors & Minors

Honors Majors & Minors

Honors preparations

Information about honors preparations, for both the major and the minor, in physics, astronomy, and astrophysics is available in the course catalog.


Writing a thesis is an optional part of the honors program. Students who choose to do it often find it a very rewarding experience, as it involves a level of depth that goes beyond a typical research project and a typical scientific publication. An honors thesis involves a significant amount of writing about the background and context of the scientific problem the student is investigating.  Students typically perform most of the research in the summer before their senior year, planning and carrying out experiments, analyzing data, and/or developing theoretical models. In the fall, they take one credit of thesis writing, and meet regularly with their faculty advisors throughout the semester. The student is then examined on their thesis by the external examiner as part of the honors examination process. Many students report that the opportunity to answer questions, talk about, and explain their work to the examiner (who is often an eminent scientist specializing in the field of the thesis project) is one of the highlights of their Swarthmore experience.

More information is available in the course catalog.

And honors theses from past years are archived in the library.