“ That is the essence of science: ask an impertinent question, and you are on the way to a pertinent answer. ”
- Jacob Bronowski


Dec 17, '13
Physics Department FAQ and SOP
Q: I want to declare my undergraduate major in physics.  What do I do?
A: Take a look at the undergraduate programs and their respective requirements.  Our department supports 4 undergraduate majors: BA, BA-Applied, BS, and the Physics Education major in conjunction with SEYS. Each major has different objectives and you can switch between them as well as into and out of the major quite easily.  Once you are ready to declare your major, email the major advisor to say that you will be stopping by during office hours or to make an appointment.
In addition, if you want to declare your major as BA-Applied, there are particular requirements.  Please email the BA-Applied/Pre-Engineering major to get additional information and ensure you’ll be properly tracked.

Q: Is there any advantage to declaring my major as physics?
A: If you are asking whether being a physics major provides any privileges in registering for classes, the answer is “no”.  However, it is easier to provide advising to you and it is beneficial for you to schedule your plan for coursework when you declare your major.  Moreover, there are benefits via the physics club if you are a declared major (this varies depending on the officers in charge). [We are not even addressing the opportunities and fun that you might have studying physics...]
Q: I’ve taken some math and physics classes at another college (either as a transfer student or for my first degree) yet I cannot enroll in classes via CUNYFirst because of prerequisite blocks.  What should I do?
A: If you meet the following criteria:
1) you are already approved for transfer
2) you have already signed papers to declare your major as physics
3) this is your first semester at Queens College,
then please scan and email your prior transcript(s) to the transfer credit evaluation advisor in the physics department.  Carefully describe what courses you have taken that should grant you physics credit and what grade you received.  The transfer credit evaluation advisor will schedule an appointment to confirm and the department may override the CUNYFirst prerequisite block.

Q: I am not sure what classes I need or should take next semester.  Who do I talk to?
A: First of all, if you haven’t fulfilled them, you should make the completion of prerequisites Physics 145-146 courses a priority.  If you have already fulfilled these entry-major courses, then take a look at the “recommended schedule” for taking classes at the physics website.  Then, talk to your classmates to hear their recommendations.  If you still have questions, then email the major advisor to say that you will be stopping by during office hours or to make an appointment. 

Q: There is a problem with Degreeworks.  It says that I must take courses that are no longer available or no longer on the list of courses offered.  What do I do?
A: Please take a screenshot of the Degreeworks page and email the major advisor.  It is possible that the degree requirements have changed since you entered the major, and your new requirements will be handled manually.
Q: Does being a physics major help me get into classes that already have full registration?
A: Nope. 
Q: I disagree with the grade that a professor gave me.  What can I do?
A:  According to the campus bylaws, the only person who can change your grade is the professor who gave the grade. The Undergraduate Scholastic Committee (USC) only has the authority to cancel the grade if it finds that the grade is inappropriate. Therefore, communicate with the professor first. If you are still not satisfied, then you can file an appeal to USC.