Studying abroad can provide you with an international perspective on the field of physics, but the major advantage has less to do with the courses specifically in the POE, and more to do with the life-broadening experience of studying abroad. Generally speaking, physics students should take Modern Physics at Juniata. This is usually done in the fall of their sophomore year. After that, the best term for studying abroad will vary from year to year depending on which of the advanced physics courses are offered here and which can be taken abroad. There is no perfect time. The majority of our upper-level courses are offered every-other year. If students attend a foreign university that offers equivalent courses, then it works out well. If the student is not preparing for graduate school in physics, then the department is very flexible with the advanced POE courses. If they do plan to attend graduate school, then it is in their best interest to take specific courses while an undergraduate, either here or abroad. Studying abroad during the summer is always an option. As you work with the CIE, be sure to seek help from your advisors with course selection, and keep your advisors in the loop.

We recommend that students take PC300 Modern Physics (with lab) and PC307 Advanced Lab at Juniata. Other than those courses, most of the upper level courses required in our POEs (or recommended if going to graduate school in physics) might be available abroad as equivalent courses. In the past, students have been able to take courses while studying abroad that complement, or serve as direct substitutions for, courses offered at Juniata. This has worked especially well for students that have physics interests that are broader than those addressed by the traditional physics degree (e.g., medicine and biophysics). Courses taken abroad could include:

  • PC340 Mathematical Methods in Physics
  • PC402 Quantum Mechanics
  • PC410 Mechanics
  • PC420 Electricity and Magnetism I

There are a number of other advanced courses offered abroad that might satisfy our upper-level electives:

  • PC320/PC321 Engineering Mechanics I and II
  • PC330 Nuclear Physics
  • PC350 Thermodynamics
  • PC430 Optics

In addition, other courses such as Solid State Physics, Astrophysics, and General Relativity, which are not regularly available at Juniata, might be included in a physics POE.

Year 1

  • Enroll in a foreign language.

Year 2

  • Continue with your language.

Year 3

Year 4

  • Incorporate your research abroad into your senior year courses.