Declaring a Major in Physics or Astronomy

Students seeking to major in Physics or Astronomy should follow these steps:

  1. Approach a faculty member in our department and ask if they would be willing to serve as your major advisor.  This can be your Physics/Astro pre-major advisor, or another member of the department.  (For Astronomy specifically, see Professors Buie or Salyk).  Not all faculty can serve as advisors at all times; if this faculty member cannot serve as your advisor, they will help you find another advisor.
  2. Make a plan for how you will complete your major and distribution requirements in your remaining time at Vassar.  Schedule a meeting with your advisor, who will check with you that all requirements for completing the major and for graduation can be met with your plan.
  3. After your advisor has looked over your plan, and discussed any necessary changes with you, request to declare the major via the form available on the Registrar’s website  To fill out this form, you will need to select your new advisor’s name, and the name of the department chair.  (Note that there is only one chair for both Physics and Astronomy).
  4. Once this form has been approved by your advisor, the chair, and the registrar, welcome to the major!  Beginning now, your advisor will be the person you selected on your major declaration form (i.e., you will no longer be advised by your pre-major advisor).  We will also add you to our moodle page, so that you receive regular departmental updates.

If you have more questions at any point in the process, feel free to contact the Majors Committee or the chair of the department.