Here are some comments from students (past and present) and faculty.
Quotes from students
“When I decided to major in physics two years ago, I didn’t expect it to be a life-changing decision. I knew I liked science and math, and I knew that I wanted to have challenging classes. What I didn’t know is that learning physics involves learning totally new ways of thought. Now I approach everyday problems in the same way that I was taught to attack physics problems – logically, precisely, and with an awareness of the bigger picture. I’m undaunted by things that look complex because I know that most problems can be broken down into easier steps and ideas. Now that I can look back at the point where it all started, I can say that becoming a physics major was the best choice I made in college.”
“I meet with my advisor regularly; he makes tea and we can talk about any topic – from a problem I’m having on campus to my long term goals. He will be a mentor for life.”
“Drew University has been the ideal place for me to study physics. This particular science has a reputation for being very cutthroat, but my experience with the major was quite the opposite. Rather than struggling alone with textbook and calculator to score higher grades than students sitting next to me in lectures, I found my peers eager to work together in and out of the classroom. Such a cooperative attitude is almost inherent at a small university, and Drew is no different.”
“As a physics major in a small, friendly but intensive learning environment, provided by some of the most active physicists from academia and industry, Drew could not have prepared me better for my career as a practicing scientist in a field that is ever evolving and transforming.”
“Drew is a great place to study the science of physics in a liberal arts atmosphere. The individual attention students receive from the tremendously supportive faculty makes it clear that teaching, even at the introductory level, is their highest priority. The high caliber of students and staff, combined with the diverse student body, make physics at Drew an outstanding learning opportunity for young men and women.”
“The faculty at Drew’s physics department have created an environment where their time and knowledge is accessible to any student most of the time. Their love of physics is contagious, allowing students to focus on Physics, the Science’ rather than Physics, the Math Exercise.'”
“I am a proud Drew alumnus. Many of my friends in graduate school were from big name undergraduate schools with huge physics departments. I was just as prepared as anyone else.”
“The Drew physics department has it all. The class sizes are great for learning the challenging course material, and for getting to know your classmates. Socially, the physics department is as strong as any other major. There are Society of Physics Students events, and departmental sponsored picnics and parties. A good balance is struck between work and play.”
“The course of physics instruction at Drew was just right. It dwelt on the fundamentals! Someone knew (my Drew professors) that if you learn the fundamentals well, you are positioned for all sorts of different physics careers. Physics moves fast! So understanding fundamental physics is the key. One can move easily from area to area provided you have a good, broad background. That is just one of the positives Drew gave to me!”
“Drew’s physics department is small, as are the number of physics majors. This contributes greatly to the personal attention devoted to the development of each student as they progress through their college career. The physics major taught me to think analytically. This is a very valuable tool, regardless of where my career may take me.”
At Drew, the educational experience reaches far beyond the physics class room, providing students with a multi-faceted framework for learning. Some of the major possibilities for you in the Drew physics program include:
- Learning physics in small classes with individual attention under the direction of experienced faculty. A typical upper-level physics class size is 5-8 students.
- Solving interesting physics problems or automating a lab experiment using the latest computer interactive capabilities.
- Working on an independent research project of your choosing, in such areas as optics in our photonics lab, computer modeling of biological systems, or topics in astrophysics. For the latter, Drew operates a a 16″ research grade optical telescope with CCD camera and computer workstation for image processing and analysis. Summer research work is available as part of the Drew Summer Science Institute (DSSI).
- Working with an experienced industrial scientist through the Dana Research Institute for Scientists Emeriti (RISE). Students can gain valuable experience by working with a retired distinguished scientist on a project of mutual interest. Recent projects have included designing an acoustic array for undersea communication, calculating the interquark potential for heavy quark systems, exploring classical and quantum scattering theory, and analysis of neural data.
- Doing field work or taking an internship with one of the numerous industrial research labs in northern New Jersey, such as Alcatel-Lucent Technologies (AT&T/Bell) in nearby Murray Hill. With such intensive on-the-job experience, you can explore possible career options and make contacts that may lead to future employment.
- Preparing for a career in physics or related field. Recent alumni have been accepted to graduate programs in physics, all areas of engineering, medicine, law, and education. Majors have also found jobs directly with such industrial and scientific firms as Allied-Signal, Inc., AT&T Bell Laboratories (now Alcatel-Lucent Technologies), the Naval Research Laboratory, and RCA.
- Keeping your options open for a career in engineering. Students can participate in a dual-degree program by spending three years at Drew and two years at Columbia University in New York City; students thus earn a B.A. in physics from Drew and a B.S. in engineering from the engineering school.
- Joining the Drew chapter of the Society of Physics Students. Give a research paper at one of the national or regional meetings. The chapter sponsors films, field trips, and special lectures, as well as social events, like the traditional holiday taco and tree-trimming party, the annual awards banquet, and an Albert Einstein birthday party!
- Being inducted into Sigma Pi Sigma , the national physics honor society. Membership is granted in recognition of excellent scholarship and achievement in physics. In addition, the department awards numerous annual prizes. Endowed awards exist for recognizing superior work as a freshman (Ollom Prize), for an outstanding research project (Harrington Prize), for excellent overall performance (Boxer Prize), and for promise for graduate school work (Novartis Prize).