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Undergraduate Awards

Each year, the Department of Physics and Astronomy acknowledges excellence, future promise, and contributions to the Physics and Astronomy community through annual awards for undergraduate students. These prizes are typically announced at the annual Majors Dinner during the Spring Quarter, and the recognition includes a cash prize for the recipient.

The selection committee chooses award recipients from students in the program based on criteria including academic performance, undergraduate research, participation in the community, and faculty feedback. Any particular honor may be awarded to zero, one, or more recipients each year depending on judgement of the selection committee. The current undergraduate Physics and Astronomy awards include:

Outstanding Undergraduate Thesis Research in Physics & Astronomy: This award is the top honor given by the department to a graduating senior, acknowledging outstanding physics or astronomy research as demonstrated by a senior thesis.

Career Award in Physics & Astronomy: This award is given to a graduating physics major with a sustained record of excellence in academics and research.

Junior Career Award in Physics & Astronomy: This award is given to a rising third or fourth-year student demonstrating both exceptional performance in the physics major and notable potential for research in physics or astronomy.

Physics & Astronomy Scholars: This honor is awarded to rising second, third, or fourth-year students who have demonstrated outstanding performance and potential in the introductory and intermediate physics curriculum and/or dedication to the Physics & Astronomy community. Although participation in research may be a factor in selection, it is not necessary to be recognized as a Physics & Astronomy Scholar.



The Undergraduate Award recipients for 2023 are: 

Physics and Astronomy Scholars:

Recent award recipients from prior years are listed here.

Questions about the Physics & Astronomy undergraduate awards should be directed to the Director of Undergraduate Studies.