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Suggested Programs for Physics

Lab planning


Like most STEM students, students in the Physics major need to be more intentional in their academic planning in order to make study abroad work. While a summer might help you get or stay ahead without risking progress toward your degree, it can be more expensive. While a semester or year might be more challenging academically, for most UC Merced students it tends to be a much lower out-of-pocket cost.

Programs Specifically Selected for Physics

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Immersion & Exchange Programs Suggested for Physics

Sweden: Lund Univ.

Lund University has robust course offerings in the physical sciences, particularly in the departments of Chemistry and Physics. You can enroll in both theoretical and project-based courses and engage in research projects within the university. You may also take first year graduate-level courses for upper-division credit provided you have the appropriate background.

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Japan: STEM Research in Tokyo

Spend six weeks next summer engaged in scientific research in Tokyo. This is a full-time academic internship led by world-class faculty at the University of Tokyo, the #1 university in Japan. Shared dialogue, experiments, and peer consultation are integral to the program, and give you an opportunity to conduct lab research with scientists from around the world.

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Singapore: National Univ. of Singapore (NUS)

The Faculty of Science has many world-renowned and award-winning faculty who are passionate about their fields of study. The Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program in Science gives you the opportunity to work with these faculty members in various areas of research. The National University of Singapore offers a full range of courses in the sciences.

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Australia: Univ. of Melbourne

A top-100 university in both physics and overall, the University of Melbourne offers a wide variety of courses and a premier education modeled after the top universities in the world. Melbourne’s six core undergraduate degrees in the arts, biomedicine (pre-med), science, design, music, and commerce accommodate over 100 majors.

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Hong Kong: Chinese Univ. of Hong Kong (CUHK)

This program offers a full range of courses that include fieldwork, research, or lab components that provide you with the opportunity to gain practical experience in your major. The Mathematics Department has a computing laboratory with the latest technology, and the Department of Chemistry is one of the largest and best equipped departments at CUHK with laboratories for analytical, organic, inorganic, and physical chemistry.

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Denmark: Univ. of Copenhagen

Students in Copenhagen enjoy small class sizes within this large research-based institution. The departments of Chemistry, Mathematical Science, and Geosciences have a large selection of courses taught in English. You may take first year graduate-level courses for upper-division credit provided you have the appropriate background.

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United Kingdom: Scottish Universities: Univ. of St. Andrews

The University of St. Andrews has established a reputation as one of the world's leading research and teaching centers. St. Andrews is a beautiful historic town and is an excellent choice for studying physical sciences.

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New Zealand: Univ. of Auckland

The Faculty of Science at the University of Auckland is the largest and most highly ranked science department in New Zealand and offers a diverse range of excellent programs and courses. You may also apply for a summer scholarship (U.S. winter) valued at $5,000 to conduct a 10-week research project under the supervision of an academic staff member.

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Ireland: Irish Universities: Univ. College Dublin

University College Dublin (UCD) is one of Europe's leading research universities. In the newly designed UCD Science Centre, courses are taught in the biological, biomedical, chemical, geological, physical, mathematical, and computer science areas.

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Internship Opportunities for MAJOR Majors

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Research Opportunities for MAJOR Majors

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Global & International Opportunities

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Summer Introductory Physics Abroad

One potential route to study abroad for STEM students is to tackle a full year of introductory physics over the summer. Typically, this is the summer between students’ first and second year at UC Merced. Consider these options:

Australia: Sydney Summer Physics

Earn a full year of calculus-based physics credit in just eight weeks. Fulfill math requirements for the life sciences or get a jump on pre-med coursework and experience life in Sydney, Australia.

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Cyprus: Nicosia Summer Physics

Study intensive physics for the life sciences in beautiful Cyprus. Note that this program is better suited to biological sciences students than other STEM students.

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Ireland: Cork Summer Physics

In just eight weeks at the University College Cork, you can earn a full year of calculus-based physics credit, get a jump on math coursework, or prepare for a pre-med track. Lab experiments and group workshops expand your science knowledge with students from around the world.

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Spain: Madrid Summer Physics

Add some sizzle to your summer—study in Madrid and return with a full year of physics credit. This intense 8-week program is ideal for life sciences majors who want to get a quick boost in academics.

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United Kingdom: Glasgow Science & Engineering

As the home to the James Watt School of Engineering and the School of Life Sciences, the University of Glasgow offers the perfect environment for this intensive physics summer program.

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United Kingdom: Summer in Sussex

Minutes from the sparkling seafront, Sussex is quintessentially English, with spectacular castles, greenery, and attractions fit for royals. Pre-med and life sciences majors can earn up to a year of physics credit in two months!

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Ecology & Evolutionary Biology Opportunities

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Human Bio Opportunities

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Engineering-Specific Opportunities

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Advanced MAJOR Opportunities

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Feature: 5 Reasons STEM Majors Should Study Abroad

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Want to stand out on your next job application or boost your chances into getting into grad school? Or are you looking to expand your worldview, perhaps explore a side interest? Whatever your goal is, there’s a good chance study abroad can help you achieve it.


Completing Other SNS Requirements Abroad

SNS students have four general education course requirements that they can easily tackle through study abroad:

Engineering students have several general education requirements that they can easily tackle through study abroad:

  1. Approaches to Knowledge
    1. At least one course in engineering
    2. At least three courses in social sciences, arts, and humanities
  2. Intellectual Experiences
    1. Global Awareness, which is automatically fulfilled through study abroad with UCEAP
    2. Additional Intellectual Experiences, as appropriate, including, but not limited to:
      1. Societies and Cultures of the Past,
      2. Diversity and Identity, or
      3. Sustainability.

These requirements represent the most flexible general education requirements for SNS students planning to study abroad. Study abroad advisors recommend that SNS students aim for more of their major and SNS degree requirements when selecting a program and using the general education requirements as fallback options in case the targeted SNS course requirements do not pan out. In this way students continue to make progress toward their degrees while maximizing their scholarship potential and the the opportunities to integrate an international experience with their academic interests.

For SNS requirements, students will have courses reviewed through the   SNS course approval form, assuming the courses have not already been previously approved as a degree requirement.

Previously Approved UCEAP Coursework

The School of Natural Sciences has made some previously approved courses for SNS substitutions and/or requirements available to the public. This is not a comprehensive list of courses available but it may be a starting point in your research.

  Course Approvals for UCEAP

Course Approval and Course Approval Forms

With a few exceptions of previously approved courses (ask your academic advisor), courses will need to be approved to meet individual degree requirements. In these cases, students will use the Course Approval Form for the school that would typically offer such a course at UC Merced:

 

The school will often require a syllabus or equivalent in order to do a review. Keep in mind that syllabi may be protected intellectual property of certain professors or universities and may not be publicly posted online. If it is a UC Center program, you may be able to acquire syllabi through your study abroad advisor. If the program is with a local host university and the course is not posted online, you may be able to inquire with the instructor or host university in some cases.

Academic Planning

No matter your academic intentions while studying abroad, you should consult your academic advisor and your MyDegreePath report to plan out your study abroad academic goals. Once you narrow your search to 1-3 study abroad programs consult your program page or ask your study abroad advisor about resources for researching courses in your program.

 

Start planning for study abroad with your academic advisor as soon as you can. One of the keys to maximizing academic success abroad is early planning and scheduling course loads before, during, and after study abroad. This includes strategies such as targeting a study abroad term to exploit areas of flexibility in your academic plan.

Be sure to make use of UCEAP course credit resources below, too.

 

UC Merced Campus Credit through UCEAP

How to Explore Database of Courses Previously Taken

 

Campus Credit Abroad

Planning the courses you’ll take on study abroad is as important as figuring out when and where to go. All courses taken on the University of California Education Abroad Program (UCEAP) are guaranteed UC credit, but understanding how each class may fit into your academic plan is a critical part of the planning process.

UCEAP Database of Courses Previously Taken

How to Find Courses for UCEAP

One of the challenges with academic planning and completing the Academic Planning Form is finding courses. While there is never any certainty with course offerings and study abroad always requires a little calculated academic risk, there are some techniques to minimize the risk and exploit unique educational opportunities through study abroad.

Courses & Credit Tab

For nearly every UCEAP program page, there will be a tab labeled “Courses & Credit.” Within this tab you will find information and links in the “Course Opportunities” area. The course resources are listed in order of relevance. Depending on the program, you might find any of the following resources:

  1. Course syllabi
  2. Links to academic majors or programs with courses
  3. A bulleted list of courses

MyEAP Course Catalog

All UCEAP coursework taken in the last five (5) years is listed in the UCEAP Course Catalog. There are a few things you should consider when using the MyEAP Course Catalog:

  1. The list of courses is not comprehensive.
  2. Course units are listed in quarter units (to convert to semester units, divide by 1.5).
  3. Syllabi are not included.
  4. You may need to search less intuitive subject areas to find coursework (e.g. health sciences for public health, "engineering" for bioengineering, business for management and business economics).

Check Previously Approved Courses

There are a few resources available showing coursework previously approved for study abroad online. The resources are limited but they do represent some of the more recent course approvals:

A Note on Course Syllabi

Your academic advisor or school may insist that you need syllabi in order to determine whether a course abroad will substitute a particular degree requirement. While this is generally true, this does not prevent you from planning out your academic schedule abroad and determining what type of degree requirements a course may fulfill.

Sometimes your study abroad advisor or UCEAP can acquire a syllabus on your behalf; however, this is not always the case. Please understand that syllabi are often considered intellectual property and may not be shared until the course begins. Previously approved courses (see above) are often your first go-to resource to select courses.