Program Structure

Physics is a hands-on discipline. NYU Abu Dhabi students gain expertise not only in the classroom but also in the laboratory. They participate in activities ranging from the writing of realistic computer games to the modeling of financial activities, as well as the more traditional activities of physicists.

Foundations of Science

Foundations of Science is an innovative program that responds to the nature of modern science. Instead of the traditional series of discipline-specific introductory courses, Foundations integrates basic concepts from biology, chemistry, computer science, mathematics, and physics in a demanding three-semester sequence. The program fosters discussion among students and creates a collaborative learning dynamic. Problem-solving and group work in laboratory sessions are stressed, while close contact among students and faculty is a major feature of the program. The interdisciplinary approach and experimental work foster a more comprehensive understanding of science.

All science and engineering students (except those majoring in Psychology) are required to take Foundations of Science, which is a six-course sequence. Students intending to major in Biology, Chemistry, and Physics normally start Foundations of Science in the first semester of the first year. Mathematics and Computer Science majors have the option to begin the program in their second year. Psychology majors are not required to take Foundations of Science.

Foundations of Science is geared to meet the current demand for scientists with well-integrated backgrounds who become the leaders in modern scientific scholarship and who pursue careers in research, education, industry, health care, law, business, and publishing.

Students who elect to begin the Foundations of Science series in their sophomore year with the intention to major in the sciences have several options for completing their degree. They may take additional courses over the summer at sites within NYU’s global network; they may take more than four courses per semester; or they may need an additional fifth year of study at NYUAD. These options must be considered carefully by the student and the faculty mentors.

Study Abroad

Study abroad for students majoring in physics occurs in the spring semester of the third year, during which the Program in Physics offers a special experience at an NYU global network site for students majoring in Physics. The option for students majoring in Physics to enroll in a second semester abroad is competitive, granted by permission of the Program in Physics and the Dean of Science, and requires registration in the course Capstone Project in Physics 1 at the student’s chosen site. Students majoring in Physics must successfully complete the Foundations of Science sequence before going abroad.