The Department of Physics as an institution for scientific research and education relies heavily on youth development. Therefore, High School students and/or prospective University students have the possibility to enroll in programms that are set up to foster talents. For example, particularly talented Highs School students have the possibility to enroll in certain lectures during the last years of their high school education.
For particularly talented and motivated students, the Department of Physics offers an “Honors Track” for Bachelor students.
The Purpose of the "Honors Track" for Bachelor students is to bring excellent students in contact with cutting-edge research early in their careers. The Honors Track is characterized by involvement in one of the research groups of the Department of Physics, the execution of a research internship, and individual mentorship by a professor. Successful participation in the Honors Track is rewarded by an annual monetary prize equivalent to annual tuition costs. Its successful completion is documented at the end of the Bachelor’s program by special certificate conferred by the Department of Physics.
Students may apply for admission to the Honors Track after the end of their first year of studies in the Bachelor of Physics. To qualify, students must successfully complete all compulsory courses of the first year of Bachelor study with very good results. In exceptional cases, first-year students may be included directly into the Honors Track: e.g. graduates of student studies (Schülerstudium) with particularly good grades, winners of student competitions in physics, etc.
To apply for the Honors Track an application including a motivation letter (1-page maximum), a transcript of studies, a high school transcript, and a curriculum vitae (1-page maximum) is required. Applicants should have completed their 2nd semester (exceptional cases warranting early admission should contact the coordinator beforehand). Documents should be sent to the studies coordinator anytime but before September 1st to be eligible for the respective autumn semester. To ensure that the track remains exclusive to excellent students, an average of 5.5 or higher in the first year is desirable.
A central part of the Honors Track is an obligatory research internship in one of the research groups of the Department of Physics, which is usually carried out in the 5th or 6thsemester. The research internship has a volume of 8 CP which are acquired in the form of a learning contract. In addition, Honors Track students complete all compulsory courses of the Bachelor of Physics, however, if necessary, in a different order:
- Honors Track students with a special interest in experimental physics complete the compulsory courses in the same order as indicated in the standard curriculum. They then carry out the research internship in one of the experimental research groups in the 5th and 6th semesters.
- Honors Track students with a special interest in theoretical physics attend the compulsory theory lecture "Quantum Mechanics" including the associated exercise already in the 3rd semester and the elective lecture with exercises "Higher Quantum Mechanics and Quantum Field Theory" in the 4th semester. The early completion of these theory lectures then prepares these students to carry out a research internship in one of the theory research groups in the 5th and 6th semesters.
Focusing on experimental or theoretical physics as part of the Bachelor's degree does not restrict the freedom of choice in the subsequent Master's program.
Die Bewerbungsfirst endet jeweils am 1. September des laufenden Jahres. Die eingegangenen Bewerbungen werden dann von einem Komitee bestehend aus dem Vorsteher des Departements Physik, dem Vorsitzenden der Unterrichtskommission und dem Studiengangskoordinator bewertet und entsprechend der Noten und weiterer ausserordentlicher Leistungen ausgewählt. Die Bewerber werden vor Beginn des jeweiligen Herbstsemesters über das Auswahlverfahren informiert. Es können jeweils nur eine limitierte Anzahl von Studenten in das Honors-Track Programm aufgenommen werden.