Academic Honors and Prizes
Each year, members of the physics faculty review the records of physics students to consider them for departmental honors. While standards for honors are flexible, a 3.5 grade average for courses taken in the department is a typical guideline.
Grades, however, are not the only factor; if a student’s average is closer to 3.0 than 3.5, but that student has done exceptionally well on an independent research project, or shown an interest or talent in some other way, that student is a good candidate for honors. On the other hand, if a student's average in physics exceeds 3.5, but she or he has not otherwise distinguished her/himself, that student might not receive Departmental honors.
There is no limit to the number of students who can receive honors in a given year; in some years as many as six have received them, while in other years, no one has.
The Physics Department offers two prizes to its majors. Endowment was funded by Gettysburg alumnus in tribute to George “Bowley” Miller, a professor of physics at Gettysburg College who provided direction and leadership for the department for nearly thirty years.
The Miller-Mara First Year Student Prize in Physics isawarded to a first year student whose performance in Physics 111-112 is judged by physics faculty to be the most outstanding; and
The Miller-Mara Senior Physics Prize is awarded to a senior physics major whose sustained performance over four years is judged by the physics faculty to be outstanding.
If you’d like more information about these awards, please don’t hesitate to speak with a Physics Department faculty member.