CHARTING A COURSE
Physics (H) springboard for higher education, preferred over MSc
Manash Pratim Gohain TNN
New Delhi: One of the most sought-after science programmes, BSc (honours) physics is offered in 21 colleges in Delhi University. Many prefer this course to the five-year integrated MSc physics offered by many top institutions because of the number of options available after graduation. There are plenty of examples where top rankers at IIT-JEE have joined this programme.
The course is known to be one that provides the right kind of grilling during the undergraduate years.
No wonder, as many as 60% of the physics graduates make it to the IITs, pursue an MBA, or crack the civil services examination. The course is considered a springboard for making it to institutions of higher learning abroad. This year, there are 1,151 seats in physics across colleges. Kirori Mal College has the highest number of seats — 116.
Jacob Cherian, physics department, St Stephen’s College, said, “It is one of the best courses for those who are interested in physics. It provides students an excellent exposure to areas such as computers, electronics and quantum mechanics. Many of our students go abroad to pursue higher studies in various reputed institutions.”
The cutoff for the course at Hindu College was 94%, while it was 91% at Hans Raj College during the 2010-11 admission season. The lowest cutoff in the first list was 65% at Swami Shraddhanand College.
Former physics faculty member and present adviser to the vice-chancellor, DU, R K Garg, said, “As the programme focuses on electronics, mathematical physics, mechanics, electricity and
magnetism, students have many options to choose from. Pursuing physics (honours) is a gruelling exerc with mathematical applications in good measure.
Our students do well in IT, banking and other applied fields such as nuclear physics and nanotechnology.’’
Eligibility: Students from the science stream are eligible, provided they have studied physics, chemistry and mathematics in Class XII, which are counted in the best four subjects, along with at least one language.
Course content: BSc physics (honours) covers a wide range of areas. The programme offered at DU is called an integrated honours programme as the marks scored in the mathematics and chemistry papers are also accounted for in the final score. The threeyear course includes electronics, mathematical physics, mechanics, electricity and magnetism, microprocessor, computer lab, optics, heat and thermodynamics, nuclear physics and numerical analysis
Road ahead: Interestingly, many students join the programme because of the strong foundation they get in mechanics, electricity and magnetism, but drop out after clearing IIT-JEE.
“A lot of students opting for BSc physics are those who could not get through the engineering entrances or are waiting for the results. Many take admissions so that they have some course to fall back on in case they don’t clear the IIT and other engineering entrance exams,” said Pervin Malhotra, career counsellor.
Malhotra added that there are also students who are genuinely interested in pursuing physics and those who wish to go up to the level of PhD and have a career in physics. One of the most obvious choices is a postgraduate programme and then a career in academics.
But among the science programmes, BSc physics (honours) offers more options, he added.
‘‘Physics is a fascinating subject with wide-ranging applications.
Because of the integration of electronics, mathematics and chemistry, students are well-equipped for research work and even for technical positions in IT, computers and banking. They can opt for MTech or pursue higher studies and work in the field of nuclear physics, nanotechnology, radio physics, astrophysics or biophysics as well,’’ said Malhotra.