English » Undergraduate Studies » Structure of the Curriculum

The Curriculum, which has been in place since the academic year 2011-12, includes:

• 35 theory courses
• 7 laboratories, i.e. courses of laboratory exercises,
• 1 diploma thesis,

with the courses being characterized as Core or Specialization courses, and Compulsory or Elective courses.

The 35 theory courses are divided into:

• 25 Compulsory Core courses
• 1 Elective Core course (selected from 3 Elective Core courses)
• 6 Specialization courses (3 of which are Compulsory Specialization courses, while the remaining 3 are Elective Specialization courses from the Specialization that has been selected by the student)
• 3 additional Free Elective courses (from any Specialization, or Elective courses from other Departments of the University),

while the 7 laboratories include:

• 4 Basic Physics laboratories (associated to Physics I, II, III and IV courses)
• 2 Core laboratories (Core laboratories I and II)
• 1 Specialization laboratory.

The Diploma Thesis usually has a subject in an area of the Specialization that has been selected by the student. It is carried out during the last (4th) year of study, always in consultation and under the supervision of an advising professor (not necessarily the same as the student's Advisor). It has a specific weight, corresponding to 15 ECTS credits, i.e., roughly more than that of two courses.

The completion of the undergraduate studies is certified by the Secretariat of the Department with the assignment of 44 eligible grades, i.e., those for 35 courses, 7 laboratories, and a two-course grade for the diploma thesis. The average of these 44 grades is the grade of the BSc Degree.

The outline of the curriculum, intends to underline the importance for the student to follow the chronological order of the courses per semester and year. The 1st-year courses and, even more so, those of the first semester highlight the inherently different educational approach of the university as compared to that of the high school. The attendance of all courses by the students on a weekly basis is necessary for a smooth adaptation to the requirements of a university degree and the avoidance of gaps in knowledge that might make it challenging to follow more advanced courses.

The 1st- and 2d-year courses, i.e., those of the first four semesters, provide the necessary background and skills to follow the courses of the upcoming semesters, as they emphasize on general physics and mathematics. In particular, these courses cover basic concepts in physics and employ mathematical methods to arrive at both qualitative quantitative conclusions and thus establish fundamental laws of physics. More specifically, these four semesters include:

• Courses of general-physics content. This set consists of four (4) courses offered sequentially, one per semester: Physics I (winter semester) and Physics II (spring semester) in the 1st year, Physics III (winter semester) and Physics IV (spring semester), in the 2d year. These courses constitute the basis for understanding fundamental concepts in Physics, and should be followed according to curriculum's sequence.

• General-physics laboratories (laboratory exercises). The aim of these Labs is to complement the theoretical knowledge of the general physics courses. There exist four (4) such Labs -one per semester- which are mandatory. The scope of the 1st semester's Lab is to introduce the scientific methodology for obtaining and processing experimental data. The laboratory exercises of the next three semesters correspond to the theoretical subjects of the general physics courses.

• Courses of mathematical and general content. There are seven (7) such courses, which also include Computational Physics, Computers-I and Probability-Statistics, which are indispensable in almost all contemporary scientific specializations.

• The courses Mechanics I, Mechanics II, and Special Theory of Relativity complete the basic core courses of the first two years.

• Two rounds of seminar courses during the 1st year (one round in each of the 1st and the 2nd semesters), which are mandatory, but without examination requirements. Their scope is to provide the first-year students a broad picture of various areas of physics, as well as current developments.

The curriculum's "core" of the first two years is completed by courses and advanced laboratories of the 3d year, which include the Core Laboratories I (5th semester) and II (6th semester). At the beginning of the 6th semester, the students have obtained a broad picture of the existing areas of physics and, hence, can follow one of the five (5) Specializations offered, according to their interests. Courses of the 6th semester include:

• Three (3) final Compulsory Core courses and the Core Laboratory II
• One, out of the three, Compulsory Specialization courses
• One Elective Core course, out of the three (3) offered.

Finally, in the 4th year of study, i.e. in the 7th and 8th semesters, the student's should attend Specialization courses, i.e., the remaining 2 Compulsory and the 3 Elective Specialization courses, the Specialization laboratory, the 3 additional Free Elective courses, as well as the diploma thesis.