Advising Resources

Online information

You are bound to have questions about the program you have chosen or your career.  For general questions, please first review the information on the web site, especially the Program Information and Careers for Physics Majors pages.

Introduction to Physics Careers and Research

If you are a physics major, or think you might like to be one, we've formalized much of the student advising into a couple of brief seminars. Physics 191 is a 0.5 credit hour seminar that provides an introduction to how to succeed as a major, career opportunities, and research at BYU and elsewhere. Take 191 your first Fall semester at BYU. Physics 291 focuses on your many career options and pushes you to get involved in research and prepare for life after graduation. You should take Physics 291 your first Fall semester as sophomore or above.

College Advisement Center

The College Advisement Center (College of Physical and Mathematical Sciences) can provide you with information on general education and university requirements as well as major requirements. For career options it's best to visit physics faculty advisors and see Careers for Physics Majors

N181 ESC
(801) 422-2674

Faculty Advisors

All students in a Department of Physics and Astronomy program are assigned a faculty academic advisor. Your academic advisor can help you with questions regarding your career and education.

Initially, your faculty academic advisor is assigned to you based on your major and the last two digits of your BYU ID.

  • Physics and Applied Physics 00-24: Brian Anderson
  • Physics and Applied Physics 25-49: John Colton
  • Physics and Applied Physics 50-74; Astronomy 78-99: Larry Rees
  • Physics and Applied Physics 75-99: David Neilsen
  • Astronomy 00-77: Denise Stephens
  • Physics Teaching: Duane Merrill


Brian Anderson
00-24 Advisor
(last BYU ID digits)

John Colton
25-49 Advisor
(last BYU ID digits)

Larry Rees
50-74; Astro 78-99
(last BYU ID digits)

David Neilsen
75-99 Advisor
(last BYU ID digits)

Denise Stephens
Astro 00-77 Advisor

Duane Merrell
Physics Teaching

After you join a research group, your research advisor doubles as your academic advisor. You will need a research advisor to complete the senior thesis or capstone requirement and to help you plan for your future. Start the process of finding a research advisor early in your program. You will get lots of help in Physics 191 and 291. Look through the research information on the department web site, and find something that interests you. Then contact faculty members to learn more about their research, including their research group meetings. After a faculty member has agreed to be your research advisor, you need to let the department know about this agreement using the web form on the Faculty Advisor Page.

Yearly meeting with your Faculty Academic Advisor

The department requires that you meet with your academic advisor at least once a year to discuss details of your career and educational plans. Your academic advisor must log this meeting before the deadline or your registration privileges will be blocked. Once you are in a research group, this meeting will with be your research advisor; however, meetings simply to discuss research topics do not count as advising meetings.

For students not yet in research group, the annual meeting deadline is keyed to the last digit of your BYU ID as follows:

  • 0-1: October
  • 2-3: November
  • 4-5: January
  • 6-7: February
  • 8-9: March

For students in a research group, the annual meeting deadline is the end of March.

Other Advisors and Coordinators

Dallin Durfee
Capstone Project Coordinator

Eric Hintz
Undergrad Research Coordinator

Kent Gee
Acoustics group contact

Rob Davis
Co-advisor Society of Physics Students

Cheryl Davis
Co-advisor Society of Physics Students










Society of Physics Students (SPS)

The local chapter of SPS provides many opportunities for informal advisement by bringing younger students into contact with older ones. Take advantage of what you can learn about your major from students who are just ahead of you.

In addition, SPS offers programs each year to give information about research opportunities, graduate schools, employment in physics and astronomy, and other important topics.

Drop by the SPS office (N286 ESC), call them at 422-YSPS (422-9777), or email any time to ask questions about activitiees or help with suceeding as a physics major

Undergraduate Research Coordinator

The Undergraduate Research Coordinator can advise you in preparing for and finding research opportunities as an undergraduate student and coordinates approval of senior theses.

Capstone Project Coordinator

The Capstone Project Coordinator advises applied physics majors in choosing a capstone project, and evaluates the project with the mentoring faculty or professional.