as With classes at the University of Geneva (UNIGE) and directed research at the CERN Laboratory, straddling the French/Swiss border just outside of Geneva, students will work with the world’s leading physicists to explore the universe on the level of its most basic constituent particles.

The first six weeks of the program will be dedicated to an intensive French language course, and the Undergraduate Physics Seminar. When the UNIGE semester begins in mid-February, students will enroll in two UNIGE physics courses as well as a directed study at CERN.

  • All students must enroll according to, and remain in compliance with, the Boston University Study Abroad Course Load Policy.
  • Must be an upper-division physics major
  • Minimum of two semesters of college-level French, or the equivalent, is required
  • A foundational knowledge of C++, UNIX and Python is expected
  • Courses carry prerequisites
  • Admissions requirements for all programs
The first six weeks of the program will be dedicated to an intensive French language course, and the Undergraduate Physics Seminar. When the UNIGE semester begins in mid-February, students will enroll in two UNIGE courses (typically Electrodynamics II and Quantum Mechanics I). Students wishing to enroll in other UNIGE courses must obtain prior approval from their academic advisor or home institution. Any UNIGE courses taken outside of the recommended curriculum listed below must be worth at least 6 ECTS.

Study at CERN under the guidance of a CERN mentor who will assist you in finding a team to work with and will also grade your project.

Required Courses

Students are required to take the following courses:

Intensive French

Students enroll in one intensive French language course, at the intermediate or advanced level:

  • CAS FR 213 Intermediate French I (4 credits) 
    • This class is for students who have taken one or two semesters of French and are reasonably confident speaking and reading the language. It will focus on gaining fluency and accuracy in speech and at establishing grammatical rules, especially the use of tenses and modes up to and including the subjunctive and the conditional. Classes will concentrate on aural comprehension and speech, with grammatical exercises as homework and several written assignments increasing in complexity over the six weeks of the course. 
    • Syllabus
  • CAS FR 313 Advanced French 1 (4)
    • This class is for students who have taken three or four semesters of French. The course is designed to give advanced oral and written language skills in French. It focuses on communicating easily in French as preparation for the internship in an international organization. The content of the course reflects all aspects of French-speaking culture (French and Swiss).
    • Syllabus
Physics Courses and CERN Directed Study

Students enroll in the following physics courses and directed study at CERN:

  • CAS PY 485Computation for Experimental Particle Physics (3)
    • Introduces the experimental, computational, and statistical methods used in modern high- energy particle physics. The Standard Model of particle physics, particle-matter interactions, major detector technologies, probability models, point estimations, fitting and confidence intervals are covered.
    • Syllabus
  • Electrodynamics II (4)
    • Prerequisite: CAS PY 405: Electromagnetic Fields and Waves I or the equivalent.
    • This course is equivalent to Boston University CAS PY 406, Electromagnetic Fields and Waves. Taught in French with weekly English discussion section.
  • Quantum Mechanics I (4)
    • Prerequisites: CAS PY 351 Modern Physics I and CAS PY 355 Methods of Theoretical Physics or the equivalent.
    • This course is equivalent to Boston University CAS PY 451, Quantum Physics I. Taught in French with weekly English discussion section.
  • CAS PY 392 Directed Study at CERN (4)
    • Intensive study of one aspect of physics under the supervision of a CERN Mentor.
    • Students meet as a group regularly to discuss their projects, detail goals, issues, and progress.
    • At the end of the semester, students write a report about their project, outlining goals, achievements, and what further developments may be needed.

Students seeking to take courses at UNIGE not listed above must secure prior approval from their academic or appropriate advisor. Boston University students must also seek approval from the Director of Undergraduate Services in the Physics department.

For information on courses conducted by the University of Geneva follow the link below and select: Etudes en - Section de Physique.

www.unige.ch/sciences/Enseignements/ProgrammeCours.html

UNIGE Calendar

The Global Learning Experience: An Online Course

Students in all Fall and Spring programs have the opportunity to enroll in The Global Learning Experience at no additional cost.

  • CAS IP101 The Global Learning Experience (1 credit)
    • All program participants have the opportunity to make the most of their semester abroad with The Global Learning Experience, a self-paced, Pass/Fail course with brief readings and experiential assignments that accompany them while living and studying in a country and culture different from their own. Students post their work, experiences and observations to an online platform to trace and articulate their achievements abroad from an academic, personal and professional standpoint. The course links students with the faculty instructors as well as peers studying on other BU Study Abroad programs around the world. Students earn one credit in addition to the total program credits mentioned below at no additional cost.
    • Syllabus
Program Residence

  • Double or triple rooms with shared bathrooms
  • Shared, fully equipped kitchen
  • No dining hall
  • Laundry in BU residence
  • Common study and recreational space at BU residence
  • Spring Semester: mid-January to early July

Please note: This program is only offered during the spring semester.

  • Spring Semester: September 15

Given visa restrictions, serious candidates for the spring semester Geneva Physics Program are strongly advised to apply by September 15. Although we will continue to accept applications up to September 30 or until the program is full, preference will be given to qualified candidates who submit their applications on or before September 15.