Geneva Physics Program

With classes at the University of Geneva 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.

Program Curriculum

The first six weeks of the program will be dedicated to an intensive French language course, the Undergraduate Physics Seminar, and a non-credit-bearing introduction to CERN. When the UNIGE semester begins in mid-February, students will enroll in two UNIGE courses (Electrodynamics II and Quantum Mechanics I) as well as a directed study at CERN.

Students are required to take the following courses:

Intensive French (4 credits)


CAS PY 482: Undergraduate Physics Seminar on Computation for Experimental Particle Physics (2)

(CAS PY 482 may be taken multiple times for credit.) An introduction to ROOT computing, as well as an in-depth examination at an undergraduate level of an area of current physics research. Topics cover areas of contemporary interest and vary from year to year; possible areas include general relativity, particle physics, biophysics and superconductivity. 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 faculty member.

Program Details

  • Must be an upper division physics major
  • Minimum of two semesters of college-level French or the equivalent.
  • Courses carry prerequisites
  • Admissions requirements for all programs
Program Dates
  • Spring Semester: mid January to early July

Please note that this program is only offered during the spring semester.

  • Upon successful completion of the program, students earn eighteen Boston University credits. Students must enroll for a total of eighteen credits.
  • Students are housed in a student residence hall adjacent to Lake Geneva and only a few blocks from the main classroom/administrative building of the program. Participants of the program are placed in doubles or triples and share bathrooms. Rooms are completely furnished. Wireless Internet access is available throughout the building. A light breakfast is provided each weekday morning. There are also communal kitchens on each floor. Sheets and basic cooking utensils will be provided. Access to public transportation, which extends to all parts of the city, is close to the facility.
Application Deadlines
    • 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.

Download a description of the Geneva Physics program.

Program Staff

The Boston University Geneva program is administered by staff in both our Boston and Geneva offices. In Boston, a program manager facilitates the admissions and pre-departure procedures, and maintains contact with students prior to their arrival in Geneva. The Boston office also houses administrative personnel who are responsible for everyday operations. In Geneva, the staff comprises a resident director and administrative, academic, and housing personnel.