PHYS 1400: Fundamentals of Scientific Inquiry  


What is the course?

PHYS 1400 Fundamentals of Scientific Inquiry is a one-credit, elective course offered each fall. The course is primarily designed for students who are new to CU and who are interested in exploring physics and engaging in self-guided physics research in a supportive learning environment. 

How is it structured?

The first half of the course prepares students to participate in research by introducing them to the conceptual components of quantitative research such as model development and creative problem-solving. In addition, students engage in group and individual activities in which they discuss vital skills such as organization, collaboration, and self-reflection.  

The second half of the course consists of group research projects. Under the supervision of graduate student advisors, students choose their topics and design experiments to explore exciting physical phenomena. The research projects culminate in a poster presentation where students present their research to other undergraduate students, graduate students, and professors.

Throughout the semester, students attend biweekly CU-Prime Talks that actively include students in the cutting-edge research at CU-Boulder by explaining this research in an accessible way. 

For more details, please see the syllabus from our most recent semester, here.

By taking this course, you will:

  • Learn what it’s like to be a scientist 
  • Become a part of a diverse community of other science students 
  • Learn skills needed to do scientific research 
  • Develop useful skills for success in college 
  • Meet practicing scientists in physics

How do I register?

To register for the course, fill out the application form below. This form is a way for us to get to know you a bit before the semester starts. We will make every effort to include as many students as we can in PHYS 1400! The course meets Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5:00-6:30pm. Please avoid schedule conflicts with this timeslot as you register for your other classes! We will send out email notifications in August to confirm admission. Upon your acceptance, you will be automatically enrolled. Please do not attempt to register for this course through myCUinfo, as this is not possible :)

PHYS1400 Fall 2016 Application