Course Syllabus

Junior Seminar Fall 2021


Instructor: Jolie A. Cizewski

Summary:  This is a one-credit course for transfer students interested in majoring in physics or astrophysics.  The purpose is to foster your successful transition into the major and engage in the research, outreach and professional development activities of the department. 

Pre-requisites: None

Meeting times:  One 80-minute seminar per week. 

            Monday Period 4 3:00 to 4:20 PM 401W Physics & Astronomy (BC)

FIRST DAY of class:  September 8 (Rutgers Monday)

Safety first:  In order to protect the health and well-being of all members of the University community, masks must be worn by all persons on campus when in the presence of others (within six feet) and in buildings in non-private enclosed settings (e.g., common workspaces, workstations, meeting rooms, classrooms, etc.). Masks must be worn during class meetings; any student not wearing a mask will be asked to leave.

Masks should conform to CDC guidelines and should completely cover the nose and mouth: coverings.html

Each day before you arrive on campus or leave your residence hall, you must complete the brief survey on the My Campus Pass symptom checker self-screening app.

While attendance and participation are important components of the Junior Seminar, please stay home if you are feeling ill or may have COVID-19 symptoms and of course follow any requests for contact tracing and/or need to quarantine.  If you will be missing/miss a class, please contact with the reason why; no documentation is needed.

Textbook: None

Gradebook:  All scores for Physics 368 in Fall 2021 will be posted in the Physics & Astronomy Department Gradebook.

Homework or other assignments:

Topic approval for term paper will be uploaded as a homework assignment in canvas.

Term paper will be uploaded to Canvas as an Assignment with plagiarism review via Turnitin.

You will also give a short oral presentation in class based on your term paper.

Exams, quizzes and term paper.

  • No exams in this course.
  • A term paper and oral presentation are required, due before Thanksgiving. The term paper will be uploaded to Canvas as an Assignment.

Office hours: to be determined and by appointment

Provisional Grading Plans:

  • Class attendance: 25%
  • Class participation: 25%
    • Full credit if actively engage in discussions, asking questions of invited speakers
  • Term Paper and presentation: 50%

Lowest two sessions of (unexcused) attendance and participation points will be dropped.

Schedule (provisional):



Sept 8

Welcome to Rutgers and Physics & Astronomy

Sep 13

Study skills, study groups and research opportunities

Sept 20

Physics & Astronomy Major Options 

Sept 27

Physics & Astronomy Major Options 

Oct 4

Rutgers Society of Physics Students

Oct 11

Fostering an inclusive physics and astronomy community

Oct 18

Professional development: Written presentation skills (Physical Review format)

Oct 25

Academic integrity and ethical conduct of research

Oct 25

Term Paper Topic Due

Nov 1

Professional development: Oral presentation skills

Nov 8

Spring 2022 registration advising

Nov 8

Term Paper Due

Nov 15

Professional development: Writing resume & CV

Nov 22

Oral presentations – Last Seminar


Thanksgiving Break November 24-28. 

November 29 is a Rutgers WEDNESDAY


Academic Integrity:

Student are expected to maintain the highest level of academic integrity.  You should be familiar with the university policy on academic integrity:  Violations will be reported and enforced according to this policy.

Use of external sources to obtain solutions to homework assignments or exams is cheating and a violation of the University Academic Integrity policy. Cheating in the course may result in penalties ranging from a zero on an assignment to an F for the course, or expulsion from the University.  Posting of homework assignments, exams, recorded lectures, or other lecture materials to external sites without the permission of the instructor is a violation of copyright and constitutes a facilitation of dishonesty, which may result in the same penalties as explicit cheating.

Not only does the use of such sites violate the University’s policy on Academic Integrity, using such sites interferes with your achievement of the learning you are paying tuition for. Assignments, quizzes, and exams are given not simply to assign grades, but to promote the active learning that occurs through completing assignments on your own.  Getting the right answer is much less important than learning how to get the right answer.  This learning is critical to your success in subsequent courses and your careers.

Student wellness Services

Student Counseling, ADAP & Psychiatric Services (CAPS) wellness for non-emergency psychological health issues services (848) 932-7884, 17 Senior Street, New Brunswick, NJ 08901

Violence Prevention & Victim Assistance (VPVA), (848) 932-1181, 3 Bartlett Street, New Brunswick, NJ 08901,

Office of Disability Services (848) 445-6800, Lucy Stone Hall, Suite A145, Livingston, 54 Joyce Kilmer Avenue, Piscataway, NJ 08854,