Course Syllabus

Junior Seminar Fall 2022


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. 

Learning Goals:

  • To understand the opportunities to major in Physics and Astrophysics at SAS RU-NB and learn about research opportunities in the department and beyond
  • To develop written presentation skills needed for success as professional physicists and astronomers.
  • To develop oral presentation skills needed for success as professional physicists and astronomers.
  • To understand the requirements for academic integrity and responsible conduct of research.

Pre-requisites: None

Meeting times:  One 80-minute seminar per week. 

Monday Period 5 3:50 to 5:10 PM 401W Physics & Astronomy (BC)

FIRST DAY of class:  September 12

Textbook: None

Gradebook:  All scores for Physics 368 in Fall 2022 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. The term paper will be uploaded to Canvas as an Assignment.

Office hours: Mondays 2:30 PM 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%
    • Term Paper topic approval: 15%
    • Term Paper: 20%
    • Oral Presentation: 15%

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

Schedule (provisional)



1-Sep 12

Welcome to Rutgers and Physics & Astronomy

Study skills and career opportunities

2-Sep 19

Astrophysics Studies and Research: Prof. Eric Gawiser

3-Sept 26

Condensed Matter & Biophysics Studies and Research: Profs. Jak Chakhalian & Alexandre Morosov

4-Oct 3

Subatomic and Applied Physics Studies and Research: Profs. Eva Halkiadakis and Steve Schnetzer

5-Oct 10

Rutgers Society of Physics Students (SPS) & Astronomical Society (RAS) and Minorities in Physics & Astronomy (MiPA)

6-Oct 17

Academic integrity and ethical conduct of research

7-Oct 24

Professional development: Written presentation skills

8-Oct 31 Spring 2022 registration advising

Oct 31

Term Paper Topic Due

9-Nov 7

Fostering an inclusive physics and astronomy community: Prof. Andrew Baker

10-Nov 14

Professional development: Oral presentation skills

Nov 14

Term Paper Due

11-Nov 21

Professional development: Writing resume & CV


Thanksgiving Break November 24-27

12-Nov 28

Oral presentations

13-Dec 5

Oral presentations – Last Seminar


Safety first:  In order to protect the health and well-being of all members of the University community, 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

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 recommendations to quarantine.  If you will be missing/miss a class, please contact with the reason why; no documentation is needed.

Disability Accommodations:  Rutgers University welcomes students with disabilities into all of the University's educational programs. In order to receive consideration for reasonable accommodations, a student with a disability must contact the appropriate disability services office at the campus where you are officially enrolled, participate in an intake interview, and provide documentation: If the documentation supports your request for reasonable accommodations, your campus’s disability services office will provide you with a Letter of Accommodations. Please share this letter with your instructors and discuss the accommodations with them as early in your courses as possible. To begin this process, please complete the Registration form on the ODS web site at:

Academic Integrity:

Students 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,