Being a student in the Physics and Astronomy department is about more than just taking the required courses and learning the fundamental concepts in class (although, that's an important part of the experience!). Students also have a sea of opportunities open to them, through interdisciplinary departments on campus, dual-degree programs with other institutions, and prospects for hands-on research with faculty who are leaders in their fields. Furthermore, the Vassar experience continues on long after graduation; Physics and Astronomy graduates go on to follow amazing paths, both in and out of the physical sciences.
During the academic year, the department employs several students as research and teaching assistants. During the summer some students work with faculty through Vassar's Undergraduate Summer Research Institute (URSI), collaborating on original research projects in exciting areas such as acoustics, hydrodynamics, gravitational physics, particle physics, and physics education. In addition, many Vassar students obtain prestigious summer research internships at major research universities and laboratories. Recently students have participated in such programs at the CERN particle physics laboratory in Geneva, Switzerland, the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, the Space Telescope Science Institute, the SETI Institute, and Kitt Peak National Observatory.