students in class

Physics Tutoring

Need help with Physics?

Here are some tutoring options for physics courses:

  1. Supplemental Instruction: For PHYS 191/192/193/194/180/280, we offer Supplemental Instruction (SI) led by juniors/seniors who have done well in Physics. Please see your course Canvas page for SI hours or contact your instructor.
  2. Additional tutoring in physics: see the online schedule for tutors at the Academic Success Center. You can make an appointment there. You can also call them directly to make an appointment at 973-655-3823 or 973-655-4364.
  3. Go to the instructor’s office hours (possibly online) or email them to set up an appointment.
  4. Some general tips for doing well in physics:
  • Physics is hard. It takes a lot of time. You need to read the textbook weekly. Make sure you understand every step when you read it (it’s not like reading a novel). Homework assignments take several hours to complete. You should expect to spend two hours outside of class for every hour you spend in class or lab. No pain, no gain.
  • Work on homework in groups with your classmates. Try to learn from other students in your course. But make sure you understand how to complete the problem on your own. Students who rely on online “resources” to “help” them complete the homework usually perform horribly on exams and quizzes.
  • Learning physics is like learning a sport, a musical instrument, or a second language. You need to practice, practice, practice. To get better at solving physics problems, try doing extra ones with a range of difficulty.
  • Work out your homework problems neatly on paper. Show every equation, step, and line of reasoning. Keep track of your units. Start by drawing a diagram. Then construct the relevant equations and solve them symbolically before you plug in numbers. Once you obtain an answer, ask yourself if it makes sense and if it has the proper units.

If you need help in other areas (not-tutoring), please see the MSU Cares website for more information.

For general advising (especially for new and transferring students), see the CSAM Academic Advising Office.

For career advice, talk to your physics faculty advisor and the CSAM Career Services Office. Physics majors/minors should meet with their physics faculty advisor at least once per year to review their progress.

Prospective students should contact the department chairperson to learn more about doing a physics major or minor.