Undergraduate programs

The mission of the Physics Department is to provide students with the skills and tools to develop the underlying technologies and support knowledge necessary for the technological-industrial infrastructure of Kazakhstan and other countries.


Students will develop comprehensive understanding of the fundamental laws of physics, abstract reasoning ability and creative scientific approach supplemented by mathematical, computational and experimental skills. Students are also expected to develop a mature understanding of their personal strengths and interests in physics research and beyond. The Program will prepare students for national and international careers and/or graduate studies in diverse areas of physical sciences and engineering. Additional outcomes preparing students for modern science and technology careers will include the ability to work effectively within a team, strong scientific communication skills, and exposure to academic and/or industrial research environment.

Students who begin a Physics major course curriculum will generally possess: 1) natural curiosity and excitement about science in general, physics and mathematics in particular, and their applications; 2) knowledge of high-school physics; 3) good mathematical abilities with the basic differentiation and integration skills; 4) level of English speaking, writing and reading skills sufficient for successful completion of courses offered in English.


English Language Requirements

IELTS – no less than 6.5 overall (with at least 6.0 in each sub-score) or TOEFL IBT – 79-93 (Reading – no less than 13, Listening – no less than 12, Speaking – no less than 18, Writing – no less than 21) or TOEFL PBT** – 574-599

Academic Requirements

– Minimum requirements for graduates or students of the final year of secondary school, colleges, UK Foundation program and graduates of the A-level program

SAT Reasoning Test ** or ACT SAT Reasoning Test – 1240 Essay is not required, no minimum score OR ACT – 27 composite score. Writing part is not required, no minimum score

SAT Subject Test – 600 for each subject (Biology and Chemistry or Physics and Math)

– Minimum requirements for graduates and holders of NIS Grade 12 Certificate*

NIS 12 Grade Certificate – A B B (any subjects)

– Minimum requirements for graduates and holders of IВ Diploma Program***

IB DP 30 total score and 4, 4, 5 for 3 subjects of HL

*NIS Grade 12 Certificate holders can also participate in the competition in the “Graduates of secondary schools” category with IELTS and SAT results (see the minimum requirements for this category above).

** The Nazarbayev University applies the Superscoring for SAT scores.

***IB DP holders can also participate in the competition in the “Graduates of secondary schools” category with IELTS and SAT results (see the minimum requirements for this category above).


4 years

Work after graduation

Industries where the major can be applied:

Research and development in natural sciences and engineering (NSE)
Astronomy and Space Science
Nuclear Energy, Geophysics and Seismology
Climate and Meteorology
Oil and Gas
Water Resources management
Hazardous waste management
Finance and Banking
Aerospace and Defense
Big data
High-performance computing

Program outline

Apart from Physics courses, students have to take couple courses from other disciplines from 1t to 3rd years of study like Kazakh language and History of Kazakhstan courses, Calculus, Programming for Scienctists and Engineers course etc. Full program outline can be found on School’s website. Some courses may change from year to year.

1) Physics Core Courses (54 credits):
Careers in Physics (PHYS105)
Physics I for Physics Majors with Laboratory (PHYS171)
Physics II for Physics Majors with Laboratory (PHYS172)
Classical Mechanics I (PHYS221)
Classical Mechanics II (PHYS222)
Electrical and Electronic Circuits I with Laboratory (PHYS251/ROBT203)
Modern Physics with Laboratory (PHYS261)
Computational Physics with Laboratory (PHYS270)
Thermodynamics and Statistical Physics (PHYS280)
Mathematical Methods of Physics (PHYS315)
Classical Electrodynamics I (PHYS361)
Classical Electrodynamics II (PHYS362)
Optics with Laboratory (PHYS370)
Physics Seminar (PHYS395)
Quantum Mechanics I (PHYS451)
Quantum Mechanics II (PHYS452)
Advanced Experimental Physics (PHYS465)
Physics Colloquium (PHYS495)

Senior-Year Options:
1)Bachelor Thesis Option (12 credits)
Physics Elective Courses (6 credits)
Bachelor Thesis (6 credits)
2)No Thesis Option (12 credits)
Physics Elective Courses (6 credits)
Natural Science or Technology Elective Course (3 credits)
[subject to the approval by the Physics Department]Physics Research Course (3 credits)
2) Mathematics and Programming Core Courses (22 credits):
Calculus I (MATH161)
Calculus II (MATH162)
Calculus III (MATH263)
Linear Algebra with Applications (MATH273)
Introduction to Differential Equations (MATH274)
Programming for Scientists and Engineers (CSCI151)
3) Other Natural Science Core Courses (4 credits):
Chemistry I with Laboratory (CHEM101 and CHEM101L)
4) Required Communication Courses (9 credits):
Communication Foundations I (COMM101)
Communication Foundations II (COMM102)
Scientific Writing for Popular Media (COMM225)
5) University-required Kazakh History, Language and Culture courses (9 credits):
History of Kazakhstan (HST 100)
6 credits of Kazakh Language, Literature or Culture (number starting with KAZ)
6) Humanities or Social Science Electives (6 credits):
7) Unrestricted Electives (9 credits)

TOTAL: 125 credits Courses may change from year to year.

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