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Department of Physics and Astronomy Physics Degree



Do you want a deeper understanding of how the physical universe works? If you’re curious about the world around you and you enjoy learning how physics explains everyday phenomena, the Department of Physics and Astronomy at UW-Stevens Point is the place for you!

Upper level students have co-authored published articles in scientific journals; others have presented talks describing their research at national conferences and regional meetings. Approximately half of our graduates accept fellowships or assistantships for advanced study at institutions across the country. Physics majors at UWSP can also enjoy study abroad opportunities, including academic coursework at sites worldwide, and short travel courses covering specialized topics.

Why Study Physics at UW-Stevens Point?

The Department of Physics and Astronomy can help you find rewarding employment upon completion of your degree. Graduates have found work as applications engineers, chemists, contractors, combat engineers, researchers, system administrators and teachers. Graduates have also pursued further schooling in aeronautical engineering, applied physics, astronomy, civil and environmental engineering, mathematics, nuclear engineering and security technologies. Current research activities involving students majoring in physics include astrophysics, optoelectronics, materials science, liquid crystals, and femtosecond lasers.

Physics and Astronomy Facilities

Grow your passion for astronomy and physics when you study at UWSP.  Hands-on learning opportunities include:

  • Classrooms and laboratories
  • Allen F. Blocher Planetarium
  • Arthur J. Pejsa Observatory and an adjacent observation area
  • Research work in the field

Through faculty research collaboration, the department has access to the world’s largest fully steerable radio telescope, the 100-meter Green Bank Telescope in West Virginia.

Dual Degree Physics and Engineering 3 + 2

Earn two degrees in five years, a bachelor of science degree in physics from UW-Stevens Point and a bachelor of science degree in engineering (biomedical, civil, electrical, industrial, materials or mechanical engineering) from UW-Milwaukee. The program includes three years and 90-95 credits at UW-Stevens Point and two years and 60 credits at UW-Milwaukee.

The dual-degree program helps students interested in an engineering career to get an enhanced background in physics. It will help you to distinguish yourself when you start your career, as well as when you must adapt to fast-paced industries in the long term.


The Department of Physics and Astronomy awards a number of scholarships to physics majors. Faculty will select the recipients based on academic achievement and scholastic merit.

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Students work closely with professors in challenging coursework to earn a Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Arts degree in physics. With either degree, a student may attain certification to teach at the secondary level.

Our department also offers two tracks within the physics major for students who plan to pursue a career in industry right after graduation: Physics Major with Applied Emphasis in Mechanics and Physics Major and the Physics Major with Applied Emphasis in Electronics.  Applied Emphasis majors are required to participate in an industrial internship either locally or in London through the Study Abroad Program.

Students may also lay the foundation for a career in biomedical, civil, industrial, materials or mechanical engineering as part of a physics/engineering dual-degree (3+2) program offered through a partnership with UW-Milwaukee. You can earn two degrees in five years through this dual-degree collaboration!

Academic minors may be obtained in physicsastronomy and natural science. Courses in astronomy are offered at the introductory and advanced levels. Pre-professional fields of study, such as engineering and medicine, also require certain courses in physics.


Students interested in engaging with the professional community may get involved in the Society of Physics Students at UWSP. More opportunities can be found on the Stevens Point Involvement Network (SPIN).

Many students in the department are employed in relevant positions during their studies. Research assistants, tutors, graders, planetarium staff members and laboratory assistants are often hired by the department.

The Department of Physics and Astronomy is a member of the Wisconsin Space Grant Consortium (WSGC). Our Pointer Rocketeers launched their rocket over 2,500 feet in the (WSGC) Collegiate Rocket Competition. See video! Our students have the opportunity to apply for various types of undergraduate programs and scholarships. Find out if any of these might be right for you.

Major Map

Navigate Your Major

Major Maps help students map their first day to the first job in their chosen field. While a four-year plan outlines classes to get a degree, Major Maps help students learn how to build career-ready skills and experiences outside the classroom. Each Major Map shows how students can get the most of their UW-Stevens Point journey from enrollment to graduation and beyond. It’s a roadmap to discovering your purpose!


Student Opportunities

Physics majors at UW-Stevens Point have been quite successful in national competition for summer research internships. In recent years, junior and senior level students have participated in programs at institutions such as Argonne and Brookhaven National Laboratories, Marshfield Clinic, Lucent Technologies, and at universities such as Cornell, MIT, Michigan State, and UW-Eau Claire. In addition, UWSP students enjoy access to a wide variety of study abroad opportunities. You could learn physics overseas!


The University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point Department of Physics and Astronomy can help you find satisfying and appropriate employment upon completion of your degree. UW-Stevens Point physics and astronomy graduates have found work in the following positions:

  • Analyst
  • Applications Engineer
  • Chemist
  • Combat Engineer
  • Contractor
  • High School Science Teacher
  • Industrial Engineer
  • Manufacturing Engineer
  • Middle School Science Teacher
  • Planetarium Program Director
  • Process Engineer
  • Programmer
  • Researcher
  • Software Engineer
  • System Administrator
  • Test Engineer


UW-Stevens Point physics classes are small, and students majoring in physics are able to work directly with faculty early in their academic careers. Faculty conduct research in areas such as astrophysics, optoelectronics, materials science, liquid crystals, and femtosecond lasers.

Palash Banerjee

  • Professor
  • Principal Investigator, Applied Physics and Instrumentation Laboratory

Adriana Durbala

  • Professor
  • Coordinator, Astronomy minor

Maryam Farzaneh

  • Professor of Physics
  • Physics/Engineering Dual Degree Coordinator