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Department of Physics and Astronomy Physics Degree

Major

SMALL CLASSES, BIG ACHIEVEMENTS AWAIT YOU IN THE PHYSICS PROGRAM

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! Both Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Arts degrees are available.

Upper level students have co-authored published articles in scientific journals; others have presented talks describing their research projects at national conferences and regional meetings. Approximately half of our graduating seniors accept fellowships or assistantships for advanced study at institutions across the country.

Why Study Physics at UW-Stevens Point?

The Department of Physics and Astronomy can help you find satisfying and appropriate 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. Physics majors at UW-Stevens Point can also enjoy study abroad opportunities, including academic coursework at sites worldwide, London internships and short travel courses covering specialized topics.

Physics and Astronomy Facilities

The department manages a number of astronomy and physics classrooms and laboratories. The department also maintains the Allen F. Blocher Planetarium and Arthur J. Pejsa Observatory and an adjacent observation area. The department currently has access to the WIYN 0.9m telescope at the Kitt Peak National Observatory in Arizona and the Green Bank radio telescope in West Virginia. Current research activities involving students majoring in physics include astrophysics, optoelectronics, materials science, liquid crystals, and femtosecond lasers.

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.

Scholarships

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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WHAT TO EXPECT

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.

GET INVOLVED ON CAMPUS

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. In addition, a number of scholarships provide financial support to physics majors.

The Department of Physics and Astronomy is a member of the Wisconsin Space Grant Consortium (WSGC). 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!

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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!

NOW HIRING!

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

MEET YOUR FACULTY

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 of Physics
  • Principal Investigator, Applied Physics and Instrumentation Laboratory

Adriana Durbala

  • Professor, Physics and Astronomy
  • Astronomy minor coordinator

Maryam Farzaneh

  • Professor of Physics
  • Physics/Engineering Dual Degree Coordinator