The Department of Physics and Astronomy offers programs leading to master's and doctoral degrees. With approximately 75 graduate students and 30 faculty members, the department maintains a friendly and informal atmosphere that is conducive to close interaction between faculty and students.
Our faculty bring in over $12 million per year in scientific research grants, which provides students with research assistantships, support for travel to national and international meetings, and access to state-of-the-art research equipment, including computational facilities and fully staffed electronic and instrument shops. One example of the cutting-edge research facilities available is the Extreme Light Laboratory, which houses a new multi-million-dollar laser system capable of focusing light to the highest level of intensity ever achieved. Not only is this capability expected to lead to new discoveries in fundamental physics, but it has important multidisciplinary applications in materials science, chemistry, biology, as well as medicine, security and defense.
Our program prepares students for employment in all sectors. Students interested in academic or government employment have been hired as postdoctoral research associates at Princeton, Caltech, Berkeley and the Office of Naval Research. Our graduates also work in industry at places like Seagate, Applied Magnetics, Micron and Eaton SEO and in academia, including McMurry University, Loras College, Fort Hayes State University and St. Thomas University.