Welcome to the Department of Physics and Astronomy
As an undergraduate student of the Department of Physics & Astronomy, you have access to high-quality laboratories and equipment, are taught by renowned professors, and have opportunities to conduct research on innovative research projects.
The Department of Physics and Astronomy offers programs leading to the Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees. Students preparing for graduate study or a professional career in physics should pursue the Bachelor of Science degree by following the professional track. For undergraduates who have special interests, our program offers additional tracks in optics and lasers, materials physics, and computational physics. (The interdisciplinary Bachelor of Science degree in engineering physics is offered through the College of Engineering.)
The courses required for the Bachelor of Arts degree in physics offer a broader program in science and the liberal arts suitable for a variety of preprofessional curricula and for interdisciplinary studies in areas including biophysics, chemical physics, and geophysics. Undergraduates in this degree program should select elective courses in consultation with their advisers.
There are four tracks that can be used to fulfill the Bachelor of Science requirements:
- The Professional Track is designed for students intending to pursue graduate study or employment in physics or a related scientific or engineering disciplines.
- The Optics and Lasers Track is designed for students intending to pursue graduate study or employment in optical or laser physics or in related engineering disciplines.
- The Materials Physics Track is designed for students intending to pursue graduate study or employment in materials physics or in related disciplines.
- The Computational Physics Track is designed for students intending to pursue graduate study or employment in computational physics or in related disciplines.
See the Undergraduate Catalog for a full description of degree requirements.
Chief Major Adviser
258E Jorgensen Hall
Every declared physics major is assigned to one of the four Personal Advisers listed above. The Personal Adviser stays in regular contact with his advisees and helps them decide which courses to take. They also provide information about opportunities for students within Physics and beyond. Undergraduates stay with their Personal Adviser for their entire career at Nebraska.
The Personal Advisers are majors' first point of contact for routine issues; more difficult problems are handled by the Chief Adviser, who also helps non-majors and prospective majors who are interested in the Department of Physics & Astronomy.
Opportunities at Nebraska
Take advantage of the many experiences that are available to you as a Husker. Offices around campus offer experiences and support for a variety of activities that build your resume and expand your horizons.
What opportunities are available to me as an undergraduate?
- Gain professional experience through a job, internship, or volunteer work. Husker Hire is a database of employment options maintained by Career Services.
- Study, intern, research, or volunteer abroad. Gain world experience with UNL Education Abroad.
- Apply for scholarships and fellowships with the office of Nationally Competitive Fellowships. The application process prepares you for applying for future research grants.
- Join the larger university community by participating in Student Involvement events.
Why do research as an undergraduate?
- You can be on the frontier of knowledge about our world!
- You can find out what it is that physicists really do; it's not all about attending classes and doing homework problems.
- It's a good way for professors to get to know you well, which is useful when you need letters of recommendation.
- You might get to publish scientific papers that you can list on your CV or resume.
- It is possible to get course credit through PHYS 391.
- Many positions in research groups are paid positions, either through the UCARE program or individual faculty research grants.