Physics and Astronomy Department
Hagen Hall 307, (218) 477-2141
Chair: Steve Lindaas
Faculty: Juan Cabanela, Matthew Craig, Richard Lahti, Ananda Shastri, Linda Winkler
The Department of Physics and Astronomy offers four degrees: a Bachelor’s Degree in Physics, Bachelor’s Degree in Physics Education, Bachelor's Degree in Sustainability, and a dual Physics/Engineering degree in conjunction with the University of Minnesota. The Bachelor’s Degree in Physics may be further enhanced with an emphasis in astrophysics, emphasis in business, or an emphasis in medical physics. In addition, the department supports a minor in physics, a minor in medical physics and a minor in astronomy. The physics major prepares students for a wide variety of science-related careers immediately upon graduation. It also prepares students for further study in a graduate or professional school.
The major strengths of the physics program include:
- an emphasis on active learning using computers as tools for data collection, analysis, and modeling;
- opportunities for undergraduate research;
- involvement of students in outreach program.
The sequential nature of the physics curriculum, and the necessity to coordinate physics courses with courses taken in other departments make it imperative that a student considering a major or minor in physics or astronomy consult a member of the Department of Physics and Astronomy early in his/her career.
Bachelor’s Degree in Physics Education
This degree prepares the student to be certified to teach high-school physics in Minnesota. The program combines physics courses for the major with education courses needed for licensure. A student with this degree is strongly encouraged to also take a broad education in chemistry, life science, and earth science to obtain general science licensure in grades 5 through 8.
Bachelor's Degree in Sustainability
The Sustainability program is designed to give students an understanding of the need for long-term sustainable practices in our lifestyles and economy. The six areas of emphasis will prepare the student with a background that will allow them to enter the new green economy. The Bachelor’s Degree in Sustainability is enhanced by emphases in business, construction management, energy sustainability, environmental policy, environmental science, or operations management.
Engineering/Physics Dual Degree
This program is unique in the Tri-College system. The student completes the core physics and Liberal Arts and Sciences Curriculum requirements in his/her first three years at Minnesota State University Moorhead. The student then completes a final two years at the Institute of Technology at the University of Minnesota, completing a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical, Civil, or Electrical Engineering. It is expected students in the dual degree program will obtain both a physics and engineering degree in 5 years. The Dual Degree Advisor and the Pre-engineering Advisor will work with individual students to ensure that requirements are met for both programs.
Bachelor's Degree in Physics-Emphasis in Astrophysics
This program requires completion of a minimum of 120 credits and prepares the student for graduate work in astrophysics. In addition to the core physics courses the students takes advanced astronomy courses in place of physics.
Bachelor's Degree in Physics-Emphasis in Business
This program requires completion of a minimum of 120 credits and prepares the physics student for a career in industry. In addition to physics courses, the student takes additional courses in finance, management, and marketing.
Bachelor's Degree in Physics-Emphasis in Medical Physics
This program requires completion of a minimum of 120 credits and is a program for students interested in medical physics, a branch of applied physics that utilizes physics concepts and methods in the treatment and diagnosis of human disease. A medical physics emphasis also serves students interested in biophysics and the technological aspects of biotechnology.
Minor in Astronomy
The minor in astronomy curriculum is designed for students who have an interest in astronomy and earth sciences. A student pursuing a minor in astronomy must have a solid mathematical foundation in algebra and trigonometry.
Minor in Physics
This minor is designed for the student who wants to have a strong resume in physical science, and is pursuing a closely allied major such as mathematics, chemistry, or computer science. A student pursuing a physics minor must have a solid mathematical foundation in algebra, trigonometry, and calculus.
Minor in Medical Physics
The Minor in Medical Physics is a program designed for students in biosciences and chemistry related fields, who are looking for additional expertise in a branch of applied physics that utilizes physics concepts and methods in the treatment and diagnosis of human disease.