An Engineering Physics major from MSUM is an excellent choice if you want a solid understanding of the science that drives technology. This major develops mathematical, modeling, computational and lab skills that are applicable to a wide variety of engineering-related interests, including the creation of new technology. You can also add an engineering degree to this major through the Engineering Dual Degree, where you will work in careers that value your quantitative thinking, computational skills and modeling techniques.
Everyone knows you by name in the Physics and Astronomy Department. Courses average 13 students, ensuring you plenty of individual attention and mentoring from faculty members who are not only master teachers, but also respected scholars in their fields of expertise.
The Physics curriculum teaches and reinforces skills critical to a variety of enterprises that will help you to be successful. Computational methods are integrated throughout our innovative curriculum to develop your expertise in three core areas:
Physics: Develop programming, instrumentation and quantification skills that are useful in science and industry.
Communication: Develop and practice communication skills in writing and oral presentation that teach you to present complex ideas clearly and effectively.
Teamwork: Develop effective collaboration skills in and out of the classroom through research groups or other student teams.
You have the opportunity to work with faculty to apply your knowledge and deepen your understanding. Learn how to run an atomic force microscope, do nuclear magnetic resonance research with a faculty member using our 2-Tesla machine to probe matter, work with medical physicists at Sanford Health, explore the universe using the Paul P. Feder Observatory or design a simulated tide pool for the Biosciences department. These are just a few examples of actual past MSUM student activities. What will you do?
As the only astrophysics program in the Minnesota State system and the Fargo-Moorhead area, you will enjoy full access to the Paul P. Feder Observatory at the MSUM Regional Science Center. The Observatory houses a 16-inch cassegrain reflecting telescope that is so powerful you can see a candle flame 100 miles away. The Observatory and Science Center are used for undergraduate college instruction, research and public programs.
The heart of MSUM’s Planetarium is an Elumenati digital projector with UniView data visualization software. The result is a multimedia presentation that awes, amazes, entertains and educates viewers of all ages. Not only will you be able to enjoy the many shows offered year-round, you could possibly work in the Planetarium. Students have a hand in creating and presenting shows as well has helping with special events and special topics. Opportunities abound for creative and scientific minds alike.
The Physics and Astronomy Department offers you the opportunity to be a Learning Assistant for courses you have already taken. It’s a competitive selection process and a privilege that not only deepens your topic knowledge but provides valuable experience communicating science.
We provide you access to and training with physical and computational tools to help you design and build what you dream. Experimental physics courses give you practical experience building apparatus like amplifiers. You will also use industry standard software and measurement tools to control an experiment and analyze your data. In addition, you will have access to the physics department’s 3D printers and design software that lets you test ideas quickly to discover what does and doesn’t work to quickly arrive at a better solution. 3D printing technology delivers a conceptual picture of a product in a tangible, clear way that promotes ingenuity and precise communication. Students and faculty use the 3D printer to build experimental apparatus.
The Engineering Physics degree is designed to give you the foundational knowledge in physics, chemistry and computer science. This knowledge foundation can be augmented by adding an engineering degree through the dual-degree option. The Engineering Dual Degree program gives you a distinctly competitive advantage by earning two degrees (mathematics, physics or chemistry and engineering) from two institutions in five years. It leverages your options with two highly desired degrees that offer above average starting salaries in fields that are expanding.
Physics Student Success Stories
Students Mara DeRung, Emily Watson and Tanner Weyer gathered research for NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) mission.
As the MSUM Planetarium celebrates its 50th anniversary, it reflects on the many students, faculty and staff who have helped shape its success over the past half century.
Mary Dodge came to MSUM expecting to study English, then took an astronomy class that led to a lifelong career in planetariums and film-making.
You will quickly learn that faculty-student engagement is the hallmark of an MSUM Engineering Physics major, whether you’re conducting research, attending conferences or participating in outreach activities.