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Physics & Astronomy Department

  • The Physics and Astronomy Department provides outstanding instruction inside and outside the classroom on a variety of physics and astronomy topics—students learn how to create physical models and make predictions, apply scientific methods to solving theoretical and experimental problems, use new technologies to solve problems and clearly communicate technical principles, and more.

    See all the Physics & Astronomy degree options

  • Benefits of an MSUM Physics & Astronomy Degree
    Personal Attention
    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.
    Research
    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?
    Marketable Skills
    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.
    Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program
    MSU Moorhead received a NSF  Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Grant  in 2015 with the objective of increasing new STEM teachers prepared to work with diverse students in high needs schools and giving them the resources to do so successfully through innovative coursework, targeted field experiences and mentorship support.
    Learning Assistant Program
    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.
  • Physics & Astronomy Department News
    • Digi-Key Electronics hiring software engineers, software engineer Internship positions
      Information meeting: Thursday, Oct. 24 | 5 p.m. | Bridges 164 On-campus interviews: Friday, Oct. 25 | Career Development Center, […]
    • MSUM Physics & Astronomy Seminar Series: Space Quest
      Friday, Sept. 27 | 3-4 p.m. | HA 325 MSUM Physics & Astronomy Seminar Series Presents: Space Questby Boston Heaford […]
    • Student work acknowledged in international journal
      The work of MSUM Physics/Sustainability/Chemistry majors Sakurako Tani, Salim Thomas, Melissa Foley, Gabe Buehler, and Abel Eshete was acknowledged in […]
    • MSUM Physics & Astronomy Seminar Series: Dr. Brian Meland
      Friday, Sept. 13 | 3-4 p.m. | Hagen 325 The MSUM Physics & Astronomy Seminar Series Presents:Examining the Radiative Properties […]
    • Dr. Craig speaks at Dakota Nights Astronomy Festival
      Dr. Matthew Craig, Department of Physics and Astronomy, was one of the keynote speakers at the 7th annual Dakota Nights […]
    • Star Party at the MSUM Regional Science Center
      Friday, Aug. 23 | 8:30-11 p.m. | Regional Science Center The Department of Physics and Astronomy, in conjunction with the […]
    • Lindaas presents workshop at American Association of Physics Teachers conference
      Steve Lindaas, Physics and Astronomy, attended the American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT) summer conference last week. He presented a […]
    • Lindaas and Wallace present at 2019 Noyce Summit in Washington DC
      The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and the National Science Foundation (NSF) hosted the 2019 Noyce Summit: […]
    • Searching for Life in the Universe
      Thursday, May 2 | 7 p.m. | Langseth Hall 104
    • Physics senior project presentations
      Friday, April 12 | 3-4 p.m. | Hagen 325 Senior Physics majors Samuel Holen and Andrew Louwagie Gordon will be presenting their Senior Project in a […]
    • Society of Physics Students Annual Show
      Sunday, March 31 | 2-4 p.m. | Langseth 104 Come join the MSUM Society of Physics Students for a fun and interactive show! It’s FREE and […]
    • MSUM Physics & Astronomy Seminar: The Formation and Evolution of Cluster Galaxies
      Friday, March 22 | 3-4 p.m. | HA 325 The Formation and Evolution of Cluster GalaxiesPresented by: Wayne Barkhouse – UND […]
    • Dr. Craig co-coaches Moorhead High School FIRST Robotics team
      Dr. Matt Craig (Physics & Astronomy Department) was the co-coach for the FIRST Robotics team 4360 Spudniks from Moorhead High […]
    • Dr. Cabanela participates in Congressional Visit Day
      Dr. Juan Cabanela (Physics & Astronomy Department) was one of 15 participants in the American Astronomical Society’s Congressional Visit Day […]
    • MSUM Physics & Astronomy Seminar: Life after Science
      Friday, Feb. 22 | 3 p.m. | Hagen 325 Life after ScienceBeau Scheving (Cirrus Aircraft) For my presentation I will […]
    • MSUM Physics & Astronomy Seminar
      Friday, Feb. 15 | 3 p.m. | Hagen 325 Biomedical Engineering – Utilizing STEM Fields in HealthcareAndrew Larson (Sanford Health) […]
    • MSUM Physics & Astronomy Seminar: Medical Physics as a Career
      Friday, Feb. 8 | 3 p.m. | Hagen 325 Medical Physics as a CareerJohn Pfund, MS | Sanford Health Medical […]
    • Society of Physics Students homework nights
      Mondays | 7 p.m. | Hagen 302Thursdays | 6 p.m. | Hagen 302 Need help on your physics or math homework? The Society of Physics […]
    • MSUM Physics & Astronomy Seminar Series: Modeling Electrostatic Double-Layer Capacitors
      Friday, Feb. 1 | 3-3:50 p.m. | Hagen Hall 325 Modeling Electrostatic Double-Layer CapacitorsPresented by: Sylvio May From the Department of […]
    • Society of Physics Students members attend, present at conference
      MSUM’s Society of Physics Students members Melissa Foley, Jane Glanzer and Isobel Snellenberger attended and presented at the APS Conference […]
  • Careers & Outcomes
    MSUM Physics & Astronomy graduates will often excel in graduate programs throughout the country, have outstanding job placement, and successful career paths in physics, astronomy, and other related fields.
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    Learning Opportunities Beyond the Classroom

    MSU Moorhead's Physics & Astronomy Department is committed to providing you exceptional field experience beginning at the start of your education and continuing until graduation.

    Learn about all the Physics & Astronomy program opportunities

  • Ben Forsythe, Physics
    Tyler Lane, Physics
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