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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.
    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
    • Physics Seminar: Dr. Dmitri S. Kilin
      Friday, Feb. 9 | 3-3:50 p.m. | HA 325 The next physics seminar is Friday, Feb. 9 at 3 p.m. […]
    • Physics & Astronomy Seminar Series: Learning to SURF
      Friday, Feb. 2 | 3 p.m. | HA 325 MSUM student Chidubem Nuela Enebechi will be presenting the next Physics […]
    • MSUM Physics & Astronomy Seminar Series presents ‘Student Panel: Conferences & Internships’
      Friday, Jan. 26 | 3-4 p.m. | Hagen Hall 325 Join us for a student led talk/discussion about the importance of attending […]
    • Physics Department seminar by alumnus Wyatt Davis
      Friday, Jan. 19 | 3-3:50 p.m. | Hagen 325 Wyatt Davis, a 2016 MSUM graduate, is currently a graduate student […]
    • Physics and Astronomy students present at AAVSO meeting
      Three students presented research results at the 106th Annual Meeting of the American Association of Variable Star Observers, Nov. 2-4 […]
    • MSUM Physics & Astronomy Seminar Series: Energy Transfer in Molecular Systems
      Friday, Nov. 3 | 3-4 p.m. | Hagen Hall 325 Zachary A. Morseth, Ph.D. Department of Chemistry Minnesota State University […]
    • Society of Physics Students annual Halloween show
      Saturday, Oct. 28 | 4-6 p.m. | Langseth Atrium Want to liven up your evening with fire, candy, and music? […]
    • MSUM Physics & Astronomy Seminar Series Presents: Student Experiments
      Friday, Oct. 20 | 3-4 p.m. | Hagen Hall 325 The following seminar students will present experiments and results from various […]
    • MSUM Physics & Astronomy Seminar Series: What Happens Next
      Friday, Oct. 6 | 3-4 p.m. | Hagen Hall 325 Presented by Bruce Flaig Bruce Flaig will talk about what […]
    • Symposium for Strong Summer Scholars
      Friday, Oct. 6 | 2-3 p.m. | Hagen 104 Strong Summer Research Scholars will be recognized at a symposium on […]
    • MSUM Physics & Astronomy Seminar Series: Alumni Presentations
      Friday, Sept. 29 | 3-3:50 p.m. | Hagen Hall 325 Two MSUM Physics alumni will shed light on life after graduation.  […]
    • MSUM Physics and Astronomy Seminar Series
      Friday, Sept. 22 | 3-4 p.m. | HA 325 MSUM Physics and Astronomy Seminar Series Presents: “Summer Undergraduate Research Experiences: […]
    • MSUM Physics & Astronomy Seminar Series: Cassini’s Grand Finale
      Friday, Sept. 15 | 3-4 p.m. | Planetarium – BR 167 Presenter: Boston Heaford After two decades in space, NASA’s […]
    • Watch the solar eclipse safely; do not look at the sun
      The Great American Eclipse will take place Monday, Aug. 21 starting at 11:30 a.m. Looking at the sun for any […]
    • Watch the Great American Eclipse Safely Aug. 21
      No more eclipse glasses are available at MSUM; free viewing still on The Minnesota State University Moorhead Planetarium and Bookstore […]
    • Watch the Great American Eclipse Safely Aug. 21
      Free viewing begins at 11:30 a.m. on MSUM campus  The Great American Eclipse marks the first day of classes at […]
    • Four MSUM students present at national planetarium conference
      July 18-20 four MSUM Physics and Astronomy students attended and presented at the Live Interactive Planetarium Symposium at Ball State […]
    • Eclipse: The Sun Revealed
      July 16 – Aug. 20 | Sundays at 2 p.m. | Planetarium (Bridges 167)
    • Aidan Shafer ranks in top third of Putnam Mathematical Competition
      Congratulations to Aidan Shafer, double major in Mathematics and Physics, who ranked in the top third of the Putnam Mathematical […]
    • MSUM Physics & Astronomy Seminar Series Presents: Seminar Student Presentations
      Friday, April 28 | 3 p.m. | HA 325 Today in seminar, each student will give a short presentation about an experiment […]
  • 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.
    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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