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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
    • 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 […]
    • MSUM Physics & Astronomy Seminar Series
      Friday, Jan. 25 | 3-3:50 p.m. | Hagen Hall 325 A Physicist’s Journey to a Career in Software EngineeringPresented by […]
    • Laserfest features magic of music
      January 25-27 | 17 programs, 30 show times | Free to MSUM students
    • Super Blood Wolf Moon Eclipse
      Sunday, Jan. 20 | 7:30 – 11:59 p.m. | MSUM Parking lots R6 & G1 (adjacent to 9th Ave S) […]
    • Cabanela presents on interactive educational software
      Professor Juan Cabanela (Physics and Astronomy) was in Seattle from Jan. 6 through 9 presenting the work done by Physics […]
    • Society of Physics Students wins national award
      The Society of Physics Students (SPS) has been once again recognized for their quality and quantity of activities they do […]
    • MSUM Physics and Astronomy Seminar Series
      Friday, Dec. 7 | 3 p.m. | Hagen 325 Student Projects: Jane Glanzer, Senior Project: B-Band Stretch Method for SN 2011fe. […]
    • Khrumka’s Adventures in the Winter Forest Planetarium Show
      Saturday, Dec. 1 | 10-11 a.m. | MSUM Planetarium Visit the MSUM Planetarium for our annual holiday shows, the first […]
    • Season of Light Planetarium Show
      Sunday, Dec. 2 | 3-4 p.m. | MSUM Planetarium Visit the MSUM Planetarium for our annual holiday show Season of […]
    • Lahti, Lindaas attend, present at MnSTA Conference on Science Education
      Richard Lahti, Chemistry and Biochemistry, and Steve Lindaas, Physics and Astronomy, attended and ran sessions at the MnSTA Conference on […]
    • Fulfill multiple LASC goals with Sustainability
      Are you interested in sustainability? Consider taking SUST 200 “Nature of Sustainability” a LASC 2 course. Did you know that […]
    • MSUM Physics & Astronomy Seminar Series
      Friday, Nov. 16 | 3 p.m. | Planetarium – Bridges 167 Students Melissa Foley and Boston Heaford present: Sharing the […]
  • 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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