Physics Learning Opportunities

  • You will gain valuable real-world experience outside of the classroom by participating and working closely with physics and astronomy faculty on research projects in their respective areas of expertise. You will develop professional skills and gain advanced knowledge in a variety of exciting ways.

  • Research experience positively impacts your job marketability, as well as applications for advanced research in graduate programs. Faculty mentors are able to write informed and enthusiastic letters of recommendation if you have conducted research in their lab.

    While internships aren’t a requirement of your degree, they are a great way to gain hands-on experience in your specific area of interest. You can earn up to 12 credits for your internship. Internship opportunities include Sanford Health, Appareo, Micron and John Deere, among others.

    Faculty and students alike not only attend local, regional and national conferences, they also participate by presenting their research. All of our students present at MSUM’s Student Academic Conference. Other recent opportunities where students have attended and presented include: American Astronomical Society (AAS), American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT), Minnesota Conference on Science Education, American Association of Variable Star Observers, Red River Valley Physics & Astrophysics Undergraduate Research Symposium, Gordon Research Conferences and Great Lakes Planetarium Association.

    You have the opportunity to help run outreach activities for the public and K-12 students. Whether helping present sound and light activities to elementary students, circuits with middle school students or robotics with high school students, you will gain skills communicating to others about science. You can also help with a variety of events like Science Olympiad, Science Fair and Expanding Your Horizons. In addition, the Society of Physics Students develops and performs a yearly physics demonstration show for the public.

    Sigma Pi Sigma is MSUM’s physics honors society, which usually holds an annual induction ceremony in the spring for physics honors. (Sigma Pi Sigma chapter number 306 was originally chartered as the Tri-College University Chapter on April 30, 1973).

    MSUM’s  Society of Physics Students (SPS) is consistently honored and recognized as a Distinguished Chapter from SPS National. This active student organization enjoys a seven-year streak for national awards won by physics students. The group is committed to physics-related outreach in the form of physics demonstrations designed to educate and entertain students and the general public, specifically the annual Halloween show and the SPS Demo Show. They also provide a supportive peer network; facilitate tours and field trips; sponsor guest speakers; and arrange and fund conference participation.
    SPS MSUM

    As part of your Physics degree, you’ll complete a senior project involving experimental and/or theoretical research on a physics topic, which will include extensive library research, a detailed written report and an oral presentation. Recent senior projects include: Tracking the Changes in Epistemological Beliefs in General Physics Students; Imaging of Collagen-I Binding with MMP-I Using Atomic Force Microscopy; Electromagnetic Coil Gun; The Study of the Magnus Effect; Modeling and Testing a Seismic Accelerator; Maximum Muscle Work for Increasing Load and Stance, plus many more fascinating topics!