Graduate Programs in Physics
The Department of Physics and Astronomy provides coursework, training and research experience to students who wish to further their education beyond the bachelor's level in order to achieve a greater degree of competence and recognition in their profession.
The Department offers two master's degree options (thesis and non-thesis). The Master of Science in physics with research thesis is ordinarily chosen by those students preparing for industrial employment, college teaching, or for further graduate study leading to the Ph.D. degree. The Master of Science without thesis is usually chosen by students preparing to teach in middle and secondary public schools or by students who plan to pursue applied physics careers in industry. The broadfield program with a concentration in physics is offered for students who wish to prepare to teach in several science fields in secondary schools.
The physical facilities of the department include well equipped instructional and research laboratories, and telescopes located locally and at two premier observing sites. Sophisticated equipment and faculty direction are available for experimental research in solid state physics, x-ray spectroscopy, x-ray photoelectron, auger electron, appearance potential spectroscopy of surfaces, signal analysis of speech signals, microcomputer hardware and software development, and digital electronics. We are also a member of the Southeastern Association for Research in Astronomy (SARA), which gives us access to two remotely-controllable 1-m telescopes located at Kitt Peak National Observatory (KPNO) outside Tucson, Arizona, and Cerro Tololo International Observatory (CTIO) in Chile.
Our nuclear theory group carries out modeling and calculations of observables in fusion reactions, formation and decay of compound nuclei, and nuclear-density equation of state as found in neutron stars and supernova cores.
Students may also research astrophysical hydrodynamics projects related to accretion flows onto compact objects.
The department also possesses extensive equipment to aid in the preparation of teachers to introduce and teach the latest physics curriculum developments in public schools.