Physics Department Mission

Preparing physicists and engineers to solve real-world problems.

Student research

We believe that the best way to learn physics is by doing physics. To this end, we offer a curriculum that, in addition to solid coursework, emphasize practical experience. Our goal is to provide a rich experience for our students by having them spend several years becoming deeply involved in a “real-world” research problem – a problem that requires them to use all of the skills, tools and knowledge they have accumulated throughout their educational career. Our goal is to inspire our students to work at their highest level, and to accept nothing less than their very best. We do this in a warm, supportive, Christian environment.

Our Objectives

To develop a working knowledge of physics and to provide the practical skills of a working physicist.

Outcome 1 – An ability to identify, formulate, and solve complex physics problems by applying a broad knowledge of physical phenomena and the theoretical concepts that unify them, employing appropriate mathematical and computational techniques.

Outcome 2 – An ability to design and carry out experiments using appropriate laboratory skills, analyze measurements and their associated uncertainties, interpret results and draw conclusions

Outcome 3 – An ability to communicate effectively with a range of audiences

Character development that will lead to a successful life as a physicist or engineer.

Outcome 4 – An ability to make the correct ethical decisions about research questions and conduct, professional activities, and the development of personal integrity.

Outcome 5 – An ability to function effectively on a team whose members together provide leadership, create a collaborative and inclusive environment, establish goals, plan tasks, meet objectives

Outcome 6 – The ability to integrate an understanding of physics with Christian principles, and to articulate a Christian perspective in the professional scientific arena.

Outcome 7 – An ability to acquire and apply new knowledge as needed, using appropriate learning strategies.

Continuous Improvement

Each year we evaluate our success in reaching these goals.  A major component of the curriculum is research — every student is required to spend three years working one-on-one with a faculty advisor on a research project, to present their research at a scientific meeting, and to write an undergraduate research thesis.  As part of this process, students keep a portfolio to show the quality their work, level of preparedness, and specific skills to future employers. Careful evaluation of student portfolios and close contact with alumni allows us to appraise the cumulative effect our major has on student preparedness, and guides modifications when needed.