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Small classes, big achievements await you in Physics and Astronomy at UW-Stevens Point

In the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, we enthusiastically pursue science, math and a deep understanding of the world's physical foundations. If you're curious about the world around you and you enjoy seeing physics in everyday life, we're the department for you.

Our department does not employ teaching assistants so students work closely with professors in challenging coursework, leading to a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree in physics. With either degree, a student may attain certification to teach at the secondary level.

Our department also offers two applied tracks within the physics major for students who plan on pursuing a career in industry right after graduation: Physics Major with Applied Emphasis in Mechanics and Physics Major with Applied Emphasis in Electronics.  Applied Emphasis majors are required to participate in an industrial internship either at a local business or in London through the Study Abroad Program.

Students interested in earning degrees in both engineering and physics may do so through a dual-degree (3+2) program between the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point and UW-Milwaukee. 

Academic minors may be obtained in physics, astronomy and natural science. Many courses in astronomy are offered at the introductory and advanced levels. Pre-professional fields of study, such as engineering and medicine, are serviced by designated courses in physics.

Student experience

Classes are small, and students majoring in physics are able to work directly with the faculty early in their academic careers. Faculty conduct research in areas such as astrophysics, solid state ionics, superconductivity, liquid crystals, applied phyiscs and femtosecond lasers.

Most students majoring in physics continue in graduate studies, accept secondary-school teaching positions or enter specialized technical fields that require a good working knowledge of physics. Many of our recent graduates are pursuing advanced degrees in physics, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, aeronautical engineering, material science and various branches of engineering.

Physics/Engineering dual-degree (3+2) program

Students in this program will earn a bachelor of science degree in physics from UW-Stevens Point and a bachelor of science degree in engineering (biomedical, civil, electrical, industrial, materials or mechanical engineering) from UW-Milwaukee in five years – three years and 90-95 credits at UW-Stevens Point and two years and 60 credits at UW-Milwaukee.

The dual-degree aims at students interested in an engineering career who are seeking a solid liberal arts foundation and a solid background in physics. The dual-degree gives students a more adaptable and more powerful set of skills. It helps them to distinguish themselves in landing their first job while being able to adapt to fast-paced industries in the long term.

Physics and astronomy facilities

The department manages a number of astronomy and physics classroom and laboratory facilities. The department also maintains the Allen F. Blocher Planetarium and Arthur J. Pejsa Observatory and an adjacent observation area.

The department currently has access to the WIYN 0.9m telescope at the Kitt Peak National Observatory in Arizona and the Green Bank radio telescope in West Virginia. Current research activities involving students majoring in physics include solid state ionics, computational solar physics, lasers, observational astronomy, liquid crystal and superconductor physics.