Physics & Astronomy Physics - Department of Chemistry & Physics

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Mission Statement

The mission of the physics program is to work with others to understand, explore, and apply quantitative models of the physical world.

We provide excellent opportunities for learning in and out of the classroom. Our upper level physics and astronomy courses utilize modern optical and materials science laboratories and the student-run SCSU Observatory. These courses and equipment greatly enhance the value of the physics programs at SCSU. 

Our faculty have high quality research programs in theoretical nuclear physics, theoretical quantum mechanics, laser spectroscopy, materials development and testing, planetary science, extragalactic astronomy and stellar astronomy. Our undergraduate students fully participate in these research programs and gain experience in cutting edge technology. We invite you to explore our programs.


1. Teaching and Student Development Goals identified by the population served. These goals are cumulative, with goals added as the student’s progress further through the physics programs.

University Students

• explore the historical development of science,
• teach quantitative reasoning skills,
• convey the excitement of discovery,
• help students appreciate the creative aspects of science,
• help students understand the scientific process.

Science Majors, in addition to all of the above,
• prepare students for study in professional schools or the teaching profession,
• provide a foundation in physical principles and quantitative methods,
• teach students how to use experimental techniques to test theoretical models,
• provide applications of physical models to real world problems.

Engineering Majors, in addition to all of the above,
• provide theoretical foundation for engineering models,
• provide opportunities for advanced study in optics,
• assist with senior design projects.

Physics Majors, in addition to all of the above,
• introduce the abstract models used in advanced physical theories,
• provide a foundation for further study at the graduate level,
• provide opportunity to participate with faculty in research,
• inform students on the range of applications and opportunities in Physics and Astronomy.

2. Community and Scientific Service Goals identified by the population served. Some goals apply to multiple groups.

General Public
• provide opportunities to learn more about science through public events, such as planetarium shows, open houses, presentations to civic groups,
• provide scientific expertise in matters of public concerns, such as expert testimony or review of proposals for public funding.

Educators and K-12

• help teachers stay current with developments in physics, astronomy and science in general through workshops, presentations, colloquia and other activities,
• show students the opportunities for study and careers in physics and astronomy through presentations, open house and other activities.

• support other departments through course offerings, consultation, and collaborative teaching and research.
• provide forums such as conferences for the exchange of information,
• help make connections between students and industry through internships and collaborative projects,
• support industry through consulting.

Scientific Community

• contribute to scientific progress through research and publication,
• serve the scientific community through active membership in professional societies,
• participate in the dissemination of knowledge through review and editing of publications and development of electronic information media.

Contact Information

Office: 324 Robert H. Wick Science Building (WSB)
Phone: (320) 308-2011 FAX: (320) 308-4728

Fall and Spring Semester Regular Office hours are Monday through Friday  8 AM to 4:30 PM.

Summer Sessions I and II Office Hours are 7:30 AM to 4:00 PM, Monday-Friday.




Send ground mail to:
St. Cloud State University
720 Fourth Avenue South, WSB 324
St. Cloud, MN 56301-4498

An interactive campus map of St. Cloud State University is available to find the Robert H. Wick Science Building.



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