At Missouri State University, faculty and students participate in research to enhance the educational process and make new discoveries in the field of physics, astronomy and materials science. Every student is offered the chance to participate in research opportunities and programs, challenging your knowledge and skills as a scientist. You will have access to some of the most advanced instrumentation in the field.

Undergraduate research

Undergraduate research is fundamental for science students planning on attending graduate school. Prospective employers are also interested in applicants who have done research. This type of experience demonstrates that you have developed problem-solving skills and have learned how to work independently on a project. Research also teaches you firsthand that progress is often the result of considerable trial and error. A well-designed research experience includes the opportunity to present your work to others, both orally and in writing.

Students who major in physics will conduct a two-semester research project as part of their undergraduate experience. In this project, they will work closely with a physics or astronomy professor on a topic of mutual interest. Many of these projects will utilize major research facilities, which are accessible through the department, Roy Blunt Jordan Valley Innovation Center (JVIC), or the College of Natural and Applied Sciences. Services available to the faculty and students of this department, as well as the other science departments on campus, include a well-equipped machine shop and full-time machinist as well as electronics repair facilities with two full-time technicians.

The department sponsors a chapter of the national Society of Physics Students (SPS) and a chapter of the national physics honor society, Sigma Pi Sigma. SPS members organize and participate in a number of departmental activities, including physics competitions for high school students, tutoring assistance and seminars by guest speakers. Physics students often find part-time employment in the department and may participate in the government national laboratories. The department sponsors a work-grant program to foster student research.

Graduate research

Undergraduate Physics or Engineering Physics majors may want to enroll in the Accelerated Master of Science degree program in materials science. Students who successfully complete this program can obtain an Engineering Physics Bachelor of Science degree and a Master of Science in Materials Science degree within 5 years.

This challenging option is for students who have a strong interest in becoming experts in electronic materials. This includes the fields of Solid State Physics, Photonics, Opto-electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Engineering.

Faculty research

The faculty in the department of physics, astronomy and materials science are involved in active research programs in the areas of: