Here at Missouri State University, faculty and students participate in research to both enhance the educational process and to make new discoveries. Every student is offered the chance to participate in research opportunities and programs.

The faculty in our department are actively conducting research in the areas of materials science and physics, astronomy and astrophysics, and physics education. Contact faculty members directly to hear about their research, and also check out the following research group websites:

Dr. Tiglet Besara
Dr. Robert A. Mayanovic
Dr. Sarah J. Morrison
Dr. Michael D. Reed
Dr. Ridwan Sakidja

Hands-on experience

All students in the department of physics, astronomy and materials science must complete an undergraduate research project. Many opportunities exist in the local community, in the laboratories of Missouri State University and globally. Work with your advisor to find a project that interests you.

One such research opportunity is the NASA/Missouri Space Grant Consortium.

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 an 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 faculty and students of this department and other science departments on campus, include a well-equipped machine shop and a 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). 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.