Physics and Astronomy

Physics and astronomy are fundamental sciences because they are — at their core — about how things work and solving real-world problems.

grad-student-examine-images-on-computer.jpg

Programs

Bachelor of Arts in Physics

The Bachelor of Arts degree offers flexibility as it requires fewer credit hours of physics than the Bachelor of Science degree. Students who pursue the B.A. degree have opportunities for double majors and can often complete their degree in a shorter timeframe. This is a perfect pathway for students wanting to pursue a career in teaching at the high school level.

Download the B.A. major map (PDF)

Bachelor of Science in Physics

The Bachelor of Science in Physics is recommended for students interested in seeking employment in industrial, governmental, or private organizations that require a strong scientific background and for those students that are seeking to continue their academic careers in either graduate school or professional or medical school.

Download the B.S. major map (PDF)

Astronomy emphasis

The emphasis in Astronomy gives students a functional knowledge of the basic areas of astronomy, astrophysics and physics. It allows students to integrate their knowledge with critical thinking skills in order to become quantitative problem solvers. They will be able to clearly articulate scientific information, both orally and in writing and effectively use the scientific literature.

Download the B.S. Astronomy emphasis major map (PDF)

Minors

Students minoring in astronomy or physics will learn how to think critically and analytically, solve new and challenging problems in their chosen field and enjoy a well-rounded experience in vital areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Our minor programs include a two-semester introductory physics series of courses, which bring you about halfway toward getting your minor.

Master of Science in Physics

Our program helps our students develop skills for their future. Students will be able to integrate their knowledge, experience and critical thinking skills to solve new and challenging problems in your chosen career field. Students are expected to demonstrate an ability to develop or autonomously extend a research project that advances fundamental or applied scientific understanding and communicate effectively with technical and nontechnical audiences with clear and articulate oral or written discourse. Lastly, students learn how to make effective use of diverse information resources such as published scientific literature, technical databases and other forms of authoritative internet-based content.

Interdisciplinary Ph.D.

UMKC’s Interdisciplinary Ph.D. program includes Physics as a dedicated discipline. Pursue research in applied electronics physics, materials physics, or extra-galactic astronomy by becoming a student-partner with our faculty in their specific areas of expertise.

Suggested co-disciplines

The broad applicability of physics along with the diverse technical and foundational expertise of our faculty entice many prospective students that have chemistry, geology, mathematics, engineering or computer science as their primary discipline to select physics as their co-discipline.

Research Areas

  • Application of condensed matter physics to longstanding electrical engineering problems
  • Enhancing the response functions of systems by imposing physical orthogonality
  • Free field combination of radiofrequency waves to form useful wavelets
  • Radiofrequency component design and integration
  • Scattering and absorption of neutrons to extract source/environment information
  • Storage and discharge of high voltage and high current by solid-state, magnetic and semiconductor-based systems

Learn more about our research

Events

Astro-Hour

Every meeting, typically with 10 to 15 attendees, is organized around a student-led discussion about recent discoveries, instrumentation advances or unresolved problems in the fields of astronomy, astrophysics and cosmology. We have strong ties with the Astronomical Society of Kansas City and frequently coordinate outings and activities.

Astro-Hour is held Fridays from 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. during the semester in Flarsheim Hall, room 256.

Colloquia

Colloquia is the university’s longest running colloquium series. Speakers are invited to present a talk on any topic of interest — not just their most recent or active area of research. We're open to content from diverse fields of study and a wide variety of perspectives from academia, government labs and industry, which has maintained the popularity of the series throughout the years.

Colloquia is held every other Friday from 3:15 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. during the semester. Events are in person at Miller Nichols Learning Center, Room 352 or can be streamed online via Zoom at 967-2897-2960, passcode 987123.

WARKO Observatory

Open at dusk on Fridays during most of the year, the Warko Observatory provides a view of the moon, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, bright star clusters, double stars and maybe even nebulae and galaxies.

Learn more about Warko Observatory

Meet Our Faculty

View faculty directory