The Departmental of Physics curriculum combines fundamental physics courses with hands-on laboratory training and research projects.

We have a dedicated faculty and staff that support such student participation with state-of-the-art research laboratories, observatories and other educational programs that will enhance the students' future professional prospects.

The flexibility of the curriculum permits interdisciplinary exploration, not only among the physics and astronomy disciplines, but also the other STEM fields such as biology, chemistry, geology, environmental sciences, mathematics and computer science. 

We expect our curriculum to result in physics graduates who are capable of applying and adapting their undergraduate education in a variety of scientific, teaching or engineering professions, as well as future educational endeavors.

Mission and Vision

The mission of the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Appalachian State University is to offer sustainable, nationally recognized degrees in which a diverse student body is enabled, through science-intensive instruction and experiential learning delivered by well-trained and empowered faculty and staff, to make productive, enduring contributions to the fields of physics and astronomy applicable to the Appalachian region, the state, the nation, and the world. Learn more about our mission statement.


Joshua McNeill

Joshua McNeill receives Kennedy Space Center internship

Joshua McNeill, an MS Engineering Physics student from Boone, will be travelling to NASA's Kennedy Space Center for a summer internship. When asked wh...

Robert Frady

Robert Frady returns to Kennedy Space Center

Robert Frady, an MS Engineering Physics student from Leicester, NC, will be heading back to NASA's Kennedy Space Center as an intern for the 2nd summe...

CAS Corps member Mason Fuller is a junior physics major from Colfax. Photo by Lauren Gibbs.

CAS Corps Feature: Mason Fuller

CAS Corps member Mason Fuller is a junior physics major from Colfax....

Department Diversity Statement

The Department of Physics and Astronomy at Appalachian State University is a community of students, educators, and support staff who work together to develop ourselves and our discipline. We acknowledge and honor the ᎠᏂᏴᏫᏯ (Cherokee), the yeh is-WAH h’reh (Catawba), and other Indigenous peoples whose ancestral lands we occupy. As a department, we commit ourselves to understanding our own biases and assumptions, and to shining a bright light on injustices and oppression in the systems in which we live, work, and teach. As educators and support staff, we understand that emotional and academic growth is impossible in environments encumbered by bias, discrimination, injustice, and harassment. We understand that our commitment to improving equity must extend past the classroom, and into and from the broader community. In order for our students to thrive, we must curate an enduring total learning environment that models the equitable, democratic, and sustainable society our students deserve. We are working toward a more just society through our efforts in the form of training, personal reflection, advocacy, mutual aid, and community care. We value your participation in this process, as we value your understanding that justice is a process to which we must all hold one another accountable. If you feel that our courses, programs, policies, or department fall short of this commitment, we welcome you to first engage in dialogue with your instructors or, if necessary, the department chair, Dr. Tonya Coffey. As community members who also seek to create a better world, please know you are always welcome here.