News

Alumna Caroline Donaghy ’20 awarded competitive NSF Graduate Research Fellowship

Caroline Donaghy ’20, from Beaufort, S.C., a Chemistry - Certified Chemist major from Appalachian State University’s Department of Chemi...

Physics and Astronomy Student Club Nationally Recognized

The Physics and Astronomy Club (PandA), a Society of Physics Students Chapter at Appalachian State University, has received two national awards this a...

Q&A with 2021 Outstanding Senior Award Recipients

Graduating seniors can be nominated by faculty members for a multitude of departmental awards. This year there were five recipients, two being given m...

About

The departmental 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.

Department Vision Statement

The mission of the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Appalachian State University is to deliver nationally recognized scientific education and research to a diverse student body. Our department secures sustainable resources, and our faculty and staff strive to remain at the cutting edge of their respective fields, in order to provide a diverse student body with scientific training through impactful research opportunities, high quality lectures, and cutting-edge experiential learning. This combination empowers students to have careers that make productive, enduring contributions to the fields of physics and astronomy applicable to the Appalachian region, the state, and the world. Please follow this link for more details on our department's mission.

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. Jennifer Burris. As community members who also seek to create a better world, please know you are always welcome here.