- Strong legacy: For over 45 years, our department has successfully graduated students who are empowered to pursue their professional goals, whether they be in science, engineering, or other career tracks. We have achieved a good balance in providing curricular opportunities for those who wish to pursue advanced study in the sciences; for those who wish to enter the workforce with an applied physics baccalaureate or master's degree; or for those who wish to teach at the high school or community or technical college levels. We have been successful in providing students with research experiences both during the academic year and the summer. We have astronomy facilities which are second to none, and we have both teaching and research observatories available to undergraduates.
- Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching: Unlike larger universities where undergraduate students are treated more like a "number" than a person, our program stresses the direct involvement of each student in faculty research, internships, and the active participation of students in the development of the very curriculum within which they are learning.
- Continue the Development of Graduate Programs: Our Engineering Physics M.S. program in Instrumentation and Automation has been recognized as one of the top 13 such programs nationally by the American Institute of Physics. With the introduction of our new Professional Science Master's programs, our enrollments have more than doubled.
- Grow Scholarship: Our scholarship in the form of publications, conference participation, and external funding awards, consistently leads the College. With the addition of our new Nanotechnology and Microscopy Laboratories (AppNano) on-site, our funding awards now greatly exceed the average award rate for departments at Appalachian.
- In Concert with ASU strategic plan and UNC-tomorrow: The development of our department is not done behind closed doors - we have a development strategy for our faculty, staff, and students that is closely tuned to the needs of our state, national, and international communities and economies.
- Faculty and Graduates are Leaders: Our faculty have been recognized by national organizations with awards for excellence in research and instruction. We have graduated nearly 400 students at either the bachelor or master levels. Of these, over 10% have earned doctoral degrees, and half have earned master's degrees. Most work in science or technical fields, but because physics is very broad in its scope, our graduates have branched into myriad other fields. You will find our graduates working throughout our nation in government, industrial, and university research, or teaching at the high school, community, technical college, and university levels. Some are engineers or physicians, others are stock brokers, writers, or even ministers.
- Currently, the American Institute of Physics (AIP) statistics on enrollments show that last year we graduated 27 undergraduate students in Physics and Astronomy, equal in number with North Carolina State University - last year, with 24 graduates, we graduated more than any other program in the state. Needless to say, our program, currently with ~75 total undergraduates and ~20 graduate students, is not only strong but growing.
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