Augustana College - Rock Island, IL

  • BS

Augustana College offers a major and minor in physics, as well as a major for teaching physics. The four full-time faculty all hold the Ph.D., and teach all laboratory sessions as well as regular coursework. According to the 2008 American Institute of Physics report, Augustana's physics program ties for 12th in the nation for the number of bachelor degrees in physics it grants each year. While the numbers rank Augustana's program with schools like Williams College, Gustavus Adolphus, Carleton, Grinnell and Oberlin, the success of the physics department isn't based on numbers alone: a recent graduate won the first-place award in the physics category from the U.S. Department of Energy's inaugural Science and Energy Research Challenge, involving top undergraduate researchers from colleges and universities across the country. Physics facilites include the college's John Deere Planetarium and Carl Gamble observatory, along with four area-specific laboratories in the Science Building: basics lab, optics and modern physics lab, electronics and acoustics lab, and the scanning electron microscopy lab. Outside the classroom Augustana has a chapter of Sigma Pi Sigma, the national physics honor society. The college also has a physics and engineering society, which raises awareness of physics outside the department through demonstrations, projects and talks. In all, the college offers more than 150 various extra-curricular organizations and student interest clubs. Future goals Augustana's physics graduates generally continue in a graduate program in physics or engineering. Recent alumni are currently doing graduate work in such fields as medical physics, physics, electrical engineering, biomedical engineering and civil engineering. However, because of the flexibility of the program, physics majors also sometimes pursue careers in such fields as technology, medicine or teaching. Physics majors who want to pursue engineering can take advantage of the college's coordinated degree programs with some of the most elite engineering schools in the Midwest: Purdue University, Iowa State, University of Iowa, University of Minnesota and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Through these programs, a student can earn both a bachelor of arts degree from Augustana and a technical bachelor of science degree in engineering from the university.

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