Dr. Michael Briley is a professional astronomer who teaches the intermediate physics courses required of all majors.
To students interested in pursuing the Physics (BA) degree in the Department of Physics and Astronomy, he says,
“Graduates of this program receive excellent academic and technical preparation to enter the job market or to go on to graduate school. They’re able to find jobs in a wide variety of fields – from physics, engineering, computing, and statistics to most anything in the sciences – because they’re trained to be problem solvers.”
“They also have access to labs and facilities full of state-of-the-art equipment, including the Dark Sky Observatory, an optical biophysics lab, and the same high power electron microscopes used in industry,” he said.
Briley describes the program as small enough to provide a more personal approach to instruction, yet with resources matching those of a much larger institution.
“The Department of Physics and Astronomy is right sized. It’s among the top 10 percent of physics departments in the country in terms of the number of students, so there are resources available that you might not find at a smaller program,” he said.
“We’re also small enough that we know the names of our students and care how each one is doing. As a result there’s a great deal of camaraderie between faculty and students, creating a close-knit community.”