Our Mission Statement
The mission of the Department of Physics & Astronomy follows from the statement of purpose of the college:
“Our purpose is to inspire and educate our students to become autonomous thinkers, discerning moral agents, and active citizens… We seek to engage students in a liberal arts education which fosters self-determination and demonstrates the transformative power of education… Our curriculum balances breadth with depth… Our faculty is committed to undergraduate education… effective teaching informed by the best scholarship… (and they) encourage (our) undergraduates to be partners in original investigation…”
The Department takes very seriously each element of the above statement and adds the following specific mission:
“Our courses are designed to bring students to an increasingly independent level of investigation in experimental and theoretical physics, and to a level of sophistication commensurate with their motivation, goals, and abilities.”
The academic goals of the Department include that each of our students should develop: an understanding of the principal physical laws which govern the physical world; the ability to identify, organize, and conduct an independent investigation in physics; the ability to use requisite mathematical techniques to solve physics problems; and an understanding of electronics and computer measurements.
The course of study in the Department is designed to achieve these goals for our students through the fulfillment of a series of educational opportunities that include required course work and a variety of laboratory and research activities. Our students take theoretical and laboratory based courses in introductory and intermediate physics, at least four mathematics courses, and electronics and advanced laboratory. Students must also complete a research experience. Additional courses, such as Quantum Mechanics, are offered to further develop students’ knowledge.