Look no further than the physics program to launch a diverse science career; one that offers a wide range of opportunities. At River Falls, students receive a hands-on approach to learning and participate in research as early as their freshman year.
Students may choose from a variety of options within the physics major to tailor the degree to fit their interests. These include the flexibility to double-major, focus on engineering or even teach physics and other sciences. Depending on their emphasis, students might take courses in electronics, optics, quantum physics, electricity and magnetism, acoustics, nuclear and particle physics, computer programming, mathematics (including calculus) and differential equations.
In the classroom, physics students collaborate with faculty. Professors will present students with new and innovative ways to enhance learning. In the electronics class, for example, students submit videos rather than paper assignments. This helps students effectively communicate their work. There are also both on- and off-campus research opportunities for students at all levels. Every student must complete a research project in the senior year. By graduation, students will have gained extensive problem solving, analysis, technical and communication skills.
River Falls prepares students for graduate programs in physics and engineering (electrical, mechanical or civil), as well as material science and atmospheric sciences. The university offers electronics and engineering courses that are rarely found at schools without engineering programs.
The Dual Degree option at River Falls is also a popular option for students considering engineering fields. Through Dual Degree, students attend River Falls for three years and take advantage of small class sizes and research opportunities. They then transfer to either the University of Wisconsin-Madison or the University of Minnesota; to take engineering coursework for two years. Once completed, students receive two bachelor’s degrees - a physics (or chemistry) degree from UW-River Falls and an engineering degree from the partner school.
Students have fantastic study abroad opportunities through River Falls. Ecuador, Sweden, Tunisia, Nicaragua, the Dominican Republic and China are just some of the locations where physics students have studied and conducted research.
One program, in particular, has taken students all the way to Antarctica to work on the international IceCube Collaboration. In the past decade, approximately 50 River Falls students have worked on the project, helping to develop a new type of telescope at the South Pole.