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The Physics Department offers many of the undergraduate educational opportunities associated with a large university as well as the informal and personal atmosphere of a smaller department. The department prides itself on the close interaction between faculty and students both inside and outside the classroom. Personalized attention, combined with research opportunities and independent laboratory projects, allows students at the undergraduate level to work with sophisticated equipment and to learn what research in physics is all about. Students have opportunities to work with faculty in such research areas as magnetic properties of materials, computational materials science, biological physics, statistical physics, optical spectroscopy, low-dimensional structures and surfaces, and physics education.

UNI physics faculty member wins prestigious National Science Foundation CAREER grant for research


  • To complete the B.S. in physics as quickly as possible, please take the equivalent of Physics I for Science and Engineering (calculus-based), Physics II for Science and Engineering, Calculus I, and Calculus II before transferring to UNI. Students transferring to UNI with an AA degree including the courses mentioned above can complete the B.S. physics degree in two years. Here a link to a plan of study



The Physics Competition is a series of five competitive events for high school (Grades 9-12) students. The regional (AEA 267) and state competitions are hosted by the UNI Physics Department and coordinated by Dr. Larry Escalada (

Physics Club

The UNI Physics Club is directed by students, provides a good social setting for students and sponsors field trips to major research facilities and professional meetings as well as other events of scientific and educational value.

  • CHAS Physics Scholarships for new freshmen (up to $8,000 / year for 4 years) – The CHAS Physics Scholarships are awarded annually to one or two undergraduates (declared or intended) in physics.

  • Jourdan Mentor-Scholar Scholarship – The Jourdan Mentor-Scholar Scholarship program provides funding for three students pursuing undergraduate degrees in physics. One student, the mentor, must be a physics major who has completed at least one year of his or her degree program. The other two students, who must have declared a major in physics, will be mentored by the more senior student. The mentored students will typically be first-year students. The mentor receives $2000 and the mentored students $3000 each.

  • Dostal Scholarship ($1500/year for 2 years) – The Dostal Scholarship is awarded annually to two students who have declared or intend to declare physics as their major. Awardees must have a composite ACT score of 27 or higher.

  • Research Fellowships – The fellowships provide stipends for students who will conduct research for ten weeks during the summer period, under the supervision of a Physics faculty member. Several fellowships are awarded each year and paid a stipend of $3,700.


97% of 2013-14 UNI Graduates are employed or continuing their education


Research Assistant

Lab Assistant

Test Engineer

Quality Engineer

New Product Engineer

Manufacturing Engineer

Design Engineer

Product Development Specialist

Software Engineer

Business Analyst


Physics Teacher


Have questions or want more information? Fill out the form below and someone from the department will contact you directly. To receive general university information from UNI’s admissions office, please click on ‘Request More Info About UNI’ to the right.

Paul M. Shand

Department Head