Physics & Earth Sciences



S.B. Newman, Chair; M. Bednarski, M. Evans, K. Larsen, P. LeMaire, J. Piatek, N. Sadanand, N. C. P. Sharma, J. Thomas, L. Tongson, M. Wizevich (Dept. phone: 860-832-2930)

Department Overview

Physics & Earth Sciences is an interdisciplinary department that offers courses and degrees in Physics, Earth Sciences (including astronomy, geology, and meteorology) and Science Education (in coordination with other departments).

Physics degrees prepare students for graduate school, medical school, secondary school teaching, and careers in industry. Physics facilities include a mobile laser laboratory for optical atmospheric studies, a Micro Pulse Laser Radar system (MPL), a CCD Camera Laser Radar system (CLidar), numerous optical atmospheric research instruments, a 400-kv Van de Graaff linear accelerator, a low temperature materials studies facility, Thermal Analysis equipment (DSC and TGA), and an ion implanter. Our faculty research interests include laser radar atmospheric studies, environmental optics, materials properties, and solid state physics. Students are encouraged to join with the faculty in ongoing studies. Physics majors with financial need are invited to apply to the National Science Foundation Scholars program offering scholarship support and educational enrichment opportunities (see

Earth Science degrees prepare students for careers and/or graduate school in the earth sciences and related fields, as well as secondary teaching. Emphasis is placed on problem solving, practical application of basic principles, field-based experiences, and observation and interpretation of natural processes. Students may choose a specialization in Earth Science (suitable for careers such in environmental policy, meteorology, astronomy, planetary science, museum science, and science journalism) or Geology (suitable for careers in geotechnical, environmental, mining, and energy industries). Faculty-student research is highly encouraged. Earth Science facilities include petrographic microscopes with digital imaging, sample preparation laboratory, environmental sampling equipment, observatory with a 16-inch telescope, and 100-seat planetarium.

The Science Education faculty coordinate science teacher preparation programs at the University. Our graduates teach in elementary, middle and high schools throughout Connecticut and New England and often serve as cooperating teachers for the next generation of students.

Please see our website ( for more information.


Major in Physics, BS (Non-teaching, 39 credits)

Major in Earth Sciences with Specialization in Earth Sciences, BS (Non-teaching, 36 credits) 

Major in Earth Sciences with Specialization in Geology, BS (Non-teaching, 36 credits)

Major in Physics, BS (Certifiable for secondary teaching, 33 credits) 

Minor in Physics (Certifiable for secondary teaching, 18 credits)

Major in Earth Sciences, BS (Certifiable for secondary teaching, 32 credits) 

Minor in Earth Sciences (18 credits) 

Minor in Earth Sciences (Certifiable for secondary teaching, 20 credits) 

Major in General Science with Specialization in Earth Sciences, BS (Certifiable for elementary education, 39-42 credits)  

Minor in Meteorology (21 credits) 

Minor in Geology (18 credits) 

Minor in Astronomy (18 credits) 

For Certification in Elementary Education, Complementary Subject Matter Area in Earth Sciences (18-19 credits)



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