The Physics Department

The UAF Physics Department works closely with research members of the UAF Geophysical Institute including the space physics and aeronomy groups. The department also has close ties to the UAF Atmospheric Sciences, Chemistry & Biochemistry and Geosciences & Geophysics Departments.

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Why Choose UAF Physics?

Poker Flat

Poker Flat is the only high-latitude rocket range in the United States. It is also the world’s only scientific rocket launch range owned by a university. Our program offers opportunities for students to conduct research at this facility and participate in launch campaigns. Research areas studied from Poker Flat include space physics, astrophysics, solar physics, atmospheric physics and various areas of geoscience.

Exciting Research

Our department offers many research opportunities. Topics covered include Atmospheric Sciences, Remote Sensing, Snow, Ice and Permafrost, Space Physics, Complex Systems, Solar Physics and Science Education. Funded research projects are arranged in conjunction with individual faculty members. Interdisciplinary projects (for example in mathematics, engineering or biophysics) can also be supported, subject to funding and student interest.

Paid Hands-On Opportunities

We have a number of positions for undergraduate students, which vary in salary and responsibility. These include homework graders, and research and project assistants. Exceptional upper-division students have opportunities to be teaching assistants in lower-division introductory courses. During the summer it is possible to work with one of our many faculty as a student intern.

Quality Education

The outdoor environment of Alaska is unlike anywhere else in the US and provides a unique setting in which to study and conduct research. Our students learn from and work alongside some of the world’s top research scientists. As a physics major at UAF, you will have real opportunities to contribute, participate in fieldwork, and gain guaranteed research experience. Our flexible bachelor’s program allows you to tailor a course of study based on your interests and career goals. 



Physics Degree Programs

Physics student doing a lab
B.S. Physics

The undergraduate curriculum provides a solid foundation in classical and modern physics, with an emphasis on its experimental aspects. Students completing this curriculum should be prepared for careers in education, industry, and for advanced work in physics, applied physics, and related sciences.

Physics student doing a lab with lasers
M.S., Ph.D. Physics

Graduate work is offered in various areas of physics. Faculty and student research programs currently emphasize investigations of auroral, ionospheric, magnetospheric and space plasma physics, the physics and chemistry of the upper and middle atmosphere, radio wave propagation and scattering, solar-terrestrial relations & condensed matter physics.