Students work closely with faculty receiving a lot of personal attention in and out of the classroom. Faculty are always available to help students and answer their questions. They follow the student's progress in detail.
The environment at the department is friendly and congenial. Students are always encouraged in their studies. They are also encouraged to work in teams, developing collaborative skills, and to interact academically and socially.
The faculty are active researchers and students are offered participation in research projects as early as their second year (depending on their background and interest). Students often attend professional conferences where they present their research work and co-author articles with their faculty mentors.
Students are helped to obtain summer internships at other universities and national laboratories to obtain further research experience in various environments.
Practically all the department graduates are admitted to prestigious graduate schools for Ph.D. programs. Some students who take Physics or Astronomy as pre-med are admitted to top quality medical schools.
The department has a chapter of the Society of Physics Students, engaging in student research grant proposals, outreach programs, and social activities (see department personnel).
The department and Drake University offer scholarships. The department administers the prestigious Physics Prize Test once a year. The winner receives a full scholarship.
The department operates the municipal observatory which gives astronomy students hands-on experience and the opportunity to participate in public educational programs.
The department emphasizes diversity, actively seeking to enroll students from groups that are underrepresented in science and to welcome them in the physics and astronomy community.