Why Study Physics & Astronomy at Drake

  • The Department of Physics and Astronomy at Drake University consists of 4 permanent faculty members, 4 laboratory instructors, and 3 research scientists (also involved in teaching), providing a student to instructor ratio of about 3/1. 
  • 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.
Art Sci Events
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ArtSci News
April 15, 2014
On Wednesday, April 16, Drake University will host a special program for language immersion students from Merrill Middle School to celebrate Pan American Day. The students will participate in Drake Spanish courses in the morning and have the opportunity to celebrate Pan American dance and music at a performance by Drake students in Olmsted Center in the afternoon.