Physics & Astronomy

Skip Sub Menu

The Department of Physics and Astronomy provides B.S. degree programs in Physics, Astronomy, as well as a B.A. degree in Physics, a Concentration in Biophysics and a Physics\Engineering Program with Washington University. Faculty members of the department are actively involved in research in these areas. The department is also responsible for providing education programs at the Drake Municipal Observatory.

Drake Physics Prize

The Drake Physics Prize Test is primarily given to students in Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota and select areas in Illinois, Texas, and Colorado. Students outside of these areas are also eligible to participate. Any student interested in participating should contact the Drake Physics Department at 515-271-3141 or email

First prize in the test is a full, four year tuition scholarship to the Drake Physics and Astronomy department. A second four year tuition scholarship is offered to a runner-up (top 50 seniors) based on the academic record of the student, high school teacher and counselor recommendations, and the results of interviews held in April. High school students and teachers seeking more information should contact the department at 515-271-3141. 

2020 Drake Physics Prize Test, Students' Page

2020 Drake Physics Prize Test, Proctor's Page

Physics & Astronomy Summer Camp 2020

Due to COVID-19, Drake University will not hold the Physics and Astronomy Summer Camp this year! We hope you will understand this decision. Keep looking up!

Times: 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM (Monday-Friday) - Lunch provided
Location: Drake University
Cost: This camp is free of charge!
Application process open to 8th grade and high school students.

Have you ever looked up at the stars and wondered what their stories are, how they were formed and how old they are? Have you ever wondered how old the universe is, and thought about how all of the galaxies, stars and planets it encompasses, came to be? These basic questions go back to ancient times, but still challenge modern astronomers equipped with large telescopes and satellite technology.

Join us this summer for two weeks of fun and exploration, as we engage in creative activities and learning experiences generated by thinking about the universe and its history. Using data from Hubble Space Telescope, the Sloan Digital Sky Survey and our own observations, campers will learn the stories told by the stars. We will look through the telescopes at the Drake Municipal Observatory, experiment in the physics lab at Drake University and learn about the story of the universe.

Please fill out the Summer Camp 2019 Application and return to by June 3, 2019, but those received by May 20, 2019 will be given priority.

A&S News