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  Department of Physics and Astronomy


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Contact Info

231 CAP Building
525 Rivers Street
Boone, NC
(828) 262-3090
FAX: (828) 262-2049

Interim Department Chair
Dr. Richard W Genberg

Physics Program Coordinator
Dr. Patricia E. Allen

Astronomy Program Coordinator
Dr. Joseph T. Pollock

Graduate Program Coordinator
Dr. J. Sidney Clements

PSM Program Coordinator Dr. Christopher S. Thaxton


Prospective Students

For more information about a particular program of study contact one of the following people:


Information about Boone NC

Student in Lab 2007Students in LabMatt Foster in the LabStudents in Lab


If you have a desire to become a scientist or an engineer, then the Department of Physics and Astronomy has several programs for you. These programs will prepare you to become a physicist or astronomer or will provide preparation to become an engineer. Each curriculum gives the student a wide scientific background so that one may pursue careers in those fields or in many interdisciplinary scientific fields. To be adequately trained in science, one must have a graduate degree. Most of our graduates have pursued graduate degrees in physics, astronomy, or engineering and have positions in industry, national laboratories, or academia. Others have become sucessful in non-scientific careers. We have prepared information about our programs in physics, astronomy and engineering.

When you enroll as a student in Physics and Astronomy, you will be encouraged to begin research by joining a faculty member in her or his laboratory. Click the link below to see some of the cool research going on in the Department.


If you are thinking about a career as a scientist, then you must take those courses which will prepare you for that career. The courses are biology, chemistry, and physics. Any advanced placement science courses should be taken only if they are in addition to all the above basic science courses.

Also, take mathematics during each year in high school. Mathematics is an important tool for the scientist. If you limit your comprehension of mathematics, then you will limit your science career. These mathematics courses should include advanced algebra, trigonometry and pre-calculus. If your high school offers additional courses in calculus or above, then take as many as you are able.

You must be literate with a computer, so pick up as much experience with computers as you can.

In addition, one should fulfill the minimum requirements for entering a university in the University of North Carolina System. These requirements are given below.


Six language courses -- Four in English and two in a language other than English. Note: some colleges will accept three non-English high school courses for a language reqiurement.

Four mathematics course units -- these are Algebra I, Algebra II, Geometry and an advanced mathematics course. Click here to see examples of advanced mathematics courses. One math course should be taken during the senior year.

Three science course units -- One a life science, one a physical science (Physics, Chemistry or Physical Science) and one science laboratory course.

Two course units in social studies -- one unit in U.S. History.

In addition, you should be making excellent grades in mathematics and science courses.

Look at the requirements listed by the Office of Admissions at the link below.

High School Requirements


Read the requirements from the Office of Admissions at the link below:

Transfer Admission Requirements


Visit your High School Guidance Counselor for his/her advice. If you know people in your community who are scientists or engineers, visit them and talk about their professions. Visit the Departments of Physics and Astronomy or Engineering at several colleges and universities to talk over your plans and to obtain advice about majoring in their fields. Plan to visit us, use the link below to set up a visit. Click here for more information about visiting ASU. On your visit, talk with college students who are majoring in the area you want to pursue. Use the internet and read about the requirements for the major in which you are interested. Look at the courses you will be taking: do they describe what interests you?

Look at our Online Major's Handbook for further information.

The Office of Admissions has a page giving the particulars for choosing a major. Check it out! FIRST CONNECTIONS


For further information about programs in Physics, Astronomy, and Engineering please call or email:

Chair, Department of Physics and Astronomy
Appalachian State University
ASU Box 32106
Boone, NC 28608

tel: 828-262-3090

Email the Chair for Further information




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