About the Department

The UNK Department of Physics & Astronomy offers multiple 4-year degrees in physics as well as degrees in astronomy and astrophysics. The department also boasts an Engineering Foundations Program which provides students a pathway to an engineering degree at the University of Nebraska - Lincoln in our 2+2 and 3+2 programs.

Our majors develop the skills to become great problem solvers, allowing them to excel when they enter the workforce. Degrees in physics, astronomy, and engineering open the door to vast opportunities from industrial settings and government labs to schools and college campuses.

The skills that you develop at UNK can also provide opportunities to work in areas that you may not have expected such as in the business sector, with newspapers and magazines, at telescope observatories, or even on Wall Street. Students who major in these fields make desirable candidates anywhere that problem-solving and analytical skills are valued (everywhere!).

Adam Schlotthauer

I truly enjoyed how the physics department at UNK was almost like a small family. Everyone very much knew each other and were supportive of one another. The professors were all great and very personable. It was very easy to discuss topics with them and to work on getting a better understanding of what we happened to be studying. It was great to expand my knowledge not only in engineering but also other areas of physics as well. Without the Engineering Foundations program, I likely would not be where I am today. I am currently working at Commonwealth Electric Company of the Midwest. Once I graduate from UNL, I will then move into a full-time electrical engineering position with Commonwealth and work under their head engineer.

Adam Schlotthauer

Engineering Foundations - Electrical Engineering

Beyond the Classroom

At the University of Nebraska at Kearney, you have opportunities to enhance your education by participating in, organizations, internships, and more. The Physics and Astronomy Department at UNK encourages its students to get involved with the multiple opportunities they provide to aid you to your future career. 

Experiential Learning


Specialty Facilities

  • UNK Planetarium The Department of Physics and Astronomy operates the UNK Planetarium. The UNK Planetarium is Nebraska's newest and largest star theater, providing students and visitors with an indoor Universe where the sky is never cloudy.

Explore Our Programs

There are lots of opportunities for students, parents, and educators to explore opportunities in Physics, Astronomy, and Engineering at UNK.


Check out the latest news, highlights, and Alumni and Faculty spotlights by downloading the Physics, Astronomy, and Engineering Newsletter.

High School Summer Camp

"Meet the 'APEs' of West Campus" at this fun, interactive camp that will help students engage with real-world engineering challenges and give them a close up look at the principles of physics that form the underpinnings of the universe.

Learn more about the high school summer camp

UNK Science Day

Students rotate through six different science areas between UNK’s Bruner Hall of Science and Discovery Hall: Biology, Wildlife Biology, Chemistry, Math, Physics, Engineering, Astronomy, and Health Sciences. We’ll even provide lunch!

Learn more about Science Day

Career Information Event

This event is geared for students, parents, educators, and counselors interested in exploring careers in physics, engineering, mathematics, statistics, astronomy, or astrophysics. Representatives from the participating disciplines will be available to provide demos and answer questions about potential careers related to their fields.

Learn more about the Career Information Event