About the Department

Physics is crucial to understanding the world around us, the world inside us, and the world beyond us. It is the most basic and fundamental science. Physics challenges our imaginations with concepts like relativity and string theory, and it leads to great discoveries, like computers and lasers, that change our lives. And, studying physics equips a person with excellent problem solving and analytical skills – very desirable in the job market.

In the Department of Physics, Astronomy and Engineering at the University of Nebraska at Kearney, you will be prepared to work in many different and interesting places; in industrial settings and government labs, schools, or on college campuses. Or, to transfer to finish an engineering degree. Physicists and engineers sometimes work in unconventional settings, such as at newspapers and magazines, in government, or even in business —anyplace where their problem-solving abilities and analytical skills are great assets. Astronomy and Astrophysics degree options are offered. You can also begin your path to becoming an engineer through the Engineering Foundations Program that involves a 2+2 or 3+2 dual degree program.

Joshua Beck

“For me, it only seemed natural to study physics at UNK. As a kid, I was often scolded by my mother for taking perfectly good things apart just to see what made them function. I’ve always loved learning new things, especially through a hands-on experience. Physics helps me pick apart the world around me and understand at a fundamental level what is actually happening.”

Joshua Beck

Physics Comprehensive

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. 


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.