Students studying physics and astronomy at Carthage can take advantage of multiple curricular and co-curricular programs, from a pre-engineering dual-degree program, to undergraduate research opportunities with NASA, to the College’s associations with observatories across the country.
3+2 Engineering Dual-Degree Program
For students who want to become engineers, Carthage offers an engineering 3+2 dual-degree program. Students spend three years at Carthage and two years at a partnering engineering school. Upon completion of the program, students earn a Bachelor of Arts degree from Carthage and a Bachelor of Science in engineering degree from the engineering school. Many Carthage physics majors have completed the program and are now engineers.
Learn more about the 3+2 Dual-Degree Engineering Program
ScienceWorks: Entrepreneurial Studies in the Natural Sciences
ScienceWorks is a unique offering at Carthage. The program focuses on the business of science by integrating important skills such as written and oral communication, graphics and artwork, business accounting, management, and marketing. Students get hands-on experience and coursework that prepares them for the job market and career advancement.
Learn more about ScienceWorks
Climatology & Meteorology Minor
This program — unusual at a small liberal arts college — combines geography and physics. The Climatology/Meteorology minor is directed toward students who are interested in studying climate change and global warming issues, and pursuing atmospheric scholarship and research.
Learn more about Climatology & Meteorology at Carthage
January Term is a month-long period of study in January in which all academic departments offer innovative courses on campus, as well as study tours in other countries. The Physics and Astronomy Department has been extremely active in J-Term, offering courses to both majors and non-majors that display physics in many different, concrete ways. Recent on-campus offerings include Good Vibrations: The Science of Music, in which students studied the science of music, from acoustics to hearing loss; and Planet Quest, which focused on the search for new planets and extraterrestrial life in the universe. Other courses have focused on climate change, global warming and making telescopes. Recent off-campus study tours include Observational Astrophysics, in which students traveled to Arizona to use the 84-inch telescope at Kitt Peak and the 61-inch telescope at Mt. Lemmon.
Learn more about J-Term at Carthage
SURE: Summer Undergraduate Research Experience
SURE offers Carthage students the opportunity to conduct significant research with a faculty mentor during the summer months. Students receive a stipend, room and board on campus, and a small research budget.
Learn more about SURE
SPACE SCIENCES / NASA RESEARCH
The space sciences program at Carthage is a nationally recognized undergraduate program that provides students hands-on opportunities in technology development and atmospheric sciences through partnerships with NASA and academic researchers around the world. Participating students regularly travel to and work with researchers at NASA Kennedy Space Center, Johnson Space Center, and Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia.
- Microgravity Program: Carthage students and faculty regularly conduct research aboard NASA’s zero-gravity aircraft.
- RockSat: Students design research payloads that fly aboard sounding rockets that achieve 75-mile apogees and several minutes in the space environment.
- High Altitude Balloons Research: Students build payloads for near-space balloon launches. Payloads are carried to altitudes of 100,000 feet and stay aloft for 2+ hours.
The Carthage Physics and Astronomy Department has associations with many regional and national observatories, giving Carthage students access to the best astronomical equipment. Students have the opportunity to use telescopes at the nearby Yerkes Observatory, Kitt Peak in Arizona, and the Steward Observatory at the University of Arizona, among other facilities.
Learn more about observational research opportunities
Sloan Digital Sky Survey
Carthage physics and astronomy students are involved in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, a cutting-edge program in astrophysics and one of the most ambitious and influential surveys in the history of astronomy. An international effort, SDSS has imaged 1 million galaxies, and created three-dimensional maps containing more than 930,000 galaxies and more than 120,000 quasars. The data is accessible to the public, is 100 percent digital, and can be used by Carthage students and researchers for advanced astrophysics research.
At Carthage, students are both encouraged and inspired to serve the community. The Carthage chapter of the Society of Physics Students performs outreach for Kenosha schools, teaching elementary, middle and high school students about science and physics.
Student Employment in the Physics Department
Students looking for work as lab assistants, Supplemental Instructors or Department Fellows should contact the department chair. The department regularly hires supplemental instructors for introductory physics courses, and lab assistants.
Mid-States Math & Science Consortium
Carthage is a member of the 11-state Mid-States Science and Math Consortium, giving Carthage students access to facilities at other schools including the University of Chicago and Washington University in St. Louis.