Frequently Asked Questions

The Physical Sciences Department provides students a strong foundation in engineering, physics, mathematics, and science. You have the opportunity to conduct relevant, in-depth research, even as an undergraduate student, which culminates in a design project or thesis option. You have extensive opportunities to learn state-of-the-art computer-design software and to practice team-based design projects. Courses are taught directly by faculty, who are often recognized for their outstanding teaching and research accomplishments. Most importantly, graduates successfully find employment in desirable career fields and enroll in graduate school.

Astronomy & Astrophysics is the newest degree added to the Physical Sciences department, and it promises to be a program in high demand. You have access to resources such as the SARA consortium with access to telescopes at Kitt Peak, AZ and Cerro Tololo, Chile, and to research from major industry influencers. Students in this program learn from actual astronomers and astrophysicists and use an instrumented one-meter telescope, the largest University research telescope in the southeastern United States.

Astronomy & Astrophysics is the newest degree added to the Physical Sciences department, and it promises to be a program in high demand. You have access to resources such as the SARA consortium with access to telescopes at Kitt Peak, AZ and Cerro Tololo, Chile, and to research from major industry influencers. Students in this program learn from actual astronomers and astrophysicists and use an instrumented one-meter telescope, the largest University research telescope in the southeastern United States.

The Engineering Physics program is one of the largest in the nation but provides an intimate learning environment. The degree is accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) organization, which has selected 20 of approximately 100 programs for this important career designation. The Engineering Physics degree at Embry-Riddle is one of the few in the world that emphasizes space.

The Space Physics degree offers you a chance to study under faculty focused on both teaching and research and who are atmospheric and space physicists. You can take advantage of equipment and resources such as the telescope, deep space probes and the Space Physics Research Laboratory. The Space Physics program allows you to integrate science and engineering into careers in space-related professions.

If you have an interest in the sciences of the cosmos, Physical Sciences is the Department in which you belong. The disciplines have a strong fundamental basis in mathematics and physics with rich experimental, computational, and theoretical aspects.

Astronomy & Astrophysics expand the domain of study beyond the solar system to Galactic, extragalactic, and cosmological scales to encompass exoplanets, stars and star clusters, galaxies, quasars, and the fate of the universe.

The Engineering Physics degree is space-centric and more mathematics- and physics-oriented than other engineering programs and appeals to students who excel in these endeavors. You will take courses in Spaceflight Dynamics, Space Systems Engineering, and Space Physics and learn space mission design and planning.

Yes. Students in the Physical Sciences area are active in the Study Abroad program. Students participate in summer co-ops and internships with government laboratories, industry, and university-based research.

You can also connect with your fellow students in clubs like the Amateur Astronomy Club and the Society of Physics Students. For more professional affiliations, you can explore the Aeronautics & Astronautics (AIAA) group and the national physics honor society, Sigma Pi Sigma.

Courses are not all offered every semester, so the order in which you attend classes by semester is important and must be considered when selecting experiential learning opportunities.

The Physical Sciences program brings together faculty and students who share the common focus on research and for satisfying their intellectual curiosity. The groups collaborate and innovate together. Various research groups meet weekly or extend their work into an external setting.

From physicists to astronomers, theorists to chemists, you will learn from experts with a passion for their subject area and for their students.

The students are as diverse as the faculty, and the Physical Sciences department attracts and retains many STEM-focused women. Students also participate in the Honors Program and typically have the reputation for completing some of the most challenging courses on campus.

Students and faculty actively participate in research. Projects may come directly from industry, grant funding or collegiate design competitions.

Examples are:

  • Computational stellar atmospheric modeling of rapidly rotating and distorted hot stars
  • Deriving the ages of stars in wide binary systems using optical observations
  • Autonomous driving vehicle development and testing
  • Observations and modeling of Earth's upper atmosphere using optical instruments and radars
  • Optical observations of exospheres on the Earth and Moon

Embry-Riddle is committed to educating those who seek to impact the future of humanity. Research, innovation, and student-centered teaching are the hallmarks of every discipline at Embry-Riddle. We are the university for aviation and aerospace and produce graduates who contribute to advancements in technology, science, engineering, and the exploration of the cosmos we inhabit.

Our collaboration with industry, the quality of the faculty, and the rigors of the academic programs afford advantages that ensure that your career will be satisfying, rewarding, and meaningful. We have dedicated alumni worldwide who are the evidence.

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