Department of Physics, Astronomy and Materials Science


  • Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education – Physics Education (BSEd), and Secondary Education/Physics (MSEd)
  • Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation – Physics Education (BSEd), and Secondary Education/Physics (MSEd)

General Information

Pre-engineering preparation

Missouri State University offers a cooperative engineering program in conjunction with Missouri University of Science and Technology in Rolla, Missouri. Only students residing in a sixteen-county area of southwest Missouri qualify for this program. Refer to the Engineering Program section of catalog for more information. Students who wish to pursue engineering, but do not meet the geographic requirements for the cooperative program, may take two years of foundation courses at Missouri State. The Departments of Mathematics and Physics, Astronomy and Materials Science jointly offer a two-year plan to meet the needs of these students, who must transfer later to complete a four-year degree in engineering.  Contact either department for details. 

Baker Observatory

The William G. and Retha Stone Baker Observatory is located approximately ten miles northwest of Marshfield in Webster County (off Missouri Highway 38 on Hillcrest Road.) The observatory is used on clear evenings for laboratory work by students in beginning and intermediate astronomy courses, and by advanced undergraduate students and faculty conducting astronomical research. The observatory houses several small telescopes and two large instruments—a 0.36 meter Celestron Schmidt Cassegrain telescope and a professional model 0.4 meter Cassegrain reflecting telescope on loan from Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory in Chile. The public may visit the observatory during open houses that are conducted by the department twice each year, in April or May, and in September or October. 

Program requirements and restrictions

Mathematical preparation

The mathematical preparation (or lack thereof) in high school strongly governs the point at which a student should begin a physics major. Since there are at least six different levels of beginning students in this discipline, it is imperative that these students consult a member of the physics staff as soon as possible, preferably before their first semester in attendance.

Dated courses

Courses taken more than 10 years before graduation are subject to review and possible rejection by the department faculty.