Missouri State University

Office of the Registrar

Undergraduate Catalog

2014-15 preliminary edition, April 2014

Department of Physics, Astronomy and Materials Science


  • Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education – Physics Education (BSEd), and Secondary Education/Physics (MSEd)
  • National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education – Physics Education (BSEd), and Secondary Education/Physics (MSEd)

General information

Pre-engineering program

The Department of Physics, Astronomy, and Materials Science and the Department of Mathematics jointly offer a two-year pre-engineering program. Transfer to almost any engineering school from this program is possible, since most pre-engineering programs cover the same background material during the first two years. Students should check with the engineering school of their choice for details. Typical course schedules for several of the different engineering specialties can be obtained from the office of either department. Both departments share student advisement for all pre-engineering areas. Most students select a major in one of the two departments. 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.