Mission and Student Learning Outcomes

Mission:

The mission of the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock is to train students in the use of concepts of physics and astronomy and the associated technologies for educational, scientific, and industrial purposes; and to maintain an active program in the scholarship of discovery.

Student Learning Outcomes:

In support of this mission, the department has developed specific learning objectives and goals. Student learning objectives and goals are the same for both the BA and BS degrees in the Department of Physics and Astronomy.

Learning Objective 1. Students will demonstrate basic knowledge in all the major areas of physics, including mechanics and relativity, electromagnetism, statistical thermodynamics, optics and waves, quantum mechanics, and atomic physics. This learning goal addresses critical thinking, information technology, competency in mathematics, and competency in the philosophy and methods of science.

Learning Objective 2. Students will demonstrate basic competency in independent research and effective communication skills. Students must be able to define a research question, develop a research plan, conduct research, and to present the research work effectively. This learning goal addresses critical thinking, information technology, and competency in the philosophy and methods of science.


To achieve our mission and objectives, our department supports a variety of activities. The department offers the basic physics foundation courses (i.e., Electronics, Classical Mechanics, Electromagnetism, Quantum Mechanics, and Statistical Thermodynamics) and a variety of elective classes (i.e., Mathematical Methods in the Physical Sciences, Medical Physics, Solid State Physics, and Optics) at least once per academic year. The department also offers special topic classes as needed. The department also offers an Astrophysics elective, but it is only offered every other year. The department also hosts a student organization, which is involved in a variety of public outreach and service activities on and off campus. Faculty are also heavily involved in research. To support their work and the department’s mission, Faculty involve students in research projects throughout their academic career.