Department of Physics and Astronomy

Two students experiment with laser light detection equipment in a laboratory

The Department of Physics & Astronomy gives students a chance to study the fundamental laws of nature and their application to the exploration of the universe in a friendly, engaging environment. The department offers two degree programs, a Bachelor of Science in Space Physics (BSSP), which prepares students for careers in science and aerospace or for graduate programs in physics, astronomy and astrophysics, and a Bachelor of Science in Astronomy (BSA).

The Space Physics program provides a broad-based, rigorous physics education with an emphasis on space-related topics such as astronomy, optics, remote sensing, particle physics, and cosmology. The program is guided by the philosophy that physics is something you "do," not just a set of dry theories. Most Space Physics students complete a yearlong thesis research project during their senior year. In the process, they acquire analytical and laboratory-based research skills that position them for careers in physics, astronomy, and related fields.

The department’s faculty is passionate about working with students to perform research in their areas of expertise. Students have completed projects in their chosen areas of physics, and many have collaborated with the Aerospace Engineering faculty to study non-chemical spacecraft propulsion, rocket design, and similar topics.

For students engaging in undergraduate research, this is a rewarding experience that helps them with their career choices and adds critical impetus to their efforts to enter competitive graduate programs.

Learn More About our Department Degrees

* The B.S. in Interdisciplinary Studies is a cross-departmental degree program.


A commercial airplane taxis down an airport runway

Latest Research Projects

Learn about physics and astronomy advances being developed by Embry-Riddle professors and students.

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The Aerospace Experimentation and Fabrication Building (AXFAB) at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University's Prescott campus

Labs & Facilities

Learn about the state-of-the-art labs and facilities available to ERAU students in the Physics and Astronomy Department.

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3700 Willow Creek Road
Prescott, AZ 86301
View of deep space, where the measurement of gravitational waves by the Prescott campus LIGO team takes place

Prescott Campus Team Contributes to Nobel Prize Winning Research

Five Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University faculty and student researchers working at the Prescott, Ariz., campus were among the contributing researchers to LIGO, the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory, which received the Nobel Prize in Physics for 2017.

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