“Advancing physics through excellence in research and expanding the scientific heritage through education”
The Department of Physics will be committed to advancing its role within the university and the community by continuing to provide high-quality education to all students and maintaining excellence in research. We will continue to emphasize our research efforts in the areas that will contribute to the University’s research standing and prominence as well as areas where our faculty is highly regarded for their expertise. Our research will provide a foundation for giving our students a well-rounded education while exposing them to unique opportunities to participate in furthering science early in their career.
We will engage our colleagues in the College of Sciences and other UL Lafayette Colleges in interdisciplinary projects to provide more benefits to our local community, to the State of Louisiana, and to the United States economy. Our Department will be open to faculty and students of all world cultures and will create an environment in which our students will be prepared to be science ambassadors throughout the world. The Department has been and will continue to be dedicated to serving the regional and national demand for well-prepared graduates who are highly valued by employers and the community, and who are qualified to pursue advanced degrees. The physics component in the education of students from other departments is a priority. Great efforts will be channeled into creating innovative curricula to respond to their specific needs.
We strive to provide an educational experience built on the best teaching practices and latest technologies, in an interactive and stimulating learning environment. The Department aims to be highly ranked among our peer institutions and to be an essential part of the efforts in fulfilling the UL Lafayette strategic goals.
The Department of Physics has a long history of serving the Acadiana region, our state and the nation, through distinguished teaching, research, scholarship, and public service. It consists of 7 full-time faculty and instructors, approximately 40 undergraduate majors, and 10 graduate students. The Department, through its faculty, provides physics courses to non-majors as well as to Physics-majors, offering a Baccalaureate in Science degree in Physics. At the graduate level, a Master's degree is offered with emphasis in applied, computational, and theoretical physics, as well as in geophysics, commensurate with faculty expertise. The Department of Physics, in partnership with the School of Geosciences, is also in the process of building an interdisciplinary PhD program, which will focus on fundamental and applied research in the areas of Energy, Environment, and Earth Physics.
The courses Physics faculty teach focus on providing students from varied backgrounds with the tools and the motivation needed to achieve an understanding of the fundamental laws governing macroscopic and microscopic phenomena on Earth and beyond. The variety of classes we offer provide the students with a scientific awareness of the world around them, ultimately equipping them with the skills necessary to master critical thinking and the scientific-method. These strengths help them not only become better professionals but also make informed and educated decisions in all aspects of their lives. The department prides itself on the ability to provide students early in their professional careers with experience outside the traditional classroom through required research courses for undergraduates, as well as an active external research seminar. The undergraduate curriculum prepares students to enter graduate programs or to be competitive in the job market for government agencies, laboratories, industry, and academia.
Our department moved into a new era as recent retirements allowed us to hire excellent young faculty, highly-regarded in their fields. We are the youngest department in the University with research expertise unique among other physics departments in Louisiana. This standing gives us unprecedented opportunities to meet the vision detailed in this strategic plan. Although we may come across challenges in getting the resources needed to implement all details in the plan, we are excited about our future: to participate in building the first interdisciplinary doctoral degree in the College of Sciences, to grow our student population, and to strengthen our research and education resolve.