Mission and Core Values

Our goal is always to provide the best education for you – non-majors and majors alike – through focused face-to-face teaching and hands-on laboratory work. We seek to expand the department where necessary, so that you may flourish in the workplace and thrive in graduate school.

Through the triad of teaching, undergraduate research and department, university and professional service, the physics department continues its dedication to the Lamar University mission. We engage and empower you through providing high-quality lectures by having individualized one-on-one instruction in our peer-instruction tutoring center (36 hours per week and staffed by upper-level Physics majors), by holding ample office hours and through offering the newly-instituted recitation sessions.

For you, we have abundant undergraduate research opportunities, which is further leveraged by the department’s strong connections to the Office of Undergraduate Research. In this way, you may acquire the requisite skills and knowledge to succeed in your chosen area of study by having a firm background in the physical sciences. 

The Physics department aligns well with the college’s guiding principle, "that the success of every major academic enterprise depends greatly upon the quality of its faculty." All our faculty (tenured, tenure-track and instructors) hold Ph.D. degrees from recognized universities. We are highly qualified to pursue research and teaching in the department, and providing you opportunities for undergraduate research under faculty supervision in a variety of physics areas.

Physics Classroom


The Principles of the Physics Department

The Physics department closely adheres to the college’s principles, which are designed to endow you an academic experience of the highest quality, wherein it states:

  • To provide an excellent learning environment wherein you may refine the knowledge and skills essential to cultivate your ability to think critically, communicate effectively and advance your appreciation of artistic and scientific inquiry

In Physics, we emphasize the theoretical concepts amplified through mathematical frameworks and punctuated and enriched with hands-on experimentation. Our program has six dedicated lab rooms, two advanced and four introductory/general physics. 

  • To provide a contemporary education through the integration of information technology into the study of disciplines traditionally associated with the arts and sciences;

Many of the physics faculty have incorporated online instructional tools, such as Web Assign, WileyPlus, Sapling Learning, TopHat and Mastering Physics for the introductory courses, as well as developed their own. Our courses include computer simulations and modern data analysis techniques. 

  • To stress the importance of lifelong learning through community outreach, service, research and creative endeavors.


Vision Statement

What do we do?

All children ask why. Why is the grass green, why is the sky blue, and why do stars twinkle in the night sky? To be inquisitive is the very nature of our species. Physics is the most fundamental of the sciences in that we aspire to retain that admirable childlike curiosity of posing the whys and the wherefores of nature. All science derives from understanding the underlying physical principles of nature. Physics studies the structure of matter that surrounds us, from the infinitesimally small in the subatomic realm to the infinite vastness of the cosmos. We study how matter and energy emerge and evolve over space and time.

How we do it?

The Physics department aligns well with our college’s guiding principle that the success of every major academic enterprise depends greatly upon the quality of its faculty; all our faculty (tenured, tenure-track and instructors) hold Ph.D. degrees from recognized universities.

Whom do we do it for?

Through the triad of teaching, undergraduate research and department, university and professional service, we are dedicated to providing quality education for student success. The Physics department continues its dedication to the Lamar University Mission. We engage and empower our students through providing highquality interactive educational experience based on current pedagogical best practices as well as by having individualized one-on-one instruction in our peer-instruction tutoring center and we maintain and support a vibrant and nationally recognized Society of Physics Students. We further embrace undergraduate research opportunities for our majors through extramural funding, internal grants and the Office of Undergraduate Research.

What values are we bringing?

Our department commits to promote a deeper sense of belonging for all groups. We have no patience nor tolerance for identity-based exclusion. Fairness and opportunity are shared departmental values. Recognizing that all of us deserve to learn the ways of nature, the Lamar University Physics department is committed to creating an environment where all students, particularly those who have been underrepresented, can thrive. We therefore offer opportunities to all students. The Physics faculty strive to lead by example of what it means to be a professional physicist. The department will continue to offer strong academic support driven by our professionalism in teaching physics, our approachability in student advising and support and our flexibility in mentoring students, through effective teaching methods. In this way, we seek to increase retention and enhance performance for all students regardless of their race, ethnicity, sexual orientation and/or gender. We embrace the guiding principles of the American Institute of Physics TEAM-UP Project in promoting the pillars of physics identity, sense of belonging and academic and personal support through active and caring faculty and student engagement. We are a team of scholars and we shall all work together for the betterment of all people at Lamar University.

Service and Undergraduate Research

Service and Undergraduate Research are part and parcel of the education for you. We have a very healthy Society of Physics Students, which has been recognized nationally with the Distinguished Chapter Awards (in 2012-13 and 2014-15) and honored with the Outstanding Chapter Award (in 2013-14, 2015-16, 2016-2017, 2017-2018 and 2018-2019) from the National Office of the Society of Physics Students.

The Society of Physics Students is continuously engaged in many outreach activities to the community and the university, such as in-house demonstrations to middle- and high-school students, recruitment activities for Cardinal View and on-the-road exhibits at local schools. Also, the SPS has received two Research Awards (in 2013 and 2016) and was honored with the 2017 Marsh W. White Award for outstanding outreach. Our students’ achievements have been highlighted several times in the SPS Observer, which is the official journal of the National Society of Physics Students and on the Lamar website. 

Many of our undergraduate students are engaged in a variety of research projects, from computational physics to applied physics. In the past five years, our students have conducted research in settings ranging from nationally-recognized programs such as the McNair (we have had two students in 2015, two in 2017, one in 2018 and one in 2019), to participate in the Exxon Mobil Bernard Harris Summer Camp (every year for 2011-2018). Many of our majors had successful submissions and received undergraduate research grants from the Office of Undergraduate Research (one in 2014, three in 2015, three in 2016, two in 2017 and one in 2018). One of our physics majors received the prestigious Goldwater Scholarship in 2015, one of our physics majors became a Beck Fellow recipient (2014) and more than 12 majors have gone on multiple occasions to local, regional and national conferences to present their research.

In 2017, one student interned at SPS headquarters in Maryland and another student participated in the NSF International Research Experience for Undergraduates at the Institute of Nuclear Physics in Orsay, France (2018). Furthermore, some of our students have been co-authors in several articles for peer-reviewed journals. This is a strength of the Lamar education – you have great opportunities in research as well as in service.