Jun 16, 2024  
2021-2022 Undergraduate/Graduate Catalog 
2021-2022 Undergraduate/Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Physics Department

Associate Professors:  K. Podolak, M. Walters 
Assistant Professsor:  S. Adhikari, C. Lamsal,
Lecturers: L. M. Kissner, T. Kretser

Contact Us
Chairperson: Michael Walters, Associate Professor
Phone: 518-564-3160
Email: mwalt003@plattsburgh.edu


Preparation for a career utilizing physics is the primary goal of this program. But since many career areas in the field of science are multidisciplinary in nature and involve the solution of mission-oriented problems, we provide a solid background in science and mathematics with the opportunity to select courses that fulfill personal educational and career goals.

Because of the interdisciplinary nature of this curriculum, a specific program can be coordinated with work in such areas as mathematics, chemistry, biophysics, geophysics, computer science, and environmental science, either in a double major format or in a program concentration or minor field. Students will acquire the background necessary to enter industrial research laboratories or graduate degree programs.

The Physics Department, in conjunction with the Teacher Education Unit, offers a combined Physics/Adolescence Education, B.A./M.S.T.  program that leads to New York State teacher certification in Physics 7-12. For more information, see information about the Adolescence Education Combined Program, B.A./M.S.T.  .

Preparation for Engineering Programs

Students interested in a career in engineering can pursue the physics pre-engineering option. This option provides for three years of study at SUNY Plattsburgh followed by two years at an accredited engineering school. Upon graduation from the engineering school, the student will receive a Bachelor of Arts degree in Physics from SUNY Plattsburgh and a degree in engineering from the engineering school. The curriculum of study at SUNY Plattsburgh prepares the student for transfer with a core of physics courses (General Physics 1 and 2, Introduction to Modern Physics, Intermediate Laboratory, and Technical Reports in Physics and Engineering), and a minimum of 12 credits in Physics electives geared toward the field of engineering. Physics faculty advise students as to the proper electives based upon the student’s field of interest in engineering. Electives include Statics, Strength of Materials, Engineering Mechanics/Dynamics, Fluid Dynamics, Electronics for Scientists, Robotics, and Physical Optics. Students also take fifteen credits of mathematics, eight credits of chemistry and three credits of computer science.


The Robotics Program, a collaboration between the faculty of the Physics and Computer Science Departments, offers students entry into the exciting career opportunities in the rapidly expanding world of Robotics. Centered around the development of autonomous or semi-autonomous robots to work in changing or dynamic environments ranging from the home to other planets, the program allows students a choice of concentrations in Programming or Hardware Applications.  Building on a core of coursework in computer science, mathematics and physics, students advance into study topics including computer vision, artificial intelligence (AI), embedded systems, electronics, and robot dynamics, leading to knowledge of techniques used in the development of the robotic systems used in self-driving cars and drones.  Student research opportunities include building autonomous and remote-controlled vehicles for a variety of environments, and participating in regional and national robotics competitions. Past student research has resulted in the design and build of drones, small robots, an AI air hockey table, and an autonomous Rover for collecting samples, entered in a NASA competition. 


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