Physics | Hastings College


Why major in Physics at Hastings College?

Many undergraduate physics majors spend only their first two years in the lab. Not at Hastings College.

Here, with some of the best-equipped labs in the region, you’ll graduate having experienced four years in lab-directed study. What better way to learn and discover than designing and building projects, analyzing problems, making them work and judging the outcome!

Hastings College Physics Department professors focus on applied physics and bring their professional experience with the defense industry and electrical engineering to the classroom and labs. They’ll present a broad range of possible career paths within physics, including engineering, research and teaching, helping you prepare for the road ahead.

Summertime and January Term opportunities may include internships with Hastings-based businesses such as: Energy Pioneer and Thermo King, or perhaps northern California-based Wellhead Electronics or Omaha, Neb.-based Kiewit. Many HC Physics students like you also complete Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REUs) at Iowa State University, Kansas State University and the University of Chicago.

The culmination of your area of focus in applied physics eventually leads to a senior-level project. This is where you’ll shine. After designing and implementing an experiment, you’ll prepare to present it at the Nebraska Academy of Sciences Conference in April of your senior year. This a great resume- and career-building and networking opportunity.

Some recent senior projects include:

  • HCEV: The Creation of an Electric Vehicle
  • Empirically Analyzing Washboard Roads
  • Thermodynamics of the Heart: Calculating
  • Cardiac Output During Exercise
  • The Design and Testing of a Robotic Hand to Determine its Qualification as an Adequate Prosthetic Device
  • Investigating Orbital Trajectory

Our Physics Department also oversees our pre-engineering program, which leads you to degrees in a variety of engineering areas, including, mechanical, electrical, civil, architectural and environmental engineering.

Recent Hastings College physics majors continued on to graduate study at institutions such as Purdue University, the University of Nebraska-Omaha, Colorado State University and the University of Colorado. You’ll also find HC graduates excelling as engineers for energy and numerous other companies, astronomers, directors of laboratories, professors and project managers for manufacturing corporations.

Discover more:

If you’re a fan of E=mc2, you’ll love physics at Hastings College. Apply today!

Student and alumni success

From his first day at Hastings College in 1960 as a “24-year-old kid with a crew cut,” to this past January Term as a seasoned educator, Dr. Clyde Sachtleben has spent most of his life as a Hastings College professor of physics. Even after his... more
Are you interested in biology, chemistry, math, computer science, engineering, or physics? Then you've come to the right place! Hastings College can provide a hands-on, small class learning experience! Check out what our STEM alumni have been up to... more
After taking the Advanced Laboratory class during January Term, or J-Term, Morgan Killefer learned how to apply her major to a career. more
A 1987 Hastings College physics graduate was the Flight Software Integrator for the Juno Spacecraft due to launch aboard the Atlas V-551 rocket from Cape Canaveral, Fla., in August 2011. more
Jordan Borrell wants to give others a helping hand — literally. The Hastings College Physics major who graduated in 2013, took a step toward a career in designing and building prosthetics when he chose to build a robotic hand for his senior project... more