Academics > Why Coe Physics?

Why should you choose Coe Physics?

Coe College has one of the top undergraduate physics programs in the United States. Our nationally recognized department has the following distinctions:

  1. Coe physics provides real research experience with award-winning professors.

  2. At Coe, you can perform physics research in variety of areas.

    • Professor Steve Feller's research interest is on structural properties of different glasses.
    • Professor Mario Affatigato's research focuses on optical properties of glasses.
    • Professor Ugur Akgun works on the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) experiment. Ugur designs and builds particle detectors that will work under harsh environments. He also performs computational biophysics research on membrane proteins from computer-aided drug design.
    • Visiting Assistant Professor Firdevs Duru is a space plasma physicist who works on data analysis on NASA and ESA (European Space Agency) projects, such as MARSIS and CASSINI.
    • Professor Emeritus Jim Cottingham performs research on physics of acoustics.
  3. Coe physics will open the doors to top graduate schools and Fortune 500 companies.

    • To earn acceptance into prestigious graduate programs, you need an "X-Factor". The research experience and publications in the Coe physics program will provide this for you. Every year, we graduate around 10 students, and 75% of our alumni go to graduate schools, nearly all with tuition paid for and a stipend provided. Some of the recent graduates were admitted to prestigious programs at Harvard, Yale, MIT, Stanford, University of California-San Diego, University of California-Davis, Georgia Tech, and Northwestern.
    • Our program provides multi-dimensional training that will serve you in a wide range of areas: some of our alumni decide to go into academia such as Dr. John Salzer (Chair of Astronomy Department in Indiana University), and Dr. Faisal Alamgir (Professor at Georgia Tech, Material Science Engineering Department). Many of our alumni either have their own start-up companies or are at top positions in companies and national laboratories such as Google, Corning, Tesla, Advanced Materials, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Fermi National Laboratory, Rockwell Collins, McKinsey, DARPA, Argonne National Laboratory, etc.
  4. Coe physics will give you a great network in science and engineering.

    • Our great alumni network and research collaborations provide pipelines to our students for internship and employment opportunities. Our students recently performed research at our collaborating laboratories in Brazil, Canada, Italy and England, as well as CERN. We frequently host visiting scientists from other countries as well. Our most recent visitors were from England, Japan and Italy. In addition, we have great connections with local companies in Cedar Rapids, where our students are frequently hired.
  5. The Coe Physics Club creates a great environment for our students.

    • The Coe Physics Club is consistently included on the Society of Physics Students (SPS) outstanding chapters list, year after year. The Coe Physics Department has around 50 students, and Physics Club creates a fun environment with related activities. Throughout the year, physics students participate in activities like the Playground of Science, Trivia Contest, Impersonation Contest, Physics Competition, Poker Tournament, weekly ice cream socials, and annual trip to the Field of Dreams.
    • The Coe Physics Club organizes a summer lecture series, as well as science talks series during spring and fall semesters. These casual talk series provide the opportunity for the campus community and the general public to meet our young scientists.
    • We also have traditional department parties at faculty homes, including: orientation party, Christmas party, graduation party and summer research party.