Student Opportunities

Alma students plunge into hands-on science right from the start, and develop as researchers and as professionals both on campus and across the nation.

Student Research on Campus

The physics department participates in Alma’s ACORN program, which gives students the opportunity to participate in research with faculty after their first year in college or even the summer before they arrive. After they have completed more advanced coursework, students may do summer internships across the nation (as described below), and there are also opportunities for independent study projects right on campus during the year. Our students have produced some impressive work! (Each of the stories below includes a full research poster designed and presented by Alma students giving full details of their work.)

  • An ASPIRE/PRISM group sets up targets to detect debris from a simulated asteroid impact.
    What’s more exciting than winning a prize for your research poster about a new type of detector for measuring debris from simulated asteroid collisions? Winning it for research you did before you even started college.
  • PRISM student Emma Patmore presents her work studying T-duality in string theory.
    Physics major Emma Patmore spent her first summer at Alma as a PRISM student studying T-duality in string theory with the help of the Mathematica computer algebra system. She has presented her work at multiple conferences around the region.
  • ASPIRE students Krystle Reiss and Chris McDonald present a poster about the Higgs boson.
    Incoming ASPIRE students studied the physics behind the newly-discovered Higgs boson and shared the excitement with the campus community.

Engineering Science Program

A significant number of Alma’s Physics majors plan to pursue careers in engineering. Our Engineering Science program is housed within the Physics department and full details on the program are on its program page. (Some details on educational paths are presented under “What can I do with a Physics major?”.) As Pre-Engineering Coordinator, Prof. Victor Argueta is available for questions and advice.

Research Internships

Many Alma students seek out opportunities to do research during the summer, often at “Research Experience for Undergraduates” programs at top research institutions around the nation. Students have recently participated in REU programs at schools such as the University of Washington and the University of Michigan.