Prospective Students

Welcome Prospective Students!

We certainly look forward to welcoming you as a physics major, a physics minor, and/or a member of our award-winning Society of Physics students (SPS)! Please reach out to anyone of our physics faculty if you have any questions about the Department of Physics here at Marshall and/or majoring or minoring in physics, or careers/salaries in physics after graduation, and or the outreach that our Society of Physics Students participates in. Even if you have your sights set on another major, it should be known that it is only two physics classes at the 300-400 level beyond the two introductory 200 level physics courses and labs to pick up a physics minor. A physics minor looks great on your resume and makes you more marketable to future employers. If you have any questions about the programs in Physics at Marshall, please email the senior administrative secretary for physics Ms. Traci Curry,, she will guide you to the correct contact person. If we do not know the answers to your questions, we will try to find someone that does.

If you ever just want to get involved in some STEM outreach, contact our current Society of Physics Students (SPS) advisor, Dr. Sean P. McBride ( We have an award winning SPS group that participates in STEM outreach. The SPS group here on campus has been nationally recognized for the last four consecutive academic years and was awarded Marshall University Most Improved Organization Award in 2020 for the 2019 year. Feel free to shoot the SPS advisor an email at any time you have questions. You do not have to be a physics major to be involved in SPS either, so you and your friends can help too even if you do not major or minor in physics.

Below are links to our Department of Physics homepage, Department Brochure, SPS Brochure, SPS Homepage, 4-year degree paths for physics, and our Department of Physics Scholarships. We have 3 professional advisors here in the College of Science to keep you on Track to make sure you can graduate in four years.

Physics Department Homepage:

Physics Department Brochures: Physics Department Brochure

Here are our 4-year degree paths in Physics: Degree Path Possibilities

Physics Department Scholarships:

Physics Department Facebook Page: Marshall University Physics | Facebook

MU SPS Brochure: SPS Brochure

SPS Homepage: Society of Physics Students – (

Please do let us know if you have any questions. We look forward to meeting you. All of our outreach we do is kept up to date typically on our Physics Department Facebook Page and SPS website links listed above. Below you’ll will find some of our recent outreach activities.

Recent Outreach Activities

RecFest 2022

Rec Fest was an awesome event today (8-20-2022)! I hope you had fun and got to meet new friends, talk to some of the local businesses, and chat with some of the on-campus organizations present! Hopefully you got to stop by the Physics and Society of Physics Students (SPS) table. Marshall’s SPS chapter is nationally recognized as an ‘Outstanding Chapter’, a level of distinction given to less than 12% of the top chapters recently, with just 96 of 844 chapters so honored in the 2020 year and 80 of 844 in the 2021 year. The SPS group focuses on science outreach in both the on and off campus communities. If you are interested in and want to become a member of SPS please email the SPS advisor, Dr. Sean P. McBride ( Questions about majoring in physics here at Marshall and picking up a minor in physics are welcome. You do not have to be a physics major to be part of SPS. If you could not make it today, still feel free to email questions. More information about the Physics Program and SPS is available at and…/society-of-physics-students/.

Kellogg Elementary School Summer Camp Demo Show 2022!

Thank you to those in the Kellogg Elementary School Summer Camp for recently visiting Marshall University and the MU Physics Department for a fun and exciting demo show! Fun was had by all! More pics available in the previous link. Kids in kindergarten through 6th grade got to ‘see’ sound with fire, walk on a non-Newtonian fluid, see Bernoulli’s principle in action, witness thunder and lightning in the classroom, launch rockets, see smoke rings, and much more! President Eli Williamson and Vice President AJ Messinger from the award-winning Society of Physics Students (SPS), along with Drs. Sean and Sachiko McBride, all worked together to carry out the demonstrations. The fantastic reactions of the students captured just how much they enjoyed the science demos. Everyone involved enjoyed the 45-minute show! The kids from Kellogg elementary were a great group of students and super eager to be volunteers to participate in the science demos. Overall, a great energetic group of students! Supplies for some of the demos were graciously sponsored by the Department of Physics in conjunction with the endowed Society of Physics Students Fund.

SPS Members Continue to Participate in New Student Orientations and Provide Workshops in Summer 2022

The Society of Physics Students and their advisor participated in New Student Orientation on July 12th and August 3rd, 2022 from 11:30 -1:00 pm! These were great events that helped welcome new students to campus giving them a peek into MU student life opportunities, more information is provided in the respective links. Information about the department of physics and the SPS group was shared with these new students while they were on campus. The SPS group has also helped run several Motor Madness workshops, one for Upward Bound Students on June 29th and one as a 1/2 day summer camp for 9-12 year old kids (shown to the left). The 1/2 day event was run with helpers from the First2 Network and WV Science Adventures! The half day workshop was co-sponsored by WV Science Adventures and National Youth Science Foundation, along with supplies and prizes bring sponsored by the Department of Physics in conjunction with the endowed Society of Physics Students Fund.

SPS Members Participate in New Student Orientation and Recruiting

The Society of Physics Students and their advisor participated in New Student Orientation on June 7th, 2022 from 11:30 -1:00 pm! This portion of the New Student Orientation event packed the lobby of the Memorial Student Center with active student groups and these groups also sprawled out on to the Plaza. All student organizations provided possible opportunities for new students giving them a peek into student life on campus. Nearly a dozen students showed an interest in either the Society of Physics Students organization or the physics major or minor. Information about the SPS group and the physics major and minor were provided. Thanks SPS members AJ Messinger (Vice president), Aiden Payton, Kolbey Walker (Social Media), and Victoria Maynor (Treasurer) for assisting today!

Sky Fest Spring 2022!

The 2022 Sky Festival was a face-to-face campus event where elementary students in grades 3-5 had the opportunity to learn about all things astronomy and meteorology. It took place 9 am-1 pm on Tuesday May 17, 2022. Events where held inside and outside various buildings across the Marshall University Huntington Campus. SPS members Eli Williamson and AJ Messinger (left), along with SPS Advisor Dr. Sean P. McBride, were able to participate helping out in 2 stations. Groups rotated every 30 minutes to see multiple stations throughout the day. This was a great event with dozens upon dozens of students present (~200 students).  Eli taught about the craters on the moon and how the Earth can shield the moon from a lot of the smaller objects on the tidally locked face that we see from Earth. Students were then given a setup of a cake pan filled with flour and dusted with cocoa powder to drop projectiles to simulate objects such as asteroids and meteorites hitting their simulated moon surface. This was all modelled after the JPL’s Educator Guide “Whip up a Moon-Like Crater.” AJ and Dr. McBride helped all the students at their station make pinhole cameras that they could take home with them. The best images observed with their cameras received a prize, a Marshall physics bag. At their station, the students also got to observe sunspots using a sun tracking telescope with a sunshade. All supplies for the pinhole cameras were sponsored by the MU Chapter of the Society of Physics Students through the endowed Society of Physics Students Fund.

Dr. Maria Hamilton from the Department of Physics also participated with her efforts focusing on demonstrating Einstein’s Gravity, Orbits, Black Holes Collisions, and Gravitational Waves. Students started by grasping the fact that space is a real thing and were shown how stars and planets make a dent in space and naturally move around each other, by using a tablecloth and marbles of different sizes and weight.  Then they played with two tennis balls suspended with nylon wires on the same support which spun around each other until they collided. The balls emitted sound, which changed in frequency when the balls came together. Dr. Hamilton explained how the gravitational waves are similar to those sound waves that propagate in air, but that the gravitational waves also propagate in space. Students had the opportunity to see how gravitational waves are detected with a mock-LIGO instrument using lser light interference to make accurate measurements of length. Students then identified wave signals in the LIGO data and watched a short movie about LIGO and gravitational wave detection. It was a lot packed in a short time!