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Two students work on a project involving lasers in a lab.

Department of Physics

Welcome to the Physics Department

The Physics Department at the University of St. Thomas emphasizes a broad understanding and appreciation of physics while cultivating the problem-solving skills essential for a successful career grounded in science.

We provide a high degree of personal attention to foster a familial, yet rigorous, educational atmosphere conducive to enjoyable and meaningful learning. Your analytical, experimental, computational and communication skills will flourish as you work your way through the curriculum. You will have the opportunity to collaborate with faculty on research projects during the school year and over the summer.

Whether you are preparing for graduate school, an industrial or professional position, or simply taking physics to enhance your general education, we have a path for you.

Your options

There are three options to choose from: Bachelor of Science (BS), Bachelor of Arts (BA) and the Minor in physics.

Four-Year Plans

The BA and the BS degrees build on a common core of physics courses, but there are significant differences between them.


Our facilities include our offices in Owens Science Hall, three classrooms, seven laboratories, a student machine shop, computer room, a commons study area and the observatory on top of the Anderson Parking Facility.

St. Thomas Observatory at sunset.


Our robotic observatory is equipped with a 17-inch telescope on a German Equatorial mount. It is used for classroom and research projects, as well as community events.

Observatory Events
The physics machine shop.

Laboratories and Machine Shop

Our research laboratories and machine shop are equipped with a range of instrumentation, electronics equipment, CNC machinery and computer hardware.

Student commons for physics students in the Owens Science Hall.

Classroom and Study Spaces

Our space includes three classrooms, a computer room, teaching laboratories, the observatory and a commons study area. Beakers Coffee Shop is nearby, on the second floor.

Physics Faculty and Staff

Shelley Blilie
Cathy Fasching.
Adam Green
Physics faculty member Jeff Jalkio.
Physics faculty member Marty Johnston.
Physics faculty member Marie Lopez del Puerto.
Physics adjunct professor Brita Nellermoe.
Physics faculty member Paul Ohmann.
Physics faculty member Gerry Ruch.
Physics lab manager and adjunct faculty Rich Schuler.
Physics adjunct faculty Richard Thomas.
Physics faculty member Mike Wood.

Contact Information

Questions? Please feel free to reach out to learn more about our department.

Mailing Address

2115 Summit Ave.
OWS 153
Saint Paul, MN 55105

Campus Location

We are located on the first floor of Owens Science Hall