Physics Department


"Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known." — Carl Sagan

Dr. Justin Conroy

Dr. Justin Conroy,
Department Chair

Message from the Chair

Mission Statement


The Physics Department welcomes our newest faculty member, Dr. Michael Dunham.

Sadly, Mike Grasso passed away on June 30. Dr. Grasso was a faculty member at Fredonia from 1959-1993, and served as department chair from 1984-1993. He was a unique and unforgettable individual. Dr. Grasso began the Cooperative Engineering program, which was a phenomenal success largely through his incredible mentorship of both students and faculty. He also co-authored the department's Laboratory Manual of Physics, which continues to serve as a valuable educational resource for students.


New MAT graduate program leads to certification in 15 months for BS Physics degree holders

High-School Physics Teachers in Strong Demand


As the most fundamental of the sciences, physics offers insights into some of the most profound questions about our Universe. The quest to understand the laws that govern natural phenomena also drives practical advancements in technology and engineering. In fact it has been said that the physics of today is the engineering of tomorrow. At Fredonia, students learn the tools necessary for a diverse number of career paths including scientific research, engineering, and education.

The Physics Department offers a wide range of programs and advising tracks, which allows you to choose a path that best suits your strengths, interests, and career goals. Some of our most recent graduates have gone on to Ph.D. programs at institutions such as Stony Brook University, Rice University, the University of Rochester, and the College of William & Mary.  The rigor of our Physics Adolescence Education program is unique.  Nationally, most secondary ed certification programs in physics require only 2-3 semesters of physics preparation, which is hardly sufficient for teaching at the secondary level.  In requiring our students to have what amounts to a full physics degree, we prepare our prospective teachers to not only teach physics effectively at the secondary level, but also innovate in the classroom, and engage their students in meaningful coursework.

The Physics Department also offers one of the largest cooperative engineering programs in the country.  With 15 majors to choose from, and 13 affiliated engineering schools, students have the opportunity to carve their own path based on their career goals. 

Our faculty strive to provide our students with an academically rigorous education within a personalized and collaborative setting. Classes are small.  Our faculty have an open-door policy.  There are many opportunities for independent study and research with faculty. An active student club provides additional research experiences, travel opportunities to conferences, and social events. Some students also engage in internships with businesses and national laboratories.

By developing strong problem-solving and critical thinking skills, our graduates have traditionally done very well in finding good jobs and succeeded in graduate school in a variety of disciplines, including medicine and law as well as physics and engineering. We encourage you to contact and visit us.



Bubble chamber photograph from the Fermilab 15 ft. bubble chamber. Spiral tracks show the paths of charged particles in a magnetic field.
Question: Which way is the magnetic field pointing? A high res. photo will help. Other hints available.



Physics Department Office

121 Houghton Hall
State University of New York at Fredonia
Fredonia, NY 14063
(716) 673-3301