Get Involved

In the Physics & Astronomy Department, you will have the opportunity to get hands-on laboratory and research experiences while discovering the principles that make our universe work and learning about fundamental questions that remain unanswered.

Small class sizes promote a sense of community with your classmates and facilitate engagement with faculty members. Our professional degrees in Physics and Astronomy prepare students for both graduate study in their discipline and a STEM career.

Here are a few ways to get involved:

American Physical Society

The American Physical Society (APS) is the main professional organization for those studying physics and working in the field. Among its main goals, the society aims to “provide a welcoming and supportive professional home for an active, engaged, and diverse membership, advance scientific discovery and research dissemination, advocate for physics and physicists, and amplify the voice for science and an effective physics education for all.” Undergraduates can join for free for their first year. Membership benefits include scholarship and networking opportunities and up to date news from the physics community through various outlets including the monthly magazine Physics Today. APS members can also register to present their research work at regional and national conferences. Several of our students typically present at these meetings every year.

Society of Physics Students (SPS)

The SPS is a national community of physics students. While our local chapter is currently dormant, we would very much like to encourage students to become active members and leaders in this organization. 

Physics and Astronomy Club

We are also looking for interested leaders to reactivate and revitalize our campus Physics and Astronomy Club that has a vibrant history of organizing events on campus and outreach to the community.

American Astronomical Society

The mission of the American Astronomical Society (AAS) is to “enhance and share humanity’s scientific understanding of the universe as a diverse and inclusive astronomical community.” The society offers reduced-cost student memberships with many benefits and hosts regular meetings that students can attend to engage with the astronomical community. Several students have presented their work at these meetings in recent years. 

Cal-Bridge Scholarships

In 2021 we joined the Cal-Bridge program, the aim of which is to increase the number of students from traditionally underrepresented groups in PhD programs in Physics and other STEM disciplines. Students chosen for competitive Cal-Bridge scholarships receive substantial financial support as well as academic mentoring from University of California faculty members as well as a local mentor. Cal-Bridge scholars will receive extensive help for solidifying applications to graduate school and securing summer internships. To date, four Cal Poly Humboldt students have successfully applied to the program.

Conference for Undergraduate Women in Physics (CUWiP) 

The CUWiP conference is held every January and is a wonderful opportunity for students to network and engage in professional development. We regularly offer travel support for students wishing to attend this conference.

Summer Internships through the National Science Foundation REU Program

The NSF Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program is an amazing opportunity for every physics and astronomy major. It is free to apply for these summer internships, and the application deadline is typically in February/March. If selected, REU interns receive travel support, a stipend (usually around $5,000), free housing, and other benefits for a 8-10 week summer research experience located at major research institutions around the US and throughout the world. Many HSU students have participated in these programs all over the country as well as in France, Germany, and other foreign countries. 

CSU Nuclear and Particle Physics Consortium (NUPAC)

The CSU NUPAC Consortium is administered through Fresno State by Dr. Yongsheng Gao. This program provides students the opportunity to take specialized online courses and apply for summer internships at CERN in Europe. So far, two HSU students have spent the summer at CERN and more have been accepted to participate once travel restrictions are lifted.  

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