Department of Physics and Astronomy

Student Opportunities


We are dedicated to help students learn and grow as scientists.
We support our majors in a variety of research and service opportunities.

Paid Positions

We encourage our majors to consider our paid peer tutoring, grading, and Learning Assistant positions.


To get help with classes and assignments, go to the Tutoring Center in ISELF 332 or contact your professor.

To sign up as a paid tutor, please use Handshake. Contact Kevin Haglin for more information about tutor responsibilities and available positions.


Apply with the department chair in the first few weeks of fall or spring term to serve as a grader.

Learning Assistants

Paritcularly for those students going on to a role in teaching, experience in a classroom is vital. In our LA program, students work 10 hours/week assisting a professor in developing assignments, helping run the daily operation of a class, and delivering focused tutoring.  An LA should be prepared to take a 1 credit STEM 399 Pedagogy course, participate in a 1 hour/week meeting with the faculty mentor, and deliver 8 additional hours/week course support as specified by the instructor; Please contact Dr. Sinko for additional information.  Applications are in the middle of a term, for the following term.


Scholarship applications are accessible through Huskies Scholarships.  Then application period for the following year usually opens early in the spring term, with a due date in March.  Check the Huskies Scholarship website for specifics.  Your academic advisor can guide you in preparing an application.

SCSU Physics Scholarships

SCSU Science and Engineering Scholarships

Scholarships financially support your education, help you avoid student loan debt, and look good on a resume. Search Huskies Scholarships to find additional scholarships. For example, check out:

External Scholarships

  • Barry Goldwater Scholarship: Eligibility information here (Barry Goldwater Eligibility Criteria). You would typically apply as a sophomore or junior. This opportunity covers 1-2 years (junior/senior) of school. It is a nationally competitive scholarship for exceptional students intending to pursue a career in STEM research. The application process is somewhat complicated; the application due date is the last Friday in January each year, but to have a chance you should begin preparations in the fall. Applicants must be U.S. citizens. If interested, please contact Dr. Sinko (the St. Cloud State campus representative).
  • NSF-Noyce STEM Teacher Scholarship: NSF-Noyce Informational Flyer and NSF-Noyce Interest Form. This opportunity pays full room/board/tuition/fees + $1,500 per semester with leadership involvement in the St. Cloud State LA program for your last four semesters at St. Cloud State to earn a Physics Education major, then following graduation at St. Cloud State you commit to teach at a high-need K-12 school district for four years. Follow the instructions in the flyer and form to apply.

Student Research

 Student research is increasingly essential in graduate school applications.  Research experience also trains skills, teamwork, planning, and creative adaptability needed for industrial occupations.

External Opportunities

Student Research at St. Cloud State

  • 2021 SCSU Mentor-Student Research Grants: these pay for project supplies or travel. Go here (SCSU Research & Sponsored Programs) to apply.  Deadlines typically in early Fall and early Spring.
  • SCSU Physics & Astronomy Department currently has special funding for paid summer research.  Email Dr. Haglin for information.
  • SCSU Huskies Summer Research Fellowship (HSRF) can pay up to $2,000 for a multi-week research commitment in early summer, plus $500 for supplies. Deadline typically in early February.  Apply here!
  • For research opportunities in our department, visit our Research page and contact a faculty member.
List of Past Student Research Projects

Physics and Astronomy Student Research, Fall 2021 - Summer 2022

  • Amr Abdo, Devin Fleck, Braden Sahlstrom, and Nicholas Shea — Sphere Dropping Device for Laser Experiments (with Prof. Little (MME), and Prof. Sinko)
  • Brian Davis — Steel Particle Analysis for Laser Space Debris Analysis (with Prof. Sinko)
  • Dane Larson — Laser Aluminum Ablation for Space Debris Reduction (with Prof. Sinko)

Physics and Astronomy Student Research, Fall 2020 - Summer 2021

  • Amrit Chhetri — High speed video analysis of laser ejected particles (with Prof. Sinko)
  • Veronica Sevilla Rubi — Analysis of aluminum laser mass removal (with Prof. Sinko)
  • Naqsh E Zafar — Energy analysis for laser active debris removal (with Prof. Sinko)
  • Elatia Zaffke — Laboratory Simulation of Supernova Shock Waves (with Prof. Sinko and Dr. Elisha Polomski, College of San Mateo, San Mateo, CA)

Physics and Astronomy Student Research, Fall 2019 - Summer 2020

  • Tyler Buddhu — Electrical Impedance and Tube Alloys Research (with Prof. Ratliff)
  • Bijaya Ghorasainee and Sanjeev Regmi — Analysis of ZnO Nanoparticles (with Prof. Sinko and Prof. Nelson, and Prof. Kannan Sivaprakasam, Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry)
  • Edison King — Dynamics of Double and Triple Physical Pendulums (with Prof. Haglin)
  • Ashton Miller, Chase Negen, and Naqsh Zafar — Experimental Study of Laser Ablative Removal of Aluminum Space Debris (with Prof. Sinko)
  • Chase Negen — Thermal Effects during Laser Ablative Space Debris Removal (with Prof. Sinko)
  • Matthew Thomas — Drag Force Due to Doppler-Shifted Radiation (with Prof. Haglin)
  • Elatia Zaffke — Laboratory RF Plasma System and Simulation of Supernova Shock Waves (with Prof. Sinko and Prof. Haglin, and Dr. Elisha Polomski, Department of Physics & Astronomy, College of San Mateo, San Mateo, CA)
  • Physics & Astronomy Club — Tesla Coil (with Prof. Sinko)

Physics and Astronomy Student Research, Fall 2018 - Summer 2019

  • Alexis Corbett and Danielle Hall — Color-Change Coatings using Leuco Dyes (with Prof. Sinko and Prof. Sivaprakasam, Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry)
  • Bijaya Ghorasainee and Sanjeev Regmi — Analysis of ZnO Nanoparticles (with Prof. Sinko and Prof. Nelson, and Prof. Kannan Sivaprakasam, Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry)
  • Edison King — Dynamics of Double and Triple Physical Pendulums (with Prof. Haglin)
  • Chase Negen — Aluminum Space Debris Removal (with Prof. Sinko)

Service and Community Engagement

Get involved in broader impacts of physics!

STEM Outreach

Support the next generation of scientists and engineers!

Physics & Astronomy Club

We are an active, award-winning student organization. Some typical activities include game nights, field trips to national lab facilities (recent destinations included Fermi Lab, the Soudan mine/MINOS, and the NOvA experiment), canoeing on the Mississippi river, STEM outreach, and building devices of mad physics - recent projects included a Rubens tube and a Tesla coil.

Physics & Astronomy Club trip to Fermi National Accelerator Lab in Fall 2015