University of Hawai'i at Hilo offers bachelor's degrees in physics
and astronomy. We are located on the slopes of Maunakea, where some of the world's most productive observatories provide unparalleled opportunities for our students.
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Physics classes & labs
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E komo mai (Welcome)
of Hawai'i Hilo Physics and Astronomy programs provide a unique
and excellent undergraduate education within the College of Natural Science and Health
Sciences. Faculty teach the vast majority of courses, using
best practices from physics-education research. The faculty have
active research projects that provide opportunities for students
to gain valuable experience through internships and
directed-studies courses. The programs are designed to prepare
students for a wide range of careers in physics and astronomy,
from fundamental research to education and public outreach, from
data science to engineering. Many career options are available
without the need for graduate studies.
Aloha - Department of Physics &
College of Natural and Health Sciences (CNHS)
University of Hawai'i at Hilo
Physics is the study of how the universe
works. We offer a bachelor of arts in physics and
prepare students for a wide range of careers, with
knowledge and skills applicable to engineering,
computer or information systems, and other STEM
fields, including education. In fact, physics
majors generally score well on the MCAT and LSAT because of their
highly developed problem-solving skills.
Physics uses the tools of mathematics, and our students
have a clear pathway to double majoring with math.
Astronomy is the study of how the
universe began, evolved, and evolves. We offer a
bachelor of science in astronomy and provide the
training needed for students seeking careers in
astronomy, as professional research astronomers,
observatory technical staff, or educators. Our
astronomy program provides students with unique
access to professional telescopes on
Astronomy uses the tools of
physics; this is reflected a number of astronomy
students double majoring with physics (it's only
3−5 more courses).
The University of Hawai'i at Hilo is
characterized as a comprehensive, regional university. Scholarship and research are an important part of faculty work and student engagement, but the primary focus is on providing high-quality baccalaureate and limited postgraduate education.
Students learn in and out of
the classroom, on and off campus. Unique internship opportunities
exist via the Hawai'i/NASA Space Grant Consortium and the Akamai Internship Program.
We are currently building a new
UH Hilo Educational Telescope (UHHET) for our majors, other UH
Hilo students, and the broader Big Island community. It will have a modern 0.7-m
telescope and 20-ft dome; it will operate in classical, queue, and
robotic modes. Visit our UHHET site to learn more.
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We are your academic
`ohana. We teach the vast majority of courses, using best
practices from physics-education research. We have active
research projects that provide hands-on opportunities for students.
R. Pierre Martin
Observatory Director & Department Co-Chair
UH Hilo faculty and students have access to all professional telescopes atop Maunakea, to carry out research and educational activities. We acknowledge the significant cultural role that the summit of Maunakea has always had within the indigenous Hawaiian community. We are most fortunate to have the opportunity to conduct observations from this mountain. Check out the UH Hilo Center for Maunakea Stewardship website
Hilo has a vibrant astronomy community, and students collaborate with observatory astronomers on research and technical projects, through internships at the observatories, obtainable year-round. Several of our alumni are working in the local community and can provide practical advice for pursuing a career in astronomy.
Videos, Physics and Astronomy Department walk through... and driving to work on Maunakea.
Questions? You can stop by our offices in
the Sciences and Technology Building (STB), 2nd floor. Otherwise email for a site visit or a Zoom meeting.
© 2022 University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo, an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action institution and a campus of the University of Hawaiʻi system.