COVID-19 Related Information:

 

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has created tremendous uncertainty for everyone. The Department of Physics and Astronomy will use this page as a repository for information for all current and future students.

Advising Contacts:
  • Transfer Students: If your studies at another institution were interrupted and you would like to learn how you can continue your physics or astronomy education at UMKC then please contact Prof. Libby Stoddard.

  • Undergraduate Students: If you have any administrative or enrollment questions please contact Prof. Libby Stoddard

  • Graduate Students: If you have questions about our graduate programs or how to apply please contact Prof. Paul Rulis. If you have questions about enrollment for the 2020-2021 academic year please contact Prof. Mark Brodwin.

Laboratory Courses (including 210/220/240/250):
  • 2020 Summer Semester Introductory Physics Courses and Labs (210/220/240/250): The department will be delivering both the lecture portion and the laboratory portion of these courses online.

  • 2020 Fall Semester Introductory Physics Courses and Labs (210/220/240/250): At present, the department is planning to have both the lecture portion and the laboratory portion of these courses held online. As with our normal procedure, laboratory sections will not start until the second week of the semester.

  • 2020 Fall Semester Upper Division Labs (395L/5595L): The department has decided to move the 395L/5595L course into the Spring 2021 semester.

Undergraduate Physics Majors:
  • 2020 Fall Semester: The department will follow the UMKC plan to repopulate campus. During Phase 3, which runs from August 3 to August 24, all faculty, staff, and students will return to campus (except for those with medical exemptions). Guidelines that encourage people to wear masks and practice physical distancing will be followed so as to limit the ability of the SARS-CoV-2 virus to spread.

    All upper division undergraduate lecture courses (3xx/4xx) have been designated as “hybrid” in the Pathway course management system. The traditional meaning of the “hybrid” designation was that the course would meet on-campus at least five times during the semester and online for the remainder of the course. However, for the 2020 fall semester our faculty are using this designation to enable us to plan for all possible eventualities and still ensure that we deliver the best educational experience that we can. Following the guidance posted in April, the department is presently planning to offer all lecture sections as regular face-to-face courses. The main difference from past semesters is that the lectures will be delivered in rooms that are substantially larger than would normally be used for a given typical class size so as to maintain physical distancing protocols.

    Please enroll in courses as soon as possible so that the department can collect an accurate accounting of course populations. This will aid us in the exceptionally complicated task of room scheduling caused by the need for physical distancing.

    Of course, we are mindful of the possibility that events between now and the start of the semester may force modification of the plan. The faculty are preparing for the possibility that fall courses will need to be offered entirely online or that they may need to move online partway through the semester. Such flexible decision-making will require input from all stake holders (faculty, staff, and students). Regarding students in particular, we are developing a survey to help us understand the viewpoint and preferences of our students. That survey will be deployed soon and it may be reused as the summer and fall semester progresses.

    If you have questions of a general nature please direct them to physics-astronomy@umkc.edu. If you have questions regarding a specific course please discuss with the individual professor who will be teaching that course.

Graduate Students:
  • 2020 Fall Semester Coursework: The department will follow the UMKC plan to repopulate campus. During Phase 3, which runs from August 3 to August 24, all faculty, staff, and students will return to campus (except for those with medical exemptions). Guidelines that encourage people to wear masks and practice physical distancing will be followed so as to limit the ability of the SARS-CoV-2 virus to spread.

    All graduate lecture courses (5xxx) have been designated as “hybrid” in the Pathway course management system. The traditional meaning of the “hybrid” designation was that the course would meet on-campus at least five times during the semester and online for the remainder of the course. However, for the 2020 fall semester our faculty are using this designation to enable us to plan for all possible eventualities and still ensure that we deliver the best educational experience that we can. Following the guidance posted in April, the department is presently planning to offer all lecture sections as regular face-to-face courses. The main difference from past semesters is that the lectures will be delivered in rooms that are substantially larger than would normally be used for a given typical class size so as to maintain physical distancing protocols.

    Please enroll in courses as soon as possible so that the department can collect an accurate accounting of course populations. This will aid us in the exceptionally complicated task of room scheduling caused by the need for physical distancing.

    Of course, we are mindful of the possibility that events between now and the start of the semester may force modification of the plan. The faculty are preparing for the possibility that fall courses will need to be offered entirely online or that they may need to move online partway through the semester. Such flexible decision-making will require input from all stake holders (faculty, staff, and students). Regarding students in particular, we are developing a survey to help us understand the viewpoint and preferences of our students. That survey will be deployed soon and it may be reused as the summer and fall semester progresses.

    If you have questions of a general nature please direct them to Prof. Rulis. If you have questions regarding a specific course please discuss with the individual professor who will be teaching that course.

  • 2020 Fall Semester GTA Activities: The laboratory sections of the introductory physics courses (210/220/240/250) will be held online so you will not be physically directing the laboratory sections. Guidance about your teaching, support, and grading responsibilities will be detailed in the first week of the semester during an all-GTA meeting led by Prof. Stoddard, the GTA Supervisor. (Note that the lab sections do not normally start until the second week of the semester and that the 2020 fall semester will be no different.) The date and time for the meeting will be sent to you in August. All GTAs should enroll in their own courses as soon as possible to enable accurate accounting of enrollment numbers for the graduate physics and astronomy courses.

    As mentioned previously, please enroll in courses as soon as possible so that the department can collect an accurate accounting of course populations. Your GTA duties will be scheduled so as not to interfere with any of your courses. Therefore, you should feel free to select whatever schedule works best for you.

  • 2020 Fall Semester GRA Activities: Each research lab in the department will establish its own protocols within the guidelines provided by UMKC for repopulating campus. Please contact your research advisor for details.

    As mentioned previously, please enroll in courses as soon as possible so that the department can collect an accurate accounting of course populations. This also applies to any 5599, 5696, or 5699 courses that you may need to take.

  • 2020 Fall Semester Additional Notes: If you have a hold on your account for any reason please be sure to contact the appropriate person in the department to resolve it as soon as possible. For example, if you are a new graduate student, then you will have an advising hold on your account that will prevent you from enrolling until after you have a meeting with Prof. Brodwin. In that case, please send him an email and set up a time to discuss as soon as possible so that your advising hold can be lifted. Similarly, if you are a GRA and you have a financial hold please contact your research advisor and Ms. Hunter as soon as possible. If you are a GTA in that situation and do not have a research advisor then contact Prof. Rulis and Ms. Hunter as soon as possible.