College of Natural & Agricultural Sciences

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About the Department


The Department has 40 faculty engaged in research programs in

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Nanoscale Materials and Electronic Device Physics
  • Biophysics
  • High-Energy Physics
  • Relativistic Heavy Ion Physics
  • Astrophysics and Extragalactic Astronomy and Cosmology.

These programs use facilities located on the campus and at national and international laboratories. The Department also has one research-active emeritus professor and five adjunct, visiting or cooperating faculty. The Department plays a significant role in interdisciplinary research and graduate training initiatives on campus in the areas of Nanoscience and Engineering, Environmental Physics, Biophysics, and Geophysics and Planetary Physics.

The integration of astrophysics and astronomy with physics is increasingly important in our discipline, particularly the physics of the Early Universe from both astronomical cosmology and particle physics. In 2006 we changed our department name from Physics to Physics and Astronomy and have begun programmatic growth in the area of astrophysics and astronomy. In the next few years, we plan to hire additional faculty primarily in the areas of nanoscale physics, astrophysics, and biophysics. The faculty and their research and educational mission are supported by 14 administrative and technical staff.

The Department has 177 undergraduate majors, who are advised by four faculty members as well as a departmental Student Affairs Officer. Our majors enjoy an extremely favorable undergraduate student/faculty ratio (2.6:1) and nearly 80% of our graduating seniors have participated in undergraduate research at UCR. Our undergraduate degree options include a standard physics track which is often taken with a minor or dual major in mathematics and a biophysics track which can be used to simultaneously fulfill medical school prerequisites. A physics education track which can lead to combined degrees/certification in Physics and Education and an astrophysics track are new additions to our program. Undergraduates can also pursue a minor degree in Physics in combination with any other major on campus.

The Department has 131 graduate students engaged in advanced study and research. The faculty, in combination with over 20 postdoctoral and professional researchers provide a graduate training environment with a 1.9:1 student/supervisor ratio. The Department offers several graduate tracks leading to Ph.D.'s in Physics with emphasis in Nuclear and Particle Physics, Condensed Matter, Surface, Optical Physics and Biophysics, Astrophysics, Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics, and Environmental Physics.

Information on admission procedures and our courses can be found on the Undergraduate and Graduate programs pages which are linked to the Student Information page of this website. For more information about the Department, please contact:

To visit us, please contact the Physics Department Student Affairs Office by phone at 951-827-5332 or fax at 951-827-4529.





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