About the Department

The Physics Department is made up of twenty-two faculty members, who conduct research in the areas of condensed matter (theory and experiment), particle physics (theory and experiment), biophysics, and astrophysics and cosmology.  We are home to some of the most creative faculty and unique research programs in the nation.  As individuals, our faculty members have received numerous awards.

In a report by the Institute for Scientific Information, UCSC Physics' professional papers had the highest citation rate of any university physics department in the country. With a strong condensed matter physics group and with our close connection to the Santa Cruz Institute for Particle Physics (SCIPP) and scientific associations with Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC) and Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Laboratory (SSRL) at Stanford, the UC Observatories, and various x-ray and neutron scattering centers at national laboratories we continue to provide exceptional research opportunities to our students.

Our graduate students work closely with our faculty to develop and conduct original research. Coursework provides a depth of knowledge in the student's main areas of interest, as well as breadth in physics.

We offer the following the following four undergraduate majors: Physics, Physics (Astrophysics), Applied Physics, and Physics Education.  Each shares the same rigorous core of lower and upper division courses, with the differences appearing primarily in the upper-division electives chosen. Highly motivated students also have the opportunity to work as research assistants with our faculty.

We also have active postdoctoral researchers in the department, who are extending their research skills, in conjunction with our faculty.

We hope you enjoy learning more about our department as you visit our web site.