About

We are an inclusive department in which all students are welcome to study the cosmos! We offer an M.S. Physics and an M.S. Physics with a concentration in Astronomy.

Research specialties: Astronomy/astrophysics (exoplanetary science, galactic archaeology, binary stars in globular clusters, computational astrophysical and geophysical fluid dynamics); Experimental physics (condensed matter physics, quantum materials & nanodevices, bio-nano-optics, quantum optics); Theoretical particle physics (quantum field theory, lattice gauge theory); Physics & astronomy education.

Mission Statement:

The fields of physics & astronomy use the scientific method to investigate the fundamental laws that govern the cosmos and all its contents, from subatomic particles to the cosmic web of galaxies on the largest observable scales in the universe and beyond. The pursuit of science is a human endeavor, and our department welcomes the full spectrum of humanity to contribute their perspectives, passions, and skills to scientific exploration.

The mission of San Francisco State University’s Department of Physics & Astronomy is to equip students from all backgrounds with foundational content knowledge in classical mechanics, electricity & magnetism, special & general relativity, thermodynamics & statistical mechanics, quantum mechanics, and astronomy & astrophysics; to provide “hands-on” training in theoretical, experimental, observational, and computational techniques for pure research and industrial and “real-world” applications; to mentor students to embrace an empirical, scientific framework to expand the boundaries of knowledge through novel research, and, ultimately, to create diverse STEM leaders, teachers, and policy-makers ready to tackle the most challenging problems facing society locally and globally.

Future outcomes:

Roughly one-third of our graduates go on to PhD Programs. In recent years, our students have gone on to U.C. Berkeley, U.C. Santa Cruz, U.C. Davis, UCLA, U.C. Irvine, U.C. Riverside, U.C. Santa Barbara, U.C. San Diego, USC, Stanford U., Harvard U., Yale U., Johns Hopkins U., New York U., U. Pennsylvania, U. Michigan, Boston College, U. Notre Dame, McGill U., U. Washington, U. Colorado, Arizona State U., Northern Arizona U., New Mexico State U., U. Connecticut, U. Maryland, U. North Carolina, Oregon State U., Temple U., U. Oklahoma. One-third of our graduates go into industry (industrial labs, software engineering, data science), including Google, Apple, Space X, Amazon.

One-third of our graduates go into science education and outreach (high schools, community colleges, science museums), including the California Academy of Sciences, Exploratorium, Chabot Space & Science Center. Follow us on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/sfsu-physics-astronomy

Video Gallery

Program Requirements

Bachelor's degree requirements:
Bachelor's degree in Physics, Astronomy, Astrophysics, Engineering, Mathematics, or any other physical science is preferred. We welcome students with other majors (including non-science majors), though it will take longer to graduate because such students will have to complete upper-division undergraduate physics courses. If undergraduate major is not a physical science, candidates should first complete 3 semesters of calculus and 3 semesters of introductory calculus-based physics prior to applying.
Minimum undergraduate GPA: 3.0
GRE Requirements: Not Required
Physics GRE Requirements: Not Required
TOEFL Requirements: Required

Description of your department culture

We are an inclusive department in which all students are welcome to study the cosmos! We encourage students to get involved in research with our faculty. We have an active Physics & Astronomy Club (PAC) and Women in Physics and Astronomy Club (WIPAA). Faculty and students at SFSU co-founded the international climate advocacy organization Astronomers for Planet Earth (A4PE).

Links:
SFSU Dept. of Physics & Astronomy on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/sfsu-physics-astronomy

SFSU Physics & Astronomy Club (PAC) on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/PAC.SFSU/

SFSU Women in Physics and Astronomy Club (WIPAA) on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/WIPAAsfsu

Astronomers for Planet Earth (A4PE): https://astronomersforplanet.earth

Astronomers for Planet Earth (A4PE) on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/astro4earth