About

We are an inclusive department in which all students are welcome to study the cosmos.

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.

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 a small but cohesive department in a big university. We pride ourselves for a strong presence in internationally recognized research relative to the size of our department. Graduate students are encouraged to get involved in research projects as soon as possible. We have a very active Physics and Astronomy Club (PAC) and Women in Physics and Astronomy (WIPAA) club.